In The BNOTP Library: The Well-Set Table

Every year the Atlanta Botanical Gardens hosts a garden tour called Gardens for Connoisseurs. It’s always on Mother’s Day weekend and for many, many years, Ryan Gainey’s beautiful cottage garden has been on the tour. His garden has been a staple of the tour, a garden you could always count would be there to enjoy.

The last time I took the tour, I was told it would no longer be included each year. I was sad to hear that because it had become like an old friend I looked forward to visiting each spring.

A while back I shared Ryan’s book, The Well-Placed Weed. I’ve always loved that title because occasionally I come across blooming weeds that are almost as pretty as the flowers we grow intentionally.

The Well-Placed Weed by Ryan Gainey


Ryan Gainey is well-known for his talents as a designer of beautiful gardens and landscapes, having been showcased in tons of magazines over the years, but I’m not sure many folks know he also wrote a book about entertaining, too.

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In the BNOTP Library: The Well-Set Table
Author: Ryan Gainey
Hardcover: 184 pages
Book Size: 11.2 x 8.9 x 0.7

The Well-Set Table by Ryan Gainey


3 Things I Like About This Book:

  • This is as much a gardening and art book as it is about creating beautiful table settings. Several of the featured tables are set in gardens while others feature beautiful flowers in the centerpiece. Lots of beautiful objets d’art in this book, including ceramic pieces, pottery and hand-painted tablecloths.
  • This book could easily have been part cookbook too if recipes had been included for all the special food/dishes pictured in the book. If you’re a foodie, you may be able to tell what’s in some of them by just looking at the pictures and reading the descriptions. Umm, makes me wonder if Ryan ever wrote a cookbook.
  • Photography is beautiful, warm and inviting…not overly staged and fake like you see in some magazines. I loved the glimpses we get into Ryan’s personal home. After touring his garden for so many years and seeing his cute cottage from the outside, I always wondered how it looked inside. In this book Ryan shares a bit about his childhood and his parents, even sharing a letter his mother wrote to his father when he was serving in the Philippines during World War II.

Take a tour of Ryan Gainey’s garden here: Scenes From The Garden of Ryan Gainey

You can read more about this book, The Well-Set Table at Amazon via the picture link below.

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You’ll find previously featured books here: In The BNOTP Library or just click on the collage below. To see just the books I’ve featured about Gardening, click here: Gardening Books

In the BNOTP Library

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  1. I have never had the pleasure of touring Ryan’s garden in person, but I sure have seen it and been inspired from afar via magazine articles. I never knew he also wrote a book like this, and the combination of gardening, decorating, and entertaining hits all the things I love. Another one to add to my book wish list from your reviews and recommendations. I think the list is up over 10 now. Thank goodness I still have some Amazon gift cards left…

    • I loved his garden because a few sections were semi-formal but most of it was wild and wooly…very cottagey. He used to have a sign on the gate that invited passer-byers to enter…not sure if he still does that now, though.

  2. This book looks and sounds wonderful Susan….and I also love Frances Schultz…I so remember her from the days of the Christopher Lowell show! I have yet to tour the Atlanta Botanical Gardens…on my list!!

  3. I think that book sounds wonderful. I would love to tour the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I wonder why his won’t be included this year. Perhaps he finds it too taxing? I will check out the link to the book. Thanks for sharing!

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