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Armitage includes his wry commentary on many of the plant entries. Filled with gorgeous pictures of plant combinations, each labeled by common name. Combinations are categorized by color and form--including single color, bold color, subtle color, similar form, subtle form, and bold form. Alternative plants that give the same look in different hardiness zones are suggested, making the combinations adaptable to all regions of the US. You won't be able to tear yourself away from this eye candy! Cole Burrell's brilliant design talent blends with his extensive experience as a gardener and a plantsman to make this book both visually dynamic and enormously informative.

Not only are there numerous ideas for inspiring design combinations, but practical tips on soil, light, and maintenance requirements for the plants abound. This book should help every gardener-from the beginner to the professional-design gardens that look as good in the landscape as they do on paper. From the Publisher: The art of natural gardening is beautifully illustrated in this full-color, activity-filled book. It demonstrates to readers exactly how to create natural looking, easy-care landscapes in their own backyards.

Clear, colorful pictures and easy-to-understand text reveal every planning, installation, and planting tip used by experts to create stunning natural gardens. Whether you live near the seashore, in the Midwest plains, in the woodlands, or in the desert, Natural Gardens delivers inspiration and practical knowledge about your region. From the Publisher: In this book, authors Stephanie Cohen and Nancy Ondra, two top garden writers and teachers, offer fun, organized, and attainable advice on how to create gorgeous gardens with perennials.

They walk the gardener step-by-step through the process of creating new gardens, as well as of bringing new life to gardens that have lost their luster. The authors explain how to pick perennials that suit your site and how to create eye-catching plant combinations. They also offer down-to-earth garden solutions for 20 specific types of gardens. From the Publisher: If you've ever wondered about the people and places immortalized in plant names, this enlightening and entertaining book will provide some answers.

Legends in the Garden introduces 46 people and places--some familiar, others unknown--associated with popular garden plants. This delightful book combines accounts of the lives of these intriguing characters with descriptions of the plants that bear their names and the stories of their chance discoveries or deliberate breeding. This informative encyclopedia details of the author's favorite perennials for great-looking, trouble-free gardens. Each plant record includes a summary, growing and propagating instructions, best uses, and companion plants.

Considered to be the most authoritative and best-illustrated reference ever published on ornamental grasses. In addition to the illustrated encyclopedia of ornamental grasses, Darke discusses how to use ornamental grasses to complement other perennials in the landscape. In this book, master designer and plantswoman Tracy DiSabato-Aust provides inspiration and organized information for passionate gardeners.

The book is really four books in one. First, it is a master class of design fundamentals, with an emphasis on topics often neglected in other design books such as site evaluation, color theory, and planning for maintenance. Her step-by-step approach is sure to appeal even to beginning gardeners. Second, this book contains a gallery of detailed design plans that show how ideas are put onto paper and then translated into three dimensions.

Gardens of all sizes are included, along with accompanying plant lists and beautiful photographs. Third, an Encyclopedia of Plant Combinations presents 27 sample vignettes of compatible plants. Each entry addresses the design considerations at play--what makes the grouping work--and provides tips on how to keep the combination looking its best.

Fourth, this book includes very extensive appendixes which detail the characteristics and maintenance requirements of hundreds of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and bulbs. These useful charts and lists contain all the information designers will need for every landscape purpose and could qualify as a book in themselves. This guide to garden maintenance shows how careful planning and judicious care can extend the visual pleasure of your garden from a few brief days to long weeks and even months.

Learn about deadheading, pinching, cutting back, thinning, disbudding, deadleafing, and other techniques that will produce more flowers, encourage growth, and stagger bloom time. Description from the Publisher: A guide to keeping a perennial garden in bloom from April through October, this book provides all the information a gardener needs to grow beautiful flowers. Detailed information includes descriptions on types of perennials along with their bloom length, light and soil requirements, care, propagation, potential problems, and companion plants.

From the Publisher: In this comprehensive and inspirational compendium, silver aficionados Jo Ann Gardner and Karen Bussolini have selected and vividly illustrated the best silver plants for a broad range of growing and design needs.

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Whether you decide to add a dash of quicksilver or the soothing perfume of an ancient herb, this in-depth guide to plants of uncommon beauty and versatility is certain to change the way you see and plant your garden. From the Publisher: What gardener hasn't been disappointed with borders after spring blooms have faded? Designing a garden with the focus on flowers is missing half the fun, according to the author, an expert plantswoman and popular horticultural educator. Working on the premise that the form of the leaf is the most important design element, Glattstein explains the basic leaf shapes and how to balance them pleasingly.

Color also adds dimension to plantings, and Glattstein includes individual chapters focusing on specific tonal palettes. Each chapter is filled with plant suggestions and hints for successfully incorporating foliage into the garden. More than photographs illustrate foliage effects, from subtle to dramatic.

This lively and information-rich book will benefit gardeners and landscape designers alike. Contains a comprehensive list of over ornamental grasses and their cultivars, describing each plant in detail including cultural requirements, propagation, and landscape use. A comprehensive color encyclopedia of the world's finest hosta cultivars and species.

Organized by color, this book provides a full description and color photograph for more than hostas. This book provides the most up-to-date and helpful growing techniques and cultural details for specific crops. Written by Green Industry professionals and leading academics, Crop Production presents the information in a clear, concise manner. This isn't theory--it's what works in real-world production.

In Part 1, you'll find chapters devoted to: water, media, nutrition, pH, temperature, light, growth regulators, managing insects and diseases, managing pest resistance, propagation, indexing for disease, and post-harvest care of flowering potted plants. Part 2 relates cultural details for more than annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables. For each crop, you'll find sections about propagation, growing on, pest and disease control, troubleshooting, varieties, and post-harvest care. Description excerpted from the book. A comprehensive guide to designing perennial gardens, from choosing the right plants to using garden ornaments.

This book features an extensive listing of the hundreds of choice selections and hybrids of Heucheras and Heucherellas available today. Also included are practical chapters on garden care, propagation, and design uses. This is an excellent resource for gardeners in cold climates. Its detailed information is garnered specifically for this type of garden and only lists and explains perennial varieties that are hardy to these climates. An informative and insightful encyclopedia of perennials, organized by characteristics such as long-blooming, water-loving, fabulous foliage, etc.

Each plant entry includes a plant profile, growing tips, list of good neighbors, problems and solutions, the top performer in its class, and other recommended varieties. Well respected, and the most practical hardy perennial guide in North America. This guide provides month schedules of different genera and species' bloom periods, as well as providing general information about the plants.

From Carol Haggas of Booklist: "Perennials paired with trees, trees teamed with shrubs, shrubs surrounded by bulbs: good garden design exists when several elements coexist serendipitously. Achieving such harmony doesn't have to be hard work, according to Lord, who covers all bases with concise yet comprehensive commentaries on the design characteristics of more than 1, individual plants. Accompanied by Lawson's crisp photographs of more than 4, visually compelling garden combinations, Lord succinctly illustrates each plant's design capabilities, then thoughtfully suggests a roster of complementary plants to take the guesswork out of good design.

If there is a better organized gardening book available, its existence is unknown. Indeed, Lord could set a new standard for the term user-friendly, for few guides could rival his treatise for the practicality of its structure or for the quality of its information. Each entry contains at-a-glance information on plant companions and cultural requirements, and helpfully lists photographic cross-references.

For professionals and amateurs alike, this guide is a godsend. Ground covers take on new meaning in this informative and enlightening book. Scientific explanations of hundreds of perennials are included as well as a handy ground cover selection chart. This is a helpful guide for the daunting task designing your garden. In her book, Janet Macunovich breaks down the design process into 12 simple steps. Following these steps, your garden or landscape is guaranteed to be beautiful!

What to do? Make smarter use of the space we have and the plants we select, says garden expert Kerry Ann Mendez. In The Right-Size Flower Garden, she shares her successful recipe for having a garden we can manage and love again This book, written by Kerry Ann Mendez the founder of Perennially Yours, focuses on useful and practical perennials recommendations for all gardeners, particularly those looking for a high quality and low maintenance garden. This book, written by one of the best known daylily breeders, discusses the developments of daylily breeders from to , as well as the history of the American Hemerocallis Society.

A few plants creep in, including the back-story of Verbena Homestead Purple. Armitage retired from the University of Georgia - College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in , where he began teaching in The communities surrounding Athens, GA are dotted with his students who have pursued careers in horticulture.

John Ruter who accepted the Armitage Professorship of Horticulture at the school. He followed a circuitous path from his home in Mount Royal, Canada, through several related work experiences, and around some opportunities that could have thrown him off course. It is an interesting journey and it would be worthwhile taking that journey with Armitage through his latest book. Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants by C. Colston Burrell. In this time of increased environmental awareness, the role of non-native horticultural selections has been questioned. Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, has reported on research into the inter-relationship of flora and fauna, a fascinating account of the overwhelming number of butterfly larvae that prey on native vegetation versus the much smaller number that graze on exotic vegetation.

This is a common sense Aha! State and regional Pest Plant Councils bring awareness to the general public about the devastation alien invaders have brought to Southern forests and the degradation of species diversity and wildlife habitat. They also offer solutions to long-developing problems. Some exotic species have been introduced accidentally, but most were brought here as ornamentals or for livestock forage. This should cause gardeners to pause when purchasing the latest hot new introduction from China or Japan.

I am as guilty as the next member of any plant society who covets the brightest or newest or wants to be the first to have one. What are we doing to our native habitat for future generations? We may not see the devastation in our lifetime. It may approach slowly at first, then become faster and more widespread over time.

Even "passalong" plants like Nandina domestica, Spirea japonica, Hibiscus syriacus, Hesperis matronalis, Iris pseudacorus, Leucanthemum vulgare, Lysimachia nummularia, Vinca major and V. How many of these do you have in your garden? Colston Burrell identifies the offending species and their current invaded range and then gives three native alternatives that provide similar showy attributes. The format information covers:.

Attributes at a Glance box for each plant, which highlights four features and allows the reader to quickly narrow the search for just the right replacement. Each invasive selection has three or four native alternatives, including trees, shrubs, vines, herbaceous plants, and grasses. A thumbnail photo of the invader caps the page, while a much larger photo shows the replacement's best feature for the garden. Not every entry is appropriate for the Southeast because, as we all know, what is invasive in Michigan may not be invasive in Georgia.

Because the booklet is an all-region guide, the plant ranges cover west to Hawaii and California, east to New York, north to Alberta, Canada, and south to Texas and Florida. But many plants are invasive throughout North America, showing how widely adaptable they can be. Our generation of plant hunters travels far and wide, obtaining the showiest, hardiest, most marketable species for our modern gardens, but no one knows what potential for environmental damage lurks among the newest plant releases.

Only time will tell. Can we, as good earth stewards, afford to gamble on our children's future for a moment of exotic beauty? Explore the breadth of plant possibilities put forth by noted native plant enthusiast Cole Burrell and green your garden with natives for now and for the future.

The stated primary objective of this book is to "convey methods of maintenance for herbaceous perennials and all information considered relevant for successful cultivation of specific plants and their characteristics, including sub-shrubs indispensable to the mixed herbaceous border. Though not marketed as a regional book, the information it contains is presented in a regional manner. Gardening problems exist no matter what the region.

In the Pacific Northwest the biggest pest problem is the dreaded slug and its introduced shelled cousin, the snail. The extended rains that cause the slugs and snails to proliferate also cause rot during the cold winters, as can happen here. With increased cloud cover, heat index levels are not as high as in the South. The authors note which genera need heat to bloom successfully and where to site them for best performance in the Northwest. Some genera, like Dianthus, are treated as short-lived perennials due to the lack of heat available. The A-to-Z section provides information useful throughout the country, with cultivars listed and compared for many of the selections.

I found informative and amusing tidbits throughout out the book. In the maintenance guidelines, we all lust after the holy five conditions of moderately fertile, well drained, humus-rich, moist, and moisture-retentive soil. To this end the authors encourage us to make our own compost for mulching and planting but caution against composting the leaves of peony, lily, iris, hellebore, and tulip because of disease problems. Delphinium is deemed the hypochondriac of the perennial border due to the trussing, staking, fussing, and preening it takes to display a beautiful, tall specimen.

Perhaps we should label her the same in the Southern border. Don't we wish Acanthus, Alchemilla, and Adenophora were thugs in our Southern gardens? Under "Winter Care" the authors advise that we "put limestone chips marble chips on the crowns of your hellebores and peonies. These chips slough molecules constantly and will change the pH around and on the crown they cover, but not the overall pH of the soil. This slightly less acid mulch will interfere with the over wintering of the botrytis organisms so the plants don't pick up this disease when emerging in the spring. Those of us who arrange garden flowers know that Helleborus has a tendency to wilt.

The authors proffer this nugget of information: "Condition hellebores after cutting, take a pin or the like and poke holes up and down the stem. Fill a sink or tub with water and float the hellebores in it over night. Arrange the next day, and you'll have two weeks of flowers. Lynn Harrison supplied beautiful photographs, with single mug shots for the A-to-Z section and seasonal landscapes of color and texture in complementary combinations scattered through out. The three authors give recognition to the bulk of good garden plants that come from areas that receive summer rain—the United States east of the Mississippi and wetter areas of Europe, China, and New Zealand.

The nursery source list—both mail order and retail—is slanted heavily to the western region of Washington, Oregon, and California, but Niche Gardens and Plant Delights Nursery, both in North Carolina, made the grade. The reading list titles concentrate extensively on the Pacific Northwestern region.

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What You Need to Know! Griffin Illustrated by Kate Ruland. Althea Griffin has gardened in a lot of places throughout her life, but for the last 25 years she has put down roots in Atlanta. Rather it is a compilation of her favorite perennials, a list of 46 tried-and-true plants culled from years of experience working in her own garden and designing landscapes professionally.

The meat of the book is, of course, the information presented about each of the 46 perennials featured. The plants are listed by common name extremely helpful for beginning gardeners! Light requirements, flower and foliage descriptions, mature dimensions, and an illustration are all included at the top of the page for easy, at-a-glance reference.

Indexes of the common and botanical names of the plant discussed. An illustrated guide to beneficial and harmful insects one is likely to encounter in the Southern garden. All in all, Griffin has created a charming work that is simple to navigate, easy to comprehend, and both inspiring and educational. While not exceedingly broad in scope in terms of the plants covered, I wondered why she left out garden workhorses such as salvia, carex, geranium, and euphorbia. I would highly recommend this book for teachers, parents, independent garden centers, and community garden managers looking for a friendly, concise manual to share with young or novice gardeners looking to get their hands dirty for the first time but unsure about how to get started.

Most of us are familiar with Phlox subulata, commonly known as thrift or moss phlox. The brightly colored, evergreen groundcovers are a harbinger of spring but perhaps were more commonplace before Post Properties introduced us to pansies. No summer perennial bed is complete without Phlox paniculata. We seem to be introduced every year to a new cultivar that purportedly solves the holy-grail-like search for mildew resistance.

Myself, I am still seeking. The book, the only comprehensive one on this North American native plant, is an enjoyable read with separate chapters on each of the species and clear, evocative writing. Each chapter is complete with species history and growing requirements, useful in selecting plants for our gardens. The book will appeal to perennial plant connoisseurs as well as native plant enthusiasts. The idea of plant breeding intrigues me but I always think of it as something difficult that only horticulturists or large corporations could do. This book takes a subject that could be considered difficult and boring and makes it interesting and easy to understand.

Amateur tomato breeding enthusiasts found each other on the internet and began this project. They have developed interesting dwarf tomatoes, some of which are now for sale, all because they wanted to find good tasting dwarf tomatoes. The book is easy to read, easy to understand and quite humorous. One chapter is titled The Birds, the Bees, and the Tweezers. Here you will learn flower anatomy. You also learn how and why you may need to emasculate your plants when making a cross. In the chapter Genetics Made Easy, Tychonievich uses the analogy of cookie recipes to help explain genetics, mutation, inheritance and inbreeding in a way that is easy to understand.

This explanation helps the reader apply the information to creating new plants. With this simple approach, even a home gardener can be successful in applying plant genetics while breeding new plant varieties. The final chapter is titled For Example. In this chapter the author gives the reader specifics on how to breed some popular flowers and vegetables. Columbine, coleus, daffodils, dianthus, hollyhocks, roses, snapdragons, and zinnias are the flowers used as breeding examples. For vegetables he uses beans, brassicas, corn, lettuce, squash, and tomatoes. These breeding techniques vary from easy to more difficult, giving the reader the ability to move on to plants of their own choice using this newfound knowledge.

What is a plant community and how can we make one? This book, co-authored by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, answers the first question and begins to answer the second. To picture a plant community, the authors would have us look to nature where plants grow closely together, often scattered among each other, sometimes in the same location at different times.

For inspiration, we do not have to make a pilgrimage to a virgin forest or an unspoiled meadow; simply look at an untended lot, a drainage ditch, the side of the road. You will probably see no bare ground, a variety of plants in close proximity, and, if you frame it creatively, great beauty.

This is the model that the authors suggest we should use when we design our gardens. Of course, the authors are not telling us to replace our gardens with patches of weeds. The book proposes three archetypes for garden design: grasslands, forests, woodlands and shrub-lands. We are told to choose the archetype that most nearly resembles our location and to select plants and design accordingly. Mixing plants that naturally grow in different environments results in confusing, poorly designed gardens.

At about this point, I begin to have questions. Having spent some time in the Appalachian forests, I have a mental picture of what that environment looks like. A meadow also evokes pictures upon which a garden could be built.

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But my urban three-quarters of an acre fits neither of those models; therefore it must be woodlands and shrub-lands, but I do not have a very good idea of what that is. Here and elsewhere in this book, we must either do some serious work to take the next step or wait for someone else to provide the details. Rainer is more interested in the natural archetypes, West in layered planting techniques. There are four layers and they are the same for all archetypes:. The structural and seasonal plants are relatively tall and planted sparsely; the filler species are temporary.

The ground-covers tie everything together. Without them, there would be no community. This is how the ground covers are described in the book: "This layer includes plants with aggressive, clonal spreading behavior, such as Packera obovata. They closely hug the ground and provide excellent erosion control, weed suppression, and green mulch function. The authors stress the importance of using a variety of ground covers, but what are they? Some research would be required to identify a set of low-growing, stoloniferous plants that suppress weeds but do not crowd out or overwhelm the more showy members of the plant community or each other.

The authors list eight examples; I would like to see more. Rainer and West believe that "a focus on designed plant communities can lead to a renaissance of design. It is both frightening and exciting to imagine such a change. But in garden design, as in everything else, change is the only constant. In , William Robinson published The English Flower Garden, proclaiming a radical change from the carpet bedding that defined Victorian gardens. Here is what he says about mixed borders: "Plant in naturally disposed groups Do not graduate the plants in height from the front to the back, as is generally done, but sometimes let a bold plant come to the edge; and, on the other hand, let a little carpet of a dwarf plant pass in here and there to the back Have no patience with bare ground, and cover the border with dwarf plants Let the little ground plants form broad patches and colonies by themselves occasionally, and let them pass into and under other plants.

Maybe it is a common memory that compels such visionaries to re-imagine the garden, the oldest memory of all--the memory of a garden. In difficult economic times, or any time you treasure your money, this is a book to own. It is a coffee table book, growing guide, reference, and nifty fact book all in one. I don't think it was designed as a coffee table book, but the cover, prints, and photographs are so gorgeous that I would like a copy gracing a table in every room of my home.

Because her book is meant as a growing guide and reference for the South, Erica suggests 10 tried and true plants for each of 20 categories: plants I love, plants I had forgotten, plants I did not know 'Gro-low' sumac , and plants I'm not crazy about nandina are fully described, complete with growing conditions, zone requirements, uses, and attractive companion suggestions. The categories begin with annuals followed by perennials, vines, roses, ferns, shrubs, trees, conifers, and bulbs for every season and situation.

Introducing each category, Erica devotes a page to what I consider a bit of everything else. Topics range from variegated plants, water-wise gardening, espalier, palms, and ornamental grasses to the landscaped cemetery, botanical gardens and arboreta of the South. These pages are a source of interesting and fun facts such as, "The first landscaped cemetery, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, opened in Paris, France, in as a reaction to increasing urban populations and crowded church graveyards.

Guidelines for watering, fertilizing, and composting as well as a comprehensive glossary help make this an excellent reference for new gardeners and a reliable one for those of us who need a bit of a jumpstart for the memory. Timber Press continues to add great and informative garden books to their inventory.

One of the new additions, The Book of Little Hostas, is no exception. Authors Kathy Guest Shadrack and Michael Shadrack, along with consulting editor Diana Grenfell, have shared their knowledge of small, very small, and mini Hosta varieties. They have the background to support this knowledge. This book covers how to grow and care for little hostas and how to create a space for them.

It also offers a list of companion plants. The authors suggest that you should choose companion plants that complement, not overshadow, your hostas. Growing these smaller varieties of hosta requires more care than the large ones, but it is well worth the effort. Personally, I believe growing these little gems in containers makes more sense. In fact, I grow 80 percent of all my hostas in containers, but this is an individual choice and the book offers numerous ideas. One option that I found intriguing was building a rockery for your collection. Instructions for this project are detailed by the authors.

This book contains many beautiful photographs of hostas and how they can best be used in your garden. Also, it includes a list of sources for acquiring new hostas for your collection. Retreating glaciers, rising sea levels, increased storm action in the south Atlantic—all these phenomena point to a warming planet, but is this a temporary or a permanent shift? The scientific community continues to debate with the politicians, making no real headway on how to counteract the underlying possible causes.

My own garden has undergone a radical change in just 25 years. When we moved out to West Cobb County in , I planted creeping gardenia, Japanese camellia, Fatsia japonica, and Sarcococca confusa. Cold temperatures registering below zero degrees, to as much as 10 degrees below zero, killed most of these plants outright, with the Sarcococca killed to the ground every year. I now grow the same plants with success and, in fact, the Sarcococca now measures three feet tall and has bloomed each winter for the last several years. A thought-provoking handbook, it is a vehicle for dialogue and a source for separating fact from fiction while pointing out far-reaching consequences of such aspects as lengthening growing seasons and stressed water resources.

Some practices gardeners can implement to reduce a garden's climate footprint include:. Feed the soil and employ no-till practices to keep soil organisms in place. Compost only as much green waste as necessary to renew your soil. The garden landscape is a carbon sink only if some of its vegetation never, ever decomposes. Who knew the act of composting is a source of greenhouse gas emissions? Recycle garden materials: reduce, reuse, or recycle bricks, concrete, etc. Use good landscape principles: provide wind breaks, summer shade, and winter heat gain.

Grow edibles: use permaculture techniques, save seeds of successful species. Experienced gardeners undertake carbon sequestration practices intuitively, but some aspects of environmental gardening may not have crossed your mind. What is in that bag of potting soil and where did the components originate? Is the peat moss a renewable resource? How far was it trucked before arriving at your door? How much pollution is given off as you blow, bag, or shred all those beautiful leaves littering your lawn this fall?

Did you know that the best place to put them is under the tree from which they fell, because that tree utilized all the nutrients it needed during the growing season to create and nourish those leaves. The decaying foliage is fertilizer with the exact nutritional components needed by the tree for growth in the spring. A lot of information in The Climate Conscious Gardener is common sense, but what this handbook provides is a window to view an in-depth panorama of how our everyday actions take on far-reaching consequences.

Perhaps, if we pause to look, we may want to change immediate gratification habits to gain long term health for ourselves and our planet. You must be a curious gardener to appreciate the musings of the late Jurgen Dahl, a German garden philosopher that may have been their version of Henry Mitchell. Translated and compiled from his original work, these essays stand alone and each can be read as a whole. It helps though, to read through sections in order to get into the writer's curious mood. Dahl notices and wonders about more than just the succession of bloom in his garden that he perceives to be a secret world.

He contemplates the pain of a goose calling for its lost mate, and wonders if we give plants too much credit for having evolved elaborate defenses and strategies to survive. This adventurous soul does more than contemplate — he eats, or at least tastes, almost everything in his garden.

He cultivates what some call weeds as salad greens and spices, uses various buds for capers, and even takes ajuga to the kitchen. He kindly notes those plants that are poisonous. Although Dahl was a bookseller, not a gardener, by trade, he accumulated a great deal of arcane knowledge simply through observation. Reading his sometimes strange notes encourages us to take a second look at our own secret gardens and maybe even nibble a thing or two.

You think you might want to be a garden designer. It's okay. We all think that now and then. How hard could it be? This book is your reality check. If you are serious about designing your own or someone else's garden, you need to read this guide to evaluating, measuring and planning a garden along with all the features within it — walls, water features, paths, gates — the whole thing.

The plants are the icing on the cake, but the preparation for that stage includes design and site assessment, plans and acquiring some necessary skills. Her detailed and practical text is written for the hands-on gardeners "who want to rework their gardens to achieve that sought-after 'designer finish'. Lots of illustrations help you understand the instructions for essential design steps of measuring the garden, evaluating the slope, considering drainage, and the flow of sunlight through various seasons.

While Ms. Alexander does not overlook the commonly addressed topics of matching garden to house design, blocking and framing views, building walkways of adequate width, and defining spaces, she also discusses patterns, adding depth, drawing experimental plans and the methods for interpreting plans to potential clients or friends for whom you may be designing.

The text is obviously prepared by an English author, who takes her "torch" flashlight with her on initial garden visits. She focuses on smaller, enclosed gardens of the type the English are familiar with, which are also common in our in-town neighborhoods, but her instructions could be applied to the evaluation and planning of any size property.

Alexander explains a disciplined approach to design that clearly defines it as a process, not an event.

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  8. It gives pause to those of us who have considered it as a profession and enhances our appreciation of those of our friends who follow design as a profession. An education in pages with color photos. The title gives you a clue that this is not light reading. This monograph is a revised and much enlarged edition of one written by the author in Many of the currently listed epimediums were discovered in only the last decade, greatly expanding the scope of the subject.

    In , I ordered seven varieties of epimedium, all that were commonly available at the time. I was an early fan of the genus commonly known as Barrenwort. When this book became available, I anxiously watched for its arrival. My first mind-numbing attempt to read the text was intimidating. From preface to history to morphology, I felt out of my depth. I started to skip ahead to cultivation and photos. The photos stopped me. They are glorious pictures of epimedium among their neighbors, most from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England, along with equally lovely paintings.

    Okay, I like the pictures. But the important thing is that they led me to interesting parts of the text. Backtracking, I returned to the Geographical Distribution section, which proved to be quite interesting. Spiced into the text are photos of the places in which epimedium choose to grow naturally.

    How to Plant Perennial Gardens

    The steep mountainsides featured give a new appreciation of those plant seekers who found them. The specifics of successful cultivation, based on their habitats in the wild, are easy to understand. Their rhizomes creep shallowly below the surface and in the wild are mulched by fallen leaves. An extensive Key to the genus is provided, along with very detailed discussions of the species. In the seven-page discussion of Epimedium grandiflorum, the author explains the Japanese name 'Ikariso' "from ikari grapnel or anchor and so plant , the four long curved spurs of the flower suggesting the four-fluked grapnel Nottsuzume ikari, four-claw anchor which is used by Japanese fishermen.

    It is a hefty price to pay for someone who is not a botanical scholar, but would still be worth seeking out in libraries for gardeners who are enchanted by the spidery early spring blooms held high on wiry stems and the beautifully veined and colored foliage that follows. Many of the epimedium that have been discovered are not yet available for our gardens, but more are showing up with every catalog. With this scholarly work in hand, you will have a better idea which ones you have to have.

    It is not customary to read a book from back to front, but it may be justified in this case. While the first half of this book focuses on pictures of plant combinations in their momentarily perfect state, the second half provides a wealth of reference materials. To prove it, she refers you back to the photo that captures this combo at the height of it's glory in the garden. The first half of the book devotes one page to each plant combo that the author has found attractive, or, I suspect, that she had a fine photograph of.

    She analyzes why the combination is effective and how many of each plant you might purchase to recreate the scene in your own garden. Many of the photos were taken in England or New York, and feature lovely plants that will not grow here, so substitutions would need to be made. This book contains everything you ever wanted to know about hostas but may not have the time or the endurance to read. Hostas are herbaceous perennial plants native to Japan, Korea, and China. Between 40 and 50 species have given rise to the thousands of cultivars varieties we recognize today.

    Recommended Books | Perennial Resource

    All species hostas are green, but the range of colors for cultivars goes from darkest green to light gold and chartreuse. Some are variegated, streaked, or margined, with contrasting colors extending from pure white to dark green or gold. Hostas were first brought into cultivation from Asia in the s by a German physician, P. Von Siebold, who was an avid amateur plant collector. Hosta sieboldiana was named for him. Ever since, we have embraced it and made it our own. While hostas have a natural tendency to mutate, or sport, from green into myriad colors and variations, countless hybridizers have added further variety to the mix.

    When Zilis was young, his grandfather introduced him to gardening. He became so interested that he later studied ornamental horticulture and received an MS in horticulture, with a specialty in tissue culture, from the University of Illinois. He joined the American Hosta Society, where he made friends with several luminaries in the hosta world.

    He has introduced a number of hosta sports and hybrids, including Hosta 'Endless Summer', H. Beginning in the s, Zilis visited the gardens of collectors around the world where he photographed and measured hostas. He traveled to Asia to collect hostas in their native habitat. The Hostapedia is a compilation of every hosta that he has photographed over the past 30 years! The real meat of the book, however, resides in the 7, descriptions of hosta cultivars and species. Zilis provides their origin parentage, hybridizer, year registered, etc. Many entries include detailed measurements and color photographs of them!

    The Hostapedia is certainly not easy to carry around and is somewhat difficult to manage even sitting down, but the wealth of information contained between its covers makes it an indispensible addition to any garden library. For the moderately serious hosta collector interested learning more, the Zilis book is an excellent investment.

    One has to wonder what could possibly top it. Given that over 30 years went into research and photography for this book, it will be a long time before any other author comes even close. Roy Diblik is a Wisconsin plantsman and designer whose decades of experience creating and maintaining private and public perennial gardens has resulted in his unique, somewhat holistic, approach to the topic. Diblik explains in detail every aspect of a perennial that will guide its selection: flower, seed head, foliage, stem, root, crown, growth rate, and habit.

    The Know Maintenance garden eschews high fertility, heavy mulching with wood chips, and too-wide spacing. Looking at successful remnant prairies indigenous to the northern half of the country, Diblik believes fertility should derive from the decaying plants themselves. At the end of the season, he recommends mowing perennial beds several times to create natural mulch. If this is impractical, the dead portions can be hand pruned to the ground, raked into a pile, mowed, and then reapplied to the bed. This practice seemed unworkable, to me.

    The less dedicated, Diblik says, can simply purchase local leaf mulch. Rototilling is to be avoided at all costs in order to prevent weed germination. For a previously vegetated site, he first sprays the herbicide glyphosate. Individual planting holes are dug with a small shovel, adding a little organic matter to each hole. On new home construction sites, a couple of inches of local leaf mulch, but no sand or gravel, should be tilled in lightly. His photographs show the stunning results, but his procedures contradict the established practices Southern perennial gardeners find successful in red clay.

    Care and maintenance guidelines are more in line with Southern methodology. He does stress keeping track of natural rainfall, noting the risks of overwatering. He provides a detailed irrigation timetable based on watering at14 to day intervals the first two years. Seventy-five detailed perennial plant profiles include species that prefer the cool summer nights where Diblik gardens. But Georgia gardeners could substitute similar perennials more adaptable here.

    His 30 themed garden plans, drawn from actual plantings and several Impressionist paintings, inspired me. Gardeners understand that their craft is regional, and this book would be more valuable where the author gardens. His philosophy of establishing perennial plant communities, however, should be useful everywhere. I intend to re-read this book, digest its overarching concepts, and re- interpret them here.

    This initial foray into the publishing realm by regionally noted plantswoman and garden designer Jane Bath offers good solid information written in easy-to-understand language. The information shared by Bath was accrued through years of hands-on work in the landscape and natural environments. She points out aspects that might be overlooked by the uninitiated. An astute problem solved, she give3s homeowners the tools to evaluate their gardening faux pas and suggestions on how to mitigate their errors.

    The photographcs illustrate the exact features she highlights.

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    The book's format lends itself to reading from cover to cover, but it is less aplicable to referencing over time. It may be somewhat difficult to find the topic the reader wished to review. However, the "How to Use the Landscape Design Answer Book" section lays out the philosophy behind the text and elaborates on the chapter layouts, allowing a reader to norrow the scope of a search. Covering information as broad as what factors to consider in siting a home to pruning practices and trash can placement, these pages hold a wealth of information that addresses aspects of the landscape.

    It is a good source for identifying and fixing your mistakes and a labot of love from our own Jane Bath. My name is David, and I am addicted to plants. Photos illustrate how sections of the garden transition from spring through winter. A reader can only imagine that the two-acre garden, tended with his partner Michael Alderfer, must be so full of plants as to disallow the introduction of even one more bulb. The reconstructed site is divided into borders and gardens where every layer from ground cover to airy tree branches is filled with coordinated color and interest.

    From his youthful interest in daffodils to current fascinations with epimedium and trilliums, he also expands his view to the small shrubs and trees that raise your eye from ground-covering ephemerals. While the first half of this book can be met with the same patience you might extend to friends taking you on tours of their gardens, the second half focuses on specific plants in their varieties and service to the overall garden. Culp makes no distinction between the plants that thrive in his native Tennessee and those that will only survive in his more northern garden.

    While reading, you would do well to check on the viability of attractive-sounding plants in the climate where you hope to grow them. This is not a scientific text, but more of an expression of love for his garden and the growing inhabitants. Culp places special emphasis on his galanthus snowdrops and hellebore collections, areas of interest for which he is well known. His breeding efforts in hellebores have resulted in the Brandywine Hybrids.

    He is frequently consulted for his expertise in snowdrops. He grows "more than a hundred different cultivars" and says his collection continues to expand. The diversity of flowers from these small bulbs is depicted in pages of detailed, close-up photos of his favorite selections, showing the diverse forms and markings that make them distinct.

    Galanthus 'David L. Culp' is a variety that was introduced by the Royal Horticulture Society in after it was discovered by Culp and two friends in an English woodland. Some portions of the text seem designed to support the display of the many lovely photographs taken by Rob Cardillo, a familiar signature in horticulture literature. Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner understand the heart's desire of every gardener: nothing less than year-round beauty.

    The authors do more than suggest plants of interest for every season; they recommend plants in combinations that magnify the individual attributes of the species. And they make creating that dream garden so very possible. Garden design books can easily intimidate readers with overly poetic descriptions and little practical advice.

    This volume guides gardeners through the logical steps necessary to plan a continuous display:. Their "recipe for success," with its instructive and amusing soup analogy, illustrates how to combine woody and herbaceous plants in ideal proportions. Sections on the "main attractions" trees, shrubs, and perennials and the "supporting cast" bulbs, annuals, tropicals, edibles, and vines follow. Featured plants represent all categories in lists that are, thankfully, not exhaustive and are adapted to a wide range of hardiness zones.

    The book does not appeal to any region in an obvious way, a huge benefit for gardeners in this nation of diverse habitats. The artful photographs, mostly by Jennifer Benner, are splendid. They are focused and colorful, but not artificially enhanced in the lurid way that is the hallmark of some garden publications. A section on finishing touches offers ideas for personalizing the garden with objects and structures.

    In fact, the authors' playful humor is an undercurrent in every chapter. They advise gardeners to "tease and coax visitors with a trail of ornamental breadcrumbs. It's a rare thing when a design book evokes smiles while providing enlightenment. Although I am not a writer or publisher of garden books challenging professions today , I am a voracious consumer of garden books. The days are past when Elizabeth Lawrence and Christopher Lloyd captivated readers with lyrical text and an occasional line drawing. This book's design and I don't know who to credit combines not-too-much text, tantalizing photography, and clever blocks of color to format chapter and topic headings.

    The 10 garden plans and artistic watercolor renderings are not just helpful, they are inspiring. The Non-Stop Garden is a brilliantly packaged book for today's gardener who reads. We all like to choose sides. When it comes to organic gardening, some draw a line in the sand where everything on the synthetic side is bad, and everything on the organic side is good. Jeff Gillman refutes many preconceived notions using logic, common sense, and facts.

    In the preface, Gillman explains his approach to the issue. He neither promotes nor attacks organic gardening. I found this to be true. He offers a very balanced view of what works and why. According to Gillman, the perceived extra value of organic products brings an extra cost.

    It becomes a marketing tool. This reviewer has even seen "organic seed" advertised. When I asked one seller where organic seed came from, he said, "Organic plants. I believe there are too many poisonous chemicals available to the public. Just because a lawn service has a license to spray and they do so on a regular basis doesn't mean all those chemicals are necessary. And when it comes to those little signs that warn "Do not walk on treated lawn," since when can wild creatures read?

    But I am on my soap box here and interject my opinion, not the author's. Gillman lists and rates a number of cultural practices, such using organic amendments and chemical sprays, bagging fruit, and trapping bugs. Sprays like citrus oil, garlic, pepper, Sevin, DDT, and many more are listed, often by chemical name and not product. Each product or practice includes a bit of its history. Each entry ends with is a note on benefits, drawbacks, and "the bottom line," The last section should help you make an informed decision on what to do in your garden.

    Personally, I always differentiated between pesticides and herbicides because one kills insects and the other kills plants. But Gillman says, since weeds are "pests," then herbicides fall under pesticides. Um, okay. This is an easy book to read, very insightful, and filled with "Aha! I'll resist the temptation to quote them all and list just a few.

    Pesticide labels are mandated by law, and if you don't follow them you are breaking the law. EIQ stands for environmental impact quotient. This rating of toxicological effects does not appear on labels, but the author tells where to find this information. The categories of toxicity that do appear on labels are "Caution," " Warning," and "Danger.

    It would be more accurate to substitute the word "natural" for "organic. Gillman gives lawn care companies grief for their overuse of chemicals, and I say "Good for him. Who wins, organic or synthetic? Buy the book and find out. When I was a younger gardener, I remember reading that you could plant perennials just one time and you would get flowers that come back every year. Just stick them in a hole and forget them.

    The word perennial covers a very wide range of plant material, and each has unique planting and pruning needs to make them bloom their best and extend their lives. I really love my perennials. I have hundreds of them. Carefully selected bulbs, flowers, and flowering shrubs colorfully announce the seasons. I have a bookcase full of gardening books of every size and description. Tracy DiSabato-Aust is a celebrated landscape designer, lecturer, body builder, and author based in Ohio. She excels at presenting her cultivation techniques such as:. Clipping and pinching back a stand of plants such as yarrow, bee balm, or Joe Pye weed using photographs and descriptions of before, during, and after pinching.

    You can see the difference two months later when half the group has been pruned and the other half has not. Providing an excellent narrative and pictures of techniques for pinching, dead heading, thinning, and cutting back plants. After reviewing the Encyclopedia of Perennials section, I estimate that 80 percent of my perennials are pictured and discussed in detail. Often references are made to exceptions for our Southern climate. It is much more than just a plant description book. I go visit Ms. Disbato-Aust often to review what I should be doing now to a favorite plant or a new one.

    Pick up a used copy from Amazon. As your garden matures and the shrubs expand and the perennials spread, there is still always room for some more bulbs. And it seems that you can never have too many. Their seasons of bloom extend from spring through winter.

    How to use bulbs in perennial borders

    There are varieties for sun and shade, for wet and dry. So which to choose? This reference book from Timber press should make the shopping easier and will perhaps introduce you to some bulbs you were unaware of. There are excellent sections on the many varieties of iris, daffodils and lilies. The iris family alone provides great diversity, from the tiny, ephemeral I. This guide sorts them out and provides guidance to growing conditions preferred.

    When I am reading a reference of this sort, I would just as soon know right away if the lush bloomer pictured in the photograph will only grow in Zone This information can be difficult to locate in some listings, as it is often buried in the text. Want to know the difference between snowdrops Leucojum and snowdrops Galanthus? This would be the place to look. There are times when we get so involved in shaping nature, that we miss seeing nature. That is not a problem for David Wallace, who lives with an awareness of the smallest ecosystems that surround us and who has obviously given their perpetuation a lot of thought.

    This naturalist and philosopher has lived in places as diverse as San Francisco and New Jersey, and visited the Okefenokee and Japan with equal interest. He seems to be unperturbed by wandering into those spaces the rest of us seldom frequent, and running across sleeping bears, or sleeping on stilts in the swamp surrounded by the reflected light of alligator eyes. He studies the earth and appreciates its diversity, particularly in those out of the way places that we have not yet touched.

    It is for this revelation that reading this book is such a pleasurable experience. The beautifully descriptive scenes allow the reader to "finally escape from the world of suppressed waterways" as the author writes. In a chapter titled "Wetlands in America" the author traces the history of a fictitious family from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to modern America through their impact on the wetlands of our country. Tomasz Anisko, curator of over 11, types of plants at the internationally renowned Longwood Gardens, truly has a vast laboratory from which to research any number of botanical avenues.

    He concentrates on perennials for this book, creating an encyclopedia of perennials and their bloom times, beginning with Acanthus and moving through Yucca. Each entry is outlined, as follows:. Native range: where it grows environmental factors and how it grows plant form, size, leaf type, flower form. Bloom time at Longwood Gardens: description and treatment and bar graph bloom chart. In addition, a comprehensive chart provides a floral almanac gardeners can consult to create ever-blooming borders.

    Plants are sorted first according to the earliest date in bloom, then according to the latest date when in flower, with color-coded bars illustrating all years dark gray , most years medium gray , and some years light gray. Bloom times for the Atlanta region Zone 7b need adjusting from the information gleaned at Longwood Gardens, located in southeastern Pennsylvania Zone 6.

    Helpful directions are given to apply the data across regions. For example, you can compare a few indicator plants you have successfully grown in each season with bloom times for the data shown. If bloom is two weeks later than the chart, apply this two week offset to other plants in the same season. Even though the meat of this book is the encyclopedia of perennials, I found the background information covered in the other chapters very informative. What is a Perennial? They are plants able to repeatedly renew themselves vegetatively, regardless of the longevity of their underground parts.

    They preserve some of their meristems in the vegetative state each year, while others produce flowers.

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    If you understand the different morphological types and, thus, where buds are located, then the perennial division process is apparent. Why do perennials bloom at specific times? What are synchrony and seasonality? The effective out-crossing among individual plants of the same species in one population requires that they all flower in synchrony based on temperature or day length. Seasonality of bloom thus allows flowering to take place during periods of pollinator availability. How do perennials respond to the environment? Developmental stages are triggered by a range of environmental factors that change with the seasons:.

    Garden practices, such as heading back, which can delay bloom. Perennials and Phenology: A branch of ecology, phenology describes the relationship between the timing of periodic biological phenomena, climate, and other environmental factors. Through observations in the United States, phenological changes over time indicate that the difference between the Southern-most and Northern-most regions can be more than 10 weeks. In view of this extended environmental influence, the importance of provenance in plant stock is important for achieving success with a plant like red maple that ranges from the Canadian border all the way to Florida.

    Buying from locally grown stock is important in more than just food. The photography is bright and colorful, with mostly close-up shots of one or more examples for each perennial. For future reading, the bibliography is extensive, covering individual genera, flora of various countries, plant growth and development, and plant collector guides. Anisko earned his doctorate in horticulture at the University of Georgia, and you could assume that Anisko had been inspired by Allan Armitage and Michael Dirr.

    His knowledge relating to the biology and bloom interactions of perennials is vast. The generalities of which genera bloom together can be lifted directly from the data presented. It is up to Atlanta gardeners to interpolate and apply findings to their own gardens in order to have that lush bloom display ready for the wedding scheduled next June.

    Submitted by Sandra J. An interesting read as well as a good reference. Review by Karin E.