It's a tired turn of phrase, but the grass is always greener on the other side. And for gardeners, it's not just the grass--it's the flowers, the shrubs, and the trees.
No longer Pining to grow lilac but lack the full sun? Try the fragrant pink and white flowers of Korean spice viburnum. Love the drama of canna but need something hardier? Try the bold foliage of variegated fleece flower. Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? offers hundreds of all-star alternatives that replace--and often outshine--popular problem plants.
Garden designer Andrew Keys makes it easier than ever to skip over the fussy plant prima donnas and move toward the equally gorgeous understudies. Each profile shows the problem plant and offers three alternatives that include three or more of the original plant's characteristics--hardiness, shape, color, texture, light, and size.
With this fun and accessible guide, you can discover the secret to choosing the plants destined to be the new stars of your garden.
Every gardener is a scientist. Pollination, native plants, ecology, climatology--these are just a few of the scientific concepts that play a key role in a successful garden. While the ideas are intuitive to many gardeners, they are often discussed in unfamiliar scientific terms. The Dictionary of Science for Gardeners is the first of its kind to provide practical scientific descriptions for gardening terms. Highlighting 16 branches of science that are of particular interest to gardeners, with entries from abaptation to zoochory, Michael Allaby explores more than 6,000 terms in one easy-to-use reference.
Since 1993, truly fortunate gardeners have been those who have subscribed to Allen Lacy's HOMEGROUND, a quarterly newsletter. Now over a hundred pieces of writing taken from this lively periodical appear as IN A GREEN SHADE. Many of them grow from the author's thirty years of experience transforming a small suburban lot into a private Eden, with its woodland garden, its cottage garden, and its extensive deck and container gardens. Readers will find thoughtful discussions of perennials, annuals, and woody plants, as well as the tropical and subtropical plants that are of such keen interest today. After taking in Lacy's spirited recommendations, they will find themselves unable to do without the daffodil called 'Hawera', the hosta 'Sum and Substance', fragrant-leaved geraniums, or the Roughneck Stool from Rubbermaid (a weeder's helper). IN A GREEN SHADE also travels farther afield, commenting on botanical history and such matters as the perennial conflict between gardeners and television weather reporters, or between proponents of native plants and their more cosmopolitan colleagues. As Henry Mitchell wrote of Lacy's THE GARDEN IN AUTUMN, "Among other virtues, it is based on firsthand experience by a gardener who happens to be an admirable writer."
Why do you garden? For fun? Work? Food? The reasons to garden are as unique as the gardener.
The Roots of My Obsession features thirty essays from the most vital voices in gardening, exploring the myriad motives and impulses that cause a person to become a gardener. For some, it's the quest to achieve a personal vision of ultimate beauty; for others, it's a mission to heal the earth, or to grow a perfect peach. The essays are as distinct as their authors, and yet each one is direct, engaging, and from the heart.
For Doug Tallamy, a love of plants is rooted first in a love of animals: "animals with two legs (birds), four legs (box turtles, salamanders, and foxes), six legs (butterflies and beetles), eight legs (spiders), dozens of legs (centipedes), hundreds of legs (millipedes), and even animals with no legs (snakes and pollywogs)." For Rosalind Creasy, it's "not the plant itself; it's how you use it in the garden." And for Sydney Eddison, the reason has changed throughout the years. Now, she "gardens for the moment."
As you read, you may find yourself nodding your head in agreement, or gasping in disbelief. What you're sure to encounter is some of the best writing about the gardener's soul ever to appear. For anyone who cherishes the miracle of bringing forth life from the soil, The Roots of My Obsession is essential inspiration.
American Garden Writing features the letters, travel journals, essays, natural histoires, and seed catalogues of over 50 authors, including Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Olmsted (who designed Central Park), Henry David Thoreau, and Edith Wharton. With topics ranging from the decorative gardens of yesteryear to the ecological concerns of today, these pieces evoke the pastoral and social environments of their time. This expanded edition contains new pieces from diane Ackerman, Joan Dye Gussow, Jamaica Kincaid, Janet Marinelli, Gary Paul Nabhan, Michael Polan, Sara B. Stein, Peg Streep, Alice Waters, and William Woys Weaver.
Allen Lacy has gathered together a colorful sampler of American gardening writing from Thomas Jefferson to our own day. Among the fifty-two writers represented are such national treasures as Celia Thaxter, Neltje Blanchan, Elizabeth Lawrence, and Katherine S. White.