05 March 2009

Ready to Plan Your Garden?

Timber Press never lets us down, does it? This little gem, "Perennial Companions: 100 Dazzling Plant Combinations for Every Season" takes a new approach to guiding gardeners toward success.
The Table of Contents is segmented into seasons starting with Early Spring to Mid Spring and ending with Winter.

I'm an enthusiastic cheerleader for planting perennials. We rely on them to come back with each spring's warm weather. Especially this month, as flowers and leaf buds are appearing, we get excited all over again about the return of our favorites.

For each of the 23 seasonal sections, the author, Tom Fischer, gives perennial plant suggestions with a photo of the final result and an outline of the plants that provide that result.

Each plant is named, specifics provided - height, spread, hardiness, etc. Sun and water are requriements given in symbols.

Here's an example: Mid-Spring to Late-Spring.
1. Pearl Drops western bleding heart (Decentra 'Pearl Drops')
Height/Spread 12-16 in x 16 in
Hardy in zones 4-8

2. 'Cherry Ingram' Venus' navelwort (Omphalodes cappadocica 'cherry Ingram')
Height/Spread 10 in x 15 in
Hardy in zones 6-9

Fischer says, "This pairing is a harmony made in horticultural heaven. The bright blue of the navelwort couldn't have a better partner than the blush-white flowers and ferny, blue-green foliage of the bleeding heart. Plant this duo in a shady spot and then spend the rest of the day feeling smug."
The facing page is a full page photo of the combination in bloom.

Then for Midsummer to Late Summer the suggestions are Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), 'Sahin's Early Flowerer' sneezeweed (Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer) and 'Prince Igor' red-hot poker (Kniphofia 'Prince Igor')

The photos on the facing pages will make you want them all.

If you have a place to improve or a new bed to put in, this handy book will help out by providing the eye candy photos by Richard Bloom and Adrian Bloom and the details you need to purchase and plant.

The author, Tom Fischer, is the editor-in-chief of Timber Press. In the past, Fischer was the editor of Horticulture magazine.


DETAILS: Paperback, 216 pages, 7-inches by 6.25-inches

ISBN is 978-0-88192-939-3, $14.95 (free shipping) from Timber Pess. It's about $10 at online booksellers.




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