Natural Companions by Ken Druse with photos and illustrations by Ellen Hoverkamp
On his website, Druse said about his collaborator, photographer fine art photographer Ellen Hoverkamp,
"As an author, I thought it would be great to do a book with her. As a gardener, I realized that her images represented plants captured at perfect moments in time. As a communicator, I recognized the potential to create a novel and inspiring guide to share with gardeners and designers.
We got the opportunity to work together nearly three years ago, and now the fruit of our labor is about to come out. Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations is our book with over 200 scans and conventional photographs illustrating perfect plant pairings using diverse species that grow together culturally, look good aesthetically and bloom at the same time."
A few of Hoverkamp's must-see illustrations in the book can be seen at Ellen's dropbox site.
The book is gorgeous enough to give as a gift or keep on your coffee table.
The chapters are: Seasons, Families, Form Follows Function, Spirit of Place, and Themes.
I can't easily summarize the topics in "Seasons" because they are Ken Druse being the knowledgeable gardener and garden writer that he is.
In "Families" he talks about plant families, names, hybrids, specific plants such as roses.
"Form Follows Function" covers vines, succulents, silver plants, conifers, ferns, large-leafed plants, leaf shapes, etc.
"Color", as you could easily guess, describes plants for each gardener's preferred palette.
"Spirit of Place" is about design - woodland, grassland, meadow, watery gardens, Mediterranean, tropical, rock gardens, etc.
"Themes" include scented gardens, hummingbird garden, edible flowers, a garden room, medicinal herb garden, cottage, etc.
Each garden discussion includes a photo with a plant identification chart so you can plant what you enjoyed seeing on the page. And, in the Appendix there is a list of the plants with their Latin names for easy reference.
"Natural Companions: The Garden Lover's Guide to Plant Combinations" is 256-pages, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, a trade imprint of Abrams, March 2012. ISBN: 978-1-58479-90-1-6 , $40