Perennials for Every Occasion

From the Spring 2019 issue of In the Garden, our quarterly newsletter.

by Mary Moore, Tulsa City-County Library

Any experienced gardener knows perennials can be the main fabric of an ornamental garden. Perennials dominate through persistence, returning year after year becoming the framework around which one arranges other plants. Selecting the perennials wisely is such an important process. These books can help you decide which plants will bring the beauty needed and thrive in the conditions you can provide.

Armitage’s Garden Perennials (Timber Press, 2011) is a gardening classic. This second edition adds 300 perennials which gives a selection of more than 1250 choices. Each entry includes scientific and common names, hardiness zone information, tips on growing and cultivation. The first rate authoritative advice from Dr. Allan Armitage includes his unique humor and conversational tone. Little known facts and humorous anecdotes add to these extensive profiles.

Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden (Timber Press, 2014) would make an excellent addition to personal gardening collections. Each entry includes flower color, bloom time, foliage characteristics, size, and light and temperature requirements. Both the beginner and the professional gardener will appreciate the instructions on selecting new varieties and caring for established garden favorites

This eye catching guide, Essential Perennials for Every Garden: Selection, Care, and Profiles to over 110 Easy-Care Plants (i-5 Press, 2015) gives readers recommendations about reliable performers and exciting new varieties. The illustrated alphabetically arranged directory also offers sidebars with plant partnering suggestions. The brilliant blooms and foliage help with decision making in planning the garden. Easy methods to develop a new garden or expand an existing one will help you get the most out of these plants.

Five-Plant Gardens: 52 Ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants (Storey Publishing, 2014) helps gardeners with a simple key giving a stunning visual effect. The various gardens feature just five perennials that grow well together, whether for diverse color options or seasonal schemes. Each design is tailored to a specific set of growing conditions. The season by season maintenance and growing tips take the guesswork out of perennial gardening.

The third edition of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: The Essential Guide to Planting and Pruning Techniques (Timber Press, 2017) updates this classic. Practical advice in its A-Z encyclopedia includes pruning and maintenance schedules. The photographs emphasize an important feature of each plant. The updates to the older editions keep the garden design projects fresh. The lists of plants for specific conditions are especially helpful.

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