What Grows Here?: Locations
Lone Pine, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
've been looking at a lot of gardening books lately, while planting perennials in a smallish courtyard garden, and have found most lacking in either information, organization or in illustrations.
What Grows Here? Volume 1: Locations
is the first in a series of guides intended to address the title question, and it meets that objective well.
y first impression was one of delight at the over 400 color photographs - so important when choosing what to plant. The author, a '
' advises us to ask '
What conditions limit my choices?
' as well as '
What grows here?
' He also recommends knowing what sort of a gardener you are (do you want low-maintenance or is gardening a big part of your lifestyle?), being flexible and responding to change. He tells us that '
the key to successful gardening is putting the right plant in the right place
' and that success involves '
one-tenth inspiration, four-tenths perspiration and five-tenths preparation.
n Introduction covers the top ten considerations for deciding what to plant in a particular spot: soil composition and pH, light, moisture, zones (check ratings but also consider '
'), wind exposure, elevation, available space, area use, and evolution. A section on basic techniques explains how to get new plants off to a good start. The majority of the guide (11 chapters) covers common landscaping challenges and recommendations for those situations ... '
Around the House
' (downspouts, foundations, windows etc.); '
' (paths and patios); '
' (garages and utilities); '
A Private Paradise
' (screens); '
Marking Your Territory
' (hedges and fences); '
On the Small and Narrow
' (e.g., slopes or shady areas); '
Art in the Garden
Sharing the Garden
' (with neighbours, kids, wildlife); and '
A Little Architecture
hese chapters explain the challenges of each area, and then address a set of specific related questions (highlit via color and font for easy reference) - e.g. what to plant in a sunny area that's kept moist by downspouts, how to screen from a school field, what to do in a '
No Plant's Land
', how to complement a boulder with greenery, or to soften the look of a play structure. Specific plants are recommended, with color pictures that make it easy to make a choice. Detail is provided on blooming seasons, height and width, weather tolerances, and sun and soil preferences (though I would have also found zone ranges useful for individual plants). I recognized many pictures and names of what I have planted recently or in the past, and was inspired with useful ideas for tricky spots, and for a planned rock garden.
hat Grows Here? Volume 1: Locations
is an excellent and practical reference for small or large scale landscaping, and I expect to make good use of it this summer.
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