Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening with Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones

Susan A. Roth, Author, Dennis Schrader, Joint Author, Susan A. Roth, Photographer
Susan A. Roth, Author, Dennis Schrader, Joint Author, Susan A. Roth, Photographer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $35 (228p) ISBN 978-0-395-96323-4
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Garden fashion turns outrageous in this spirited call for cool-climate gardens to shed their English-borne respectability and don the dress of tropical wilds. With their typically hot and humid summers, gardens from Virginia to Minnesota and Oregon can mimic a Hawaiian paradise or a Costa Rican rain forest with layers of hanging greenery, contrasting leafy textures, gargantuan flowers and riotous color. Emboldened by Roth's (Four-Season Landscape) prose and Schrader's knowledge (he is the foremost grower of tropical plants in the New York metro area), readers can start with one of several simple container plantings or design an entire garden room around a temple of faux ruins. Gardeners will come to think of tropicals as big annuals that come into their own when the typical perennial garden is headed for ruin, learn how to begin with tropical-like cold-hardy plants and get the feel for garden design based on contrasting textures and a dominant vertical presence. Half of the book is devoted to an encyclopedia of 100 tropical plants and useful plant lists, categorized by color and pattern. This is certainly one of the liveliest and best-organized presentations on the tropical trend in gardening. (Feb.)
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