Perennials for Every Purpose: Choose the Plants for Your Conditions, Your Garden, and Your Taste

Larry Hodgson, Author
Larry Hodgson, Author Rodale Press $29.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-87596-823-0
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Paperback - 502 pages - 978-0-87596-893-3
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Hodgson's (Ortho's Guide to Successful Houseplants) comprehensive guide covers every possible situation and condition any gardener of perennials in any climate might encounter. The information is all here in well-organized and easily accessible chapters, enlivened by Hodgson's breezy style. He discusses the usual soil, space and light requirements and offers suggestions for selecting perennials while also alerting readers to elements of color, texture and form. The book is divided into chapters devoted to perennials that are ever-blooming; spring, summer or fall blooming; no-care or low-care; drought-tolerant or water-loving; shade loving; those with fabulous foliage or that make a dramatic impact. (This latter includes ornamental grasses, which are beginning to achieve landscaping star status.) There is even a chapter covering perennials that attract birds and butterflies. Each chapter devotes an entire page to the personality of a specific perennial, along with an invaluable ""good neighbor"" section detailing appropriate companion plants. The random inclusion of ""Fun Facts"" (scabiosa, for instance, is reputed to cure scabies) adds a bit of whimsy, and an appendix of USDA climate and heat zones, botanical name derivatives and sources for quality perennials complete this quality book. (Feb.)
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