The Gardener's Book of Color

Andrew Lawson, Author Reader's Digest Association $32.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-89577-858-1
Lawson, whose photography earned him a Royal Horticultural Society gold medal in 1993, explores the power of color in the garden. Immensely worthwhile to both novice and accomplished gardeners, this volume explains how plants of various color, texture, bloom size and height can be arranged in the garden to expand or concentrate space and create a wide spectrum of moods, e.g., ""soothing and tranquil"" blues that give the illusion of abundant space. Lawson's beginning lesson utilizes a color wheel that bursts with poppies, petunias and fiddlehead ferns. Tone, texture, saturation, harmony and contrast are all demonstrated with lushly photographed blossoms. Such chapters as ""Single Colors,"" ""Harmonies,"" ""Contrasts"" and ""Mixed Colors"" focus on representative plantings and include lists of similarly hued plants arranged like a painter's palette. Lawson encourages gardeners to follow their own tastes and to experiment with such unorthodox color schemes as ""Muted Reds and Gray-greens,"" ""Scarlet, Pink, and Orange Shocks."" The text is somewhat prim, but individual plant listings include the usual information and the photos are meticulously labeled. Diagrams are provided for major planting designs, which will be especially handy for readers who wish to plagiarize plans for entire beds from these pages. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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