Wild About Weeds: Garden Design with Rebel Plants

Jack Wallington. Laurence King, $24.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-78627-556-1
In this excellent guide, garden designer Wallington rehabilitates the lowly weed—“a broad and negative term associated with any plant that pops up where we weren’t expecting it”—by identifying and extolling its virtues. Wallington argues that a garden without one (“probably the first flower anyone knows”) is “a soulless, lifeless thing.” As Wallington sees it, being “a plant that reproduces seemingly uncontrollably”—his definition of a weed—makes them an asset, not a liability, for the ambitious gardener. Wallington provides a short natural history of the category, outlines steps for collecting seeds and dividing specimens, and suggests scenarios when weeds might come in handy, such as for growing something in dry and poor soil, or providing cover for the ground. He also identifies particularly uncontrollable weeds to avoid, including sycamore, bramble, and kudzu vine. Plants, referred to by both Latin and common names, are rated for care, effort required, and “rebelliousness.” Wallington’s humor (“part of me—the rebellious, weed-like part!—likes weeds purely because people tell me not to”) and passion for his subject shine through on every page. This new spin on an old subject will encourage both new and seasoned gardeners to look at what’s already growing in their garden (and what could be) with fresh eyes. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/02/2019
Release date: 10/22/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
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