Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I love looking at glossy pictures of gardens in full bloom, flowers spilling over fences and walls, bright splashes of color everywhere. But it takes an enormous amount of planning, work, and money to design a garden that is full of flowers all the time. I get flowers in clumps - one blooming perennial in my garden at a time - and the rest of the time the plant is a boring green. But why not have a garden awash in different colors, shapes and textures that look fabulous for the entire growing season? Why not have a foliage garden? If you think all leaves look alike, then you need to check out Foliage: astonishing color and texture beyond flowers, by Nancy Ondra. Golds, reds, purples, blues, grays and silvers. Lacy, fine, bold, or spiky. Ground covers, trailing plants, grasses, bushes and trees. Each plant by itself is beautiful, but when artfully combined the effect is stunning, and far more elegant than a bunch of showy flowers. You can combine purples and golds, broad leaves with grasses, and add clumps of variegated plants, and you have a garden that is not only beautiful, but it lasts throughout the summer!
The pictures in this book are gorgeous, and each plant is presented with a color photo, information about size and growing habit, and advice about which varieties grow best in particular zones. Alternatives are also given, in case the plant is difficult to grow in your zone or your particular space need. An inspiring book full of great ideas, perfect for a low-maintenance garden.

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