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The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer

WHETHER YOU'RE A BRAND-NEW GARDENER or a veteran of the spade-and-trowel brigade, starting a perennial garden project can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. The key to making the process go smoothly is knowing the right questions to ask yourself, because when you ask the right questions, the answers are sure to follow. let's take a look at the basics of getting any design off to a great start, from identifying your wants and needs to evaluating your site and soil.

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (February 15, 2005)

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REVIEW: Publishers Weekly

Garden design is less rule-bound than it once was, but many novices approach it with trepidation. By bringing a refreshingly relaxed attitude to a well-worn topic, Cohen and Ondra give it friendly appeal. Both are professional designers and private enthusiasts who believe "you don't really know a plant until you've killed it." Readers who follow their ample, practical advice are much more likely to create beautiful gardens than to kill many plants, and even experienced gardeners will pick up some tips. First, the authors "demystify" perennial design, explaining how to approach a project, choose plants, plan the design and add details for extra appeal. They then explain how to "put perennials to work," focusing on specific designs and including handsome color sketches, schematic plans and lush photographs. Each of their designs accomplishes a goal—solving a problem with site conditions (e.g., excessive shade or sun), achieving a desired color effect, maximizing seasonal impact—and comes with a detailed list of recommended plants and alternate selections. Finally, in the "From Theory to Practice" section, they document the two-year histories of a new border, a major expansion and a garden renovation. The conversational text and photographs comparing early plantings with second-year results are great confidence builders for neophytes. Helpful appendixes include a zone map, a comprehensive plant list in an easy-to-use chart format and a reading list.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

REVIEW: Booklist

Just when it seems there couldn't possibly be anything original to say on the subject of perennial-garden design, along come two authors with a breezy style, down-to-earth advice, and a refreshingly open approach to prove you wrong. Cohen and Ondra bring their lifelong personal and professional passion to the creation of a design manual that tells both the novice and experienced gardener what to do, what to use, and just about anything else one would need to know to create vivid designs. Presented in a conversational, understandable manner, the authors' liberal use of puns, quips, and catchy phrases also makes the book a joy to read. Especially helpful are 20 original, plant-by-numbers designs addressing a variety of garden challenges; and thoughtful information about garden renovation will be savored by new homeowners who have inherited someone else's mistakes, or established gardeners weary of their current landscaping. Plant charts, reading lists, and detailed descriptions of more than 475 perennials round out this welcome addition to any garden library.

Carol Haggas Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

 

Fallscaping: Extending your Garden Season into Autumn

"WHY IS IT THAT SPRING AND SUMMER GARDENS GET SO MUCH attention, while autumn gardens often seem like nothing more than an afterthought?..."

Paperback: 240 pages
Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 8.9 x 0.7 inches
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (September 12, 2007)

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REVIEW: Publishers Weekly

Pennsylvania gardeners Ondra and Cohen (Perennial Gardener's Design Primer) bring imaginative ideas, practical techniques and new inspiration to autumn, that often-neglected tail end of the gardening year. According to the authors, the key players of fallscaping include the multicolored foliage of trees, grasses and other plants; flashy seedheads and berries; long-blooming perennials; late-blooming sedums, coneflowers, asters and goldenrod; the surprising fall-blooming crocuses, daffodils and lilies; and vines like honeysuckle and sweet autumn clematis. Ondra and Cohen submit a number of fall-friendly garden plans, complete with shopping lists, from a high and dry garden of echinaceas, lavenders and feather reed grass to a vegetable, herb and flower kitchen garden of peppers and basils (to be brought inside before cold weather) and kale and chard (to carry the harvest into winter), with colorful touches of alpine strawberries, sunflowers and pansies. Interspersed throughout are Fall Techniques, with practical, down-to-earth information on how to divide perennials and design suggestions on planning paths, as well as more wacky ideas like spray-painting seedheads. The book ends with a Fall Garden Care Primer, delineating ways to evaluate your garden, improve your soil, build new beds, take cuttings, prepare plants for winter, store your tools and care for your lawn (a long section). Full of useful details and lush photographs, this book rounds out the growing year and may fill a gap in many a gardening library. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

REVIEW: Booklist

Gardens in fall are often deemed the poor stepchildren of their showier spring and summer counterparts, and there is simply no good reason why this should be the case. With their dazzling foliage colors, vivid blossoms, and tantalizing berries, fall gardens abound with sensory treats. In their engrossing and enthusiastic look at the marvels of autumn gardening, renowned garden writers Ondra and Cohen reveal the wealth of suitable and stunning plants destined to be the stars of any garden setting. Profiling trees and shrubs prized for their brilliant foliage, ornamental grasses treasured for their ethereal seedheads, and hardy bulbs cherished for their surprising versatility, Ondra and Stephanie Cohen encourage gardeners to think beyond the traditional chrysanthemum/aster/goldenrod garden palette. With helpful sidebars covering such topics as invasive species and debris disposal; full-color illustrations of inventive planting designs for dozens of landscape challenges; and a comprehensive, basic care primer, Ondra and Cohen's vibrant and authoritative guide is a must-have resource for those wishing to maximize their garden's potential. Haggas, Carol --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

 

The Non-Stop Garden

With hectic lifestyles and busy schedules, people are finding it more and more appealing to enjoy their leisure time at home rather than packing their bags in search of peaceful retreats. But how can they confidently create a garden retreat? By following Cohen and Benner’s trusted advice and building a nonstop garden, they’ll have more creative planting options, a garden that provides year-round interest, and - most importantly - a yard that requires less maintenance than a traditional perennial border.

The Nonstop Garden gives gardeners all the information they need to create a productive, beautiful garden from the ground up. This easy-to-use guide is split into four main parts: the nuts and bolts of designing a mixed garden, the garden’s main attractions (trees and shrubs), the garden’s supporting cast (bulbs, annuals, edibles, and vines), and finishing touches (ornamentation, containers, and garden structures). The Nonstop Garden also includes ten fail-safe design plans that can be incorporated into any garden. Gardeners can choose from a native garden, a scented garden, a gold-colored garden, a garden for wet sites, a vibrant-colored garden, a cool-colored garden, a winter garden, a shade garden, and a design plan for the daunting area known as the hellstrip. Building a better, smarter garden has never been so much fun.

Publisher: Timber Press (May 19, 2010)

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REVIEW: Booklist

Cohen, an award-winning horticulturist and author, and Benner, a horticulture consultant, photographer, and writer, offer a straightforward and inspiring approach to creating a nonstop garden. A garden with something to offer year-round, utilizing trees and shrubs as the backbone for plantings composed of perennials and bulbs, annuals and tropicals, edibles and vines. Those new to gardening will benefit from the book's recipe for success, which is detailed in useful charts, descriptions and abundant photographs of woody and herbaceous selections, and 10 design plans. Each planting scheme, ranging from color-based to scented, befits a certain type of site condition, from woodland to wetland to a parking strip. Novices will find useful advice on invasives to avoid, plant care, and culture. A final section should stir ideas for enlivening the garden with ornaments and containers, structures that serve as design elements, and seasonal displays. A glossary, resource listing, and information about plant hardiness, bloom time, or special characteristics such as fall color and seedheads add to this volume's practical value and aesthetic pleasure. --Alice Joyce Review "Any book of gardening advice written by people more accustomed to working with soil instead of ink is worth a look…Add in a bunch of handy planting plans and some smart maintenance advice, and you've got everything you need to create a four-season garden." (Seattle Times) "Clear writing and instructive photos aimed at beginning gardeners and those baffled by seasonal plant choices and arrangement." (American Reference Books Annual) "A compact guide to seasonal plant groupings, Cohen and Benner’s handbook suggests innovative changes to the humdrum yard." — Alice Joyce

REVIEW: Seattle Times

"Any book of gardening advice written by people more accustomed to working with soil instead of ink is worth a look…Add in a bunch of handy planting plans and some smart maintenance advice, and you've got everything you need to create a four-season garden."

REVIEW: American Reference Books Annual

"Clear writing and instructive photos aimed at beginning gardeners and those baffled by seasonal plant choices and arrangement."

REVIEW: Amazon customer review

"A compact guide to seasonal plant groupings, Cohen and Benner’s handbook suggests innovative changes to the humdrum yard."

 

 

 

 

 

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Video Mention
Dawn Hummel featured Stephanie Cohen and the Non-Stop Garden book in GardenTV segment:
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