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Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start (Rodale Garden Book) Paperback


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Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start (Rodale Garden Book) + Designer Plant Combinations: 105 Stunning Gardens Using Six Plants or Fewer + Big Book of Garden Designs (Big Book of)
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Product Details

  • Series: Rodale Garden Book
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Revised edition (February 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594868530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594868535
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"People like me, who roam their gardens with a trowel in one hand and a plant in the other, looking for any empty dirt in which to plant need this book. Ideas for color combinations as well as combinations of form, texture, and habit can help even us color-challenged gardeners have great-looking gardens. Different seasons, different environments, and different plant mixes are blended sensibly and artistically under Colston Burrell's artistry. A terrific read!"--Allan Armitage, professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia and author of "Herbaceous Perennial Plants" and "Specialty Cut Flowers" "Talk about a great combination! Cole Burrell's brilliant design talent blends with his extensive experience as a gardener and a plantsman to make this book both visually dynamic and enormously informative. Not only are there numerous ideas for inspiring design combinations, but practical tips on soil, light, and maintenance requirements for the plants abound. This book should help every gardener-- from the beginner to the professional-- design gardens that look as good in the landscape as they do on paper."--Tracy DiSabato-Aust, author of "The Well-Tended Perennial Garden"

From the Inside Flap

Perennial combinations are the building blocks of beautiful, successful gardens. Choosing perennials that look great and grow well together is a skill that can take years to develop, but with this book, you're guaranteed to make perfect plant choices right from the start. In Perennial Combinations, expert plantsman, C. Colston Burrell hand-selects 120 of the best perennial combinations for homeowners, then offers his expert advice on how to grow and use the combinations to create great gardens.

Each combination is featured in a stunning color photograph accompanied by a numbered photo key and plant list, so it's easy to find and buy exactly the right plants to re-create the combination in your own garden. Each combination features just two to six plants, so they're perfect for even the smallest garden space. You can plant each combination just as it appears in the book, or for a bigger color splash, just repeat the combination or mix it with others that are suited to the same conditions. You'll find combinations for stunning bloom from spring through fall; combinations especially suited to challenging sites like heavy clay soil or seaside gardens; and combinations just for fun, like fragrant combinations and combinations that attract butterflies.

C. Colston Burrell has lived and gardened in different climates across America, so he's made sure this book is useful to gardeners from California to Maine. He's also a professional garden designer, and he's applied his talents to create 22 original garden designs that feature the book's individual combinations. Plus every page includes his personal gardening wisdom, so you'll not only know which perennials to plant together, you'll know how to maintain those perennials so your garden will look beautiful year after year.

About the Author

C. Colston Burrell is the author of A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers, which won the American Horticultural Society notable books of the year award for 1998. He is also the co-author of Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Perennials, Successful Organic Gardening: Perennials, and Successful Organic Gardening: Landscaping with Perennials. He is a garden designer, writer, photographer, and the owner of Native Landscape Design and Restoration, which is located near Charlottesville, Virginia.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

I wear many hats, all of which revolve around plants and gardens. I am a certified chlorophyll addict, an avid and lifelong plantsman, gardener and naturalist. I work as a lecturer and garden designer, and am an award winning author and photographer. I lecture internationally on topics of design , plants and ecology, and have shared my love of plants and my abiding respect for regional landscapes with professional and amateur audiences for 35 years.

In addition to my books, I am a contributing editor for Horticulture, and write regularly for Landscape Architecture, American Gardener and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. My writing reflects a love of plants, and he champions their use in artistically designed, environmentally friendly gardens.

I worked as curator at the U.S. National Arboretum and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and have devoted a lifetime to studying native plants in the wild and in gardens which lead to undergraduate degrees in Botany and Horticulture. I earned my M.S. in Horticulture and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. I am a lecturer in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he teaches about plants and their ecological connections to natural systems and cultural landscapes.

After tending a city lot alive with birds and butterflies in Minneapolis, MN, I now garden on 10 wild acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia, where he grows natives and the best plants of the global garden. The garden at Bird Hill was featured in The New York Times and frequently appears in national and regional publications. The garden is a popular destination for national tours. Visitors discover a collector's paradise set among a pastiche of woodland, meadow, and gardens inspired by the beauty of the regional landscape.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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So overall I'd say a good addition to one's gardening library!
P. Lewis
Perennial Combinations is broken down into categories based on available light and varying cultural conditions making is easy to use and understand.
Lucy Hardiman
Great design ideas. gives great plant combinations for different conditions, colors, etc. beautiful photos and descriptions on the plants.
Carol Shaw

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Hardiman on December 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Author Cole Burrell has written a book that is beautiful, thoughtful and practical. Even the best of gardeners has had their share of poorly orchestrated vignettes and disasters but Cole inspires us to try yet again. Perennial Combinations is broken down into categories based on available light and varying cultural conditions making is easy to use and understand. The lush photographs clearly illustrate the points he shares about texture, form and color. Cole's lifetime of experience as a gardener, designer and hort head come to the fore as he encourages us to create tapestries and tell stories with plants. As a a fellow designer I have found this to be an invaluable resource when working with clients. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words and this marvelous book is a great visual aid helping me help clients articulate their likes and dislikes about plants and let them see how plants work in combination. After the introduction of each new combination Cole shares bits of wisdom about the cultural requirements of the various plants, points of fact that are missing in most books on perennials. This is a must have addition to the library for the new gardener as well as the consumate professional.
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105 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a serious new garderner I have been buying tons of gardening books to help me get started and to educate myself. I had no idea, when I purchased this book, that it would become my favorite! I took it on vacation and read it cover to cover, twice. It provides expert information on perennials, and nudges individual creativity with its stunning photos and drawings of beautiful combinations. I have already put in three of Mr. Burrell's garden plans - with some adjustment for personal favorites and have been extremely pleased with the results! I am giving this book as a Christmas gift this year to several gardening friends and would highly recommend it for all gardeners, beginners to master!
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93 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Tom Krischan on July 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Book contains about 344 pages divided into three main sections. The sections are Basic Design (14 pages), Combinations (306 pages), and Mail Order Sources & Index (24 pages).
Each combination discussion (there are over 200) shows a garden photograph, a photo key, and several paragraphs of discussion. Each plant in the photograph is identified to species and variety. Great job!
The discussions reveal growing tricks and tips. The book is full of solid and easy to follow instructions.
This is an excellent book for generating garden design ideas for your own yard. Photographs are awesome (although some images appear to have the flower colors oversaturated - that's not the color they are in my yard :-)
It's my favorite garden design book so far. Very creative!
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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book far surpasses other perennial books that I've read. It covers all the bases. It tells you what plants to put in the different parts of your yard (for example, dry, wet, shady, clay soils). It show you had to acheive lovely color and height combinations. It helps you plan for the different seasons of the garden. And, it even tells you how to care for your plants so that you get the most vigorous and sustained performance.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The pictures in this book are excellent, because each plant is well identified -- no more wondering whether the flower referred to is that tall pink thing in the back of the picture, or the short fuzzy one in front. I could easily browse through this book, stopping at pages with combinations I liked, and note the pairing of plant materials as well as the cultivation tips for these particular specimens, which appear on the facing page. One of my favorite gardening books. Useful and attractive.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Lawrence on August 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I usually am hesitant to buy these types of books - because I live in a colder climate (zone 3-4) there are usually not many combinations, styles, etc. to choose from out of an "all inclusive" book. Not the case here! There were plenty of plans and ideas for all zones and everything was very comprehensive in drawings and text. Just within the first few minutes of looking at it I had several ideas for my yard. What's also nice is that it covers everything from small spaces that need just a few plants to fill in to large areas that need coverage. I will definately be referring to this book AND sharing this book for a long time to come!
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Talk about a great combination! Cole Burrell's brilliant design talent blends with his extensive experience as a gardener and a plantsman to make this book both visually dynamic and enormously informative. Not only are there numerous ideas for inspiring design combinations, but practical tips on soil, light, and maintenance requirements for the plants abound. This book should help every gardener-from the beginner to the professional-design gardens that look as good in the landscape as they do on paper." -Tracy DiSabato-Aust, author of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Ruby Weinberg on November 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Combining perennials in a bed or border for a soothing or striking effect can be a tricky business even for experienced gardeners. Cole Burrell's thorough treatment of this subject in his book, "Perennials Combinations," comes to our rescue.
Through diagrams, photographs,and illustrations, he demonstrates what can be planted in a variety of situations. All this is accompanied by the author's perceptive comments concerning the cultural needs of each recommended plant. But this is not quite enough and Cole goes much further. Page after page of this marvelous book demonstrates a variety of combinations to appeal to a variety of tastes. Looking great is what it's all about and I, for one, as a landscape designer, will find many different combinations that truly appeal to not only what is possible in gardens of this area but what appeals to my artistic taste in renovating a country garden--my own.
Ruby Weinberg-Landscape Designer, Author
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