- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Rodale Books (February 15, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875967809
- ISBN-13: 978-0875967806
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Perennial All Stars: The 150 Best Perennials for Great-Looking, Trouble-Free Gardens Hardcover – February 15, 1998
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Jeff Cox provides the information new gardeners want in Perennial All-Stars: how to produce a garden full of healthy, attractive, low-maintenance plants. Cox, the enthusiastic host of HGTV's &Grow It!, has selected 150 perennials, both flowers and grasses, that grow well in North American climates. Each double-page plant entry tells how and where to grow the plant, how to propagate it, and a list of ideal planting partners. In addition, each entry displays a quick-glance sidebar that includes ideal hardiness zones, blooming season, size, color, light and soil requirements, and a substantial list of plant sources (detailed in the back of the book). Cox further assists the beginning garden planner with useful groupings: "Fragrant All-Stars," "Deer-Resistant All- Stars," "All-Stars for Full Shade," "All-Stars 4 Feet or Taller," and so forth. It's in no way intended to replace a complete plant encyclopedia, but novices will be happy with the excellent selection and informative, friendly format of Perennial All-Stars. --Barrie Trinkle
"Another very welcome addition to books on perennials for new gardeners. Enjoyable and informative!" -- Fredrick McGourty, author of The Perennial Gardener and co-owner of Hillside Gardens, Norfolk, Connecticut
"In his quest for the perfect perennial, Jeff Cox has settled on not one, but 150 of the finest, easy care plants available today. They excel in flower, fragrance,foliage, fruit, fall color, and finesse. Whether you have wet or dry soil, sun or shade, you will find beautiful and serviceable plants to lay the foundation for a successful perennial garden." -- C. Colston Burrell, author of A Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers and co-author of Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Perennials
"This book will help you put the right plant in the right location. Jeff Cox has selected the best of the best, and he presents these perennials in a precise, easy to understand way that will be valuable to the novice and the experienced gardener alike. Whether you have a small or large garden, this book is a wonderful resource for planning a beautiful perennial garden. And the I information in this book will not become outdated, since an all -- star perennial will always remain an all star."(Andre Viette, president, Andre Viette Farm & Nursery, Fishersville, Virginia
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That's okay. I admire his devotion and his knowledge of the perennial flower kingdom. His 150 all-stars also purport to be easy to grow and maintain, which is what I was looking for when I decided to add to my garden this fall. Unfortunately the author was so persuasive, I'm going to have to dig a new bed to fit in all of my choices from his book.
If you have a rough idea of the plant you're searching for, the front of this book is cross-indexed by various perennial characteristics such as 'spring blooming,' 'deer-resistant,' and 'full shade.'
Each of the perennials that was chosen for this book, is described in the following sections: an overall description and photograph of the plant; how to grow it; propagating the plant (useful especially for the more expensive or hard-to-find perennials); the right site for growing the plant; and other plants that go well with it. A 'spotlight' section summarizes the USDA plant hardiness zones, season of bloom, height x width, color, light requirements, soil requirements, place of origin, and where the perennial and/or its seed can be purchased.
The author tried to choose perennials that would flourish in all of the U.S. hardiness zones, but there are some exceptions that can't take the heat and humidity of the Deep South, e.g. peonies, or won't live through a very cold winter, e.g. Broadleaved Bear's-Breech.
"All-Star Perennials" is very useful and interesting. Just plan on doing some digging when you do read it.
I'm starting at absolute ground-zero--haven't turned the first trowel of soil in my yard yet--but I'm already excited and encouraged about the prospect. Why? Because this book, with its cool indexes by color, plant height, growing conditions, and other variables, has been invaluable in helping me craft a PLAN for my yard.
With its guidance, I've made a list of which flowers are likely to fare best in which areas of my property, which has some of every condition: full sun all day, total shade all day, and every combination in between. Also, I've been able to do some preliminary "design" type planning, thanks to being able to cross-reference the color and height indexes with the light-or-shade indexes.
I feel so empowered! I know there's a ton of hard work ahead of me, and although the staff at local nurseries and home improvement centers are usually very helpful, instead of going to those places and hoping for the best, now I'll be able to make informed and intelligent decisions about the plants/bulbs I purchase. Whatever additional advice I receive from the staff will only enhance my chances of success!
This book rocks.