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The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer [Paperback]

Stephanie Cohen , Nancy J. Ondra
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 15, 2005

Turn your outdoor landscape into a rich, living canvas of color and texture. Encouraging experimentation, Stephanie Cohen and Nancy J. Ondra show you how to plan a garden that incorporates unique combinations of plants to achieve stunning effects. With an overview of garden design fundamentals and 20 sample garden plans, Cohen and Ondra will inspire you to play with creative juxtapositions of vibrant hues and subtle textures. Let your imagination run wild as you create your own unique and original garden designs.


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Editorial Reviews

From 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (February 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580175430
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580175432
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(34)
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Purchase for Kindle not recommended February 1, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Photos and diagrams not viewable/readable in Kindle edition. Otherwise content is useful. I don't understand why it is so hard to make photos that are legible in the Kindle editions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Design Advice June 16, 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have met the author at a lecture she gave and have visited her personal garden. She has a very practical, yet informative approach to design. You do not have to afford a professional landscaper to use a lot of her suggestions. I recently used one of her plans to create an adapted cottage- four square garden. Love her tip to use golf tees to mark where you plant your bulbs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of garden plans and ideas June 7, 2017
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great for both beginners and experienced gardeners. I've gotten several ideas from this book and love the plans that are provided. I would recommend this book for people of all levels and years of experience in the garden.
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By Crick
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has valuable information. I like how Stephanie and Nancy talk about their different ideas in creating sensational gardens. Beautiful pictures throughout the book, will give the gardener many ideas. Learning the different types of foliage to pair together opens ones eyes to so much creativity. A book to continually refer to for gardening ideas and valuable information. Very enjoyable read. Read the whole book in a couple days. Thank you Stephanie and Nancy for your time and effort in creating this book. Well done!
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2.0 out of 5 stars May help. June 7, 2017
By Barb
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not much to comment about. Not great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for Perennial Design August 31, 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Originally I took out this book from library. It was so helpful I knew I needed my own. Love it. The best on perennial design.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent design resource March 10, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well laid out in understandable language. Good for a beginner as well as the more experienced gardener. Great plant lists, excellent diagrams, and fun personal anecdotes by the author.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful April 9, 2010
By Molly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful in planning a border or bed. The authors give a simple procedure that will give good results. In addition, they describe several plants that do well without much care. This books focuses on sunny areas. I wish they would do a similar book using shade plants. One of the most helpful garden planning books I've seen.
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