Gardeners who prefer to research plants and consider expert advice on garden design before turning the first shovel of dirt will love Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s revised and expanded book, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden. This well-designed volume, peppered with stunning photos from the author’s gardens, contains a career’s worth of experience from one who gardens personally and professionally.
The book begins with a practical discussion of garden design and explains how the bed geometry and choice of plants will determine the maintenance required to keep the garden in top condition. As a sometimes trial-and-error gardener I must confess I often choose the plant based on the bloom and have introduced several demanding species into my garden space. From soil preparation to dividing and pruning, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden takes the reader through the steps of successful perennial gardening.
The “Encyclopedia of Perennials” section of the book offers detailed descriptions and care tips for more perennials than I will ever fit into my garden. The author provides thirty-six lists of plants by maintenance type such as perennials that tolerate wet soil, clay busters, deer-resistant perennials and so on. The reader can choose a plant then turn back a few pages to the alphabetical section to learn more about it and to see how the mature plant might present itself. Coupled with those valuable lists is a month-to-month planting and maintenance schedule.
I highly recommend The Well-Tended Perennial Garden for new and experienced gardeners. This excellent book continues to provide hours of learning and enjoyment as I thumb through and highlight selections I need to remember. My wife has inserted numerous bookmarks for plants she would like to add to our garden.