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Gorgeous, full-color photographs of different plant combinations based on color and form.
Plant combinations shown give optimum effect using the aesthetics of color and form—including single color, bold color, subtle color, similar form, subtle form, and bold form.
Suggests alternative plants that give the same look and add to the regional diversity of the plant material included.
Combinations are adaptable to all regions of America.
Includes complete cultural information and mail-order sources for every plant shown.
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The author, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, describes her book as "a non-designer's garden design book." Her idea, and it is a good one, is that pleasing gardens are built combination by combination. You don't need an overall scheme, but rather dozens of workable combos of two or three plants that, seen as a whole, make up a garden. All plants are clearly identified in 250 full-color photographs that illustrate ideas for effective combinations. Barash also explores the role colored and variegated foliages, architecturally shaped plants, and ornamental grasses play in creating pleasing, long-lasting combinations.
While the book's design (graphically lively to the point of excess) itself is questionable, the photographs are nevertheless lovely and may inspire gardeners to experiment, loosen up, and help them to worry less about using color. Nothing can set a mood or enliven a garden more than the bold use of color and form, and Barash's new book provides plenty of ideas to encourage gardeners to do just that, one plant combination at a time. --Valerie Easton
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