"When you match easy-care plants with the conditions of your site, gardening becomes a cinch," writes syndicated gardening columnist Bawden-Davis in this chipper guide. Her "formula for a low-upkeep garden filled with beautiful blossoms" sweeps readers along from inspiration through planning to construction, planting and maintenance, concluding with a fully illustrated "Encyclopedia of Flowering Plants." Bawden-Davis does not approach this subject via a straight path; rather, she meanders through flower gardening's various pleasures: building a birdhouse, entertaining outdoors, creating sachets and arranging flowers. The most valuable chapters focus on dirt-under-the-nails how-to's. These sections are clear and complete enough for beginners or novices, but also offer tips, tricks and clever ideas seasoned veterans will appreciate. Abundant color photographs breathe life into key design principles; demonstrate practical, step-by-step instructions; and highlight individual plants. The text is instructive, although Bawden-Davis's tone can be breathlessly preachy. Moreover, despite Bawden-Davis's claim to the contrary, gardening is never "a cinch." Trusting readers who follow her advice will have to invest far more time and money than she suggests, or they'll "sit back and enjoy the floral show as it unfolds" surrounded by weeds. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
A comprehensive guide to outdoor flower gardening outlines thirty-five detailed gardening projects and provides A-to-Z listings for 477 plants, suggestions for plants that can be cultivated in a variety of environments, money-saving tips, and seasonal recommendations. 17,500 first printing.