Review by Booklist Review
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 2005 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
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. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
What sets this book apart from similar titles is its pure popular appeal, all but guaranteed by its chatty style, profuse illustrations, and enthusiastic emphasis on the practical. Cohen and Ondra-both highly accomplished garden writers, teachers, and practitioners-divide the text into three sections. Part 1 deals with design principles like color, form, scale, and texture, while Part 2 tackles problems originating with site conditions and contains detailed plans and pictures for 20 different theme gardens. Part 3 is for "reality gardening," in which the authors document three of their own projects, along with their hopes, worries, and disappointments. The authors' goal of instilling readers with "the confidence to experiment and explore" will be, no doubt, fully realized by any patron who checks out this book. From its hot pink cover to its bright yellow back flap, it is nothing if not exciting. Although indexes were not seen, one hopes that a common plant name index will be included. Another quibble: plant lists contain little for extreme growing zones. Still, warmly recommended for most gardening collections.-Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.