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Gardening with Perennials

Good garden design is the result of proper planning. It doesn’t happen by magic.

Succulents don’t stand alone in the landscape. They look best when they’re included in flower beds, borders, or other designs. That is where books on perennials come in handy. These often give examples of flower borders that are perfect for displaying our favorite succulents, such as Sedums, Euphorbias, Agaves, and Yuccas.

“The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer” by Stephanie Cohen et al was published by Storey Books. This showcases nearly 500 of the best perennials along with 20 sample designs. Each plan has a planting diagram, color art/photo of the completed garden in bloom, and a list of the plants and their descriptions. Throughout the book are handy lists of plants for different purposes. The side bars present quick and easy tips.

This title features so many special kinds of gardens, including container gardens, easy care gardens, and cottage gardens. One chapter entitled A Year of Perennials features details on the best ones for each season. The authors take readers through all the basics from evaluating the site to selecting plants, creating a border from scratch, enlarging a border, and renovating an older one. There is a handy chart that makes it very easy to choose suitable plants. This lists the hardiness zone, cultural needs, bloom time, flower color, and plant height.

“Landscaping with Perennials-Flowering Plants and Shrubs for Home Gardens” by Elizabeth Navas Finley is part of the Black and Decker Outdoor Home Series. It was released by Creative Publishing International. Illustrated with over 300 full-color photos and eye-catching graphics, this comprehensive how-to title guides gardeners through the design process.

Perfect for novice gardeners, this title also features all the information you need to choose plants, design, and create beds and borders. There is even a chapter on caring for the plants. This features 25 easy projects with color-illustrated instructions. The plant directory features plant profiles, photos, and complete information for over 100 of the most popular plants, arranged alphabetically by common name. The appendix features zone maps and information on hardiness, and a list of online resources.

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