192 pages, Col photos
The 1001 varieties chosen for this book have passed three vital tests: they are beautiful, they are readily available and they are easy to grow. The book recommends perennials for use in shade, very wet or dry areas of the garden, the front back and middle of borders, for ground cover, for autumn and winter gardens and for acidic or alkaline soils. It also highlights plants that are great for fragrance, foliage and attracting wildlife. Arranged in an A-Z format, each entry is photographed and includes a detailed description, the flowering period of the plant, cultivation information and suggestions for the best use or place for the plant.
The stalwart of our famed English herbaceous borders, perennials - horticulturally regarded as being plants that live for more than two years - are indispensable in every garden. Coming in all shapes and sizes, colours and form and from all around the world, they offer an infinite selection for gardeners regardless of soil type or aspect. But the choice is so great it can sometimes be daunting to know what to choose with new cultivars being offered on an ever-increasing basis. Perennial expert, Claire Austin, shares her immense knowledge of their cultivation and propagation in this lavishly illustrated guide, choosing, in her words, "a very small proportion" of the varieties currently available. Having come from a horticultural background - her father is the renowned rose breeder David Austin and she has run her own perennial nursery for over fifteen years - her choice is founded on her working experience adding a sound endorsement to each plant chosen. Ordered alphabetically by botanical name - to avoid the immense confusion common names can bring - this is a visual feast of flowering plants, offering the reader a huge selection to contemplate for their own garden. Easy to care for, easy to propagate and, if planted correctly, guaranteed to offer success in herbaceous borders, mixed borders, wildlife gardens, containers and more, this guide dispels the myth of a perennial's finickiness and shows this vast group to its best advantage. - Lucy Watson
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Claire Austin is a professional plantswoman who has been running a perennials nursery in Shropshire for nearly 20 years. She is also a partner in the renowned family business David Austin Roses. She has been growing perennials and compiling catalogues for herbaceous perennials for many years.