310 pages, 243 col photos
Water is usually a gardener's friend, bringing lush plant growth and the sensory delights of fountains, streams, and ponds. But even gardeners can have too much of a good thing, and excess water can be hostile to plant life. Fortunately, John Simmons comes to the rescue with the definitive guide to managing a variety of wet garden sites. "Managing the Wet Garden" dares gardeners to consider excess water an opportunity to cultivate an unexpectedly large and unique range of plants. Natural wetlands - water meadows, marshlands, and riverbanks - provide inspiration for practical water management, plant selection, and aesthetic considerations.
In Part One Simmons provides readers with practical tips on how to recognize and manage a wet site. Part Two includes a detailed directory of water tolerant plants, including ferns, conifers, trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous plants, and bulbs. Twenty years in preparation, "Managing the Wet Garden" will inspire readers to not only accept the challenge of too much water, but to appreciate the ample rewards.
Brings us vivid insight into the creation and management of the wet garden. He shares his expertise as he guides the reader confidently through what is a difficult environment in which to garden. -- Mat Reese BBC Gardens 20090201 Though Simmons is writing about his experience with wet gardening in England, his information and advice are applicable to those wishing to establish, maintain, and enjoy wet gardens anywhere. -- R. L. Krajewski Choice 20091101
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John Simmons OBE VMH has had a long professional career in botanical horticulture managing large gardens and supporting wider interests of horticulture and conservation through honorary positions including presidencies and trusteeships with many related organisations. From 1972 until his retirement in 1995 he was curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, after which he directed the development of the arboretum at Castle Howard in Yorkshire. Fascinated by wet gardens and ponds since childhood, in 1986 he purchased a two-and-a-half-acre wet meadow in North Norfolk, England. This book stems from his subsequent experiences of developing a private garden on this ploughed but otherwise abandoned site.