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by William H. Davies
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Ondra posits that gardens based only on blooms leave something to be desired, but foliage adds visual interest no matter what the season or the weather. The qualities that make foliage attractive are essentially the same as those that apply to flowers: shape, size, texture, and color. Ondra explains how to create attractive combinations, how to plant and grow them, and how to control diseases and pests. Organized by color and texture, each chapter illustrates the features and requirements of dozens of plants, all selected for the unique appeal of their leaves. The author describes their heights, leaf size, and whether they require sun or shade. This informative guide is filled with sumptuous color photographs by Cardillo. George Cohen
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Plant foliage brings drama and structure to the garden with color, shape, and texture all its own. Bright, cheerful flowers may have beauty-pageant appeal that gets noticed by passers-by, but where would all those pretty floral faces be without the stalwart presence of foliage? Every garden benefits from an inspired selection of plants chosen for the beauty of their leaves, and the harmony their presence brings to the entire landscape.
Organized by color and texture, each chapter in Nancy Ondra’s eye-opening new guide illustrates the features and requirements of dozens of plants, all chosen for the unique appeal of their leaves. Colors range from brilliant chartreuse to stunning silver to dusky, moody maroon. Surfaces can be rough or smooth, velvety or prickly, and edges can be scalloped, smooth, or saw-toothed.
With the stunning range of color and texture represented in Rob Cardillo’s rich photography, it’s easy to see how much season-long interest foliage can add to a garden. In addition to identifying and discussing beautiful plant possibilities, Ondra draws on her many years of gardening experience to present vivid plant combinations that work together to enhance and extend garden color. Knowing how and where to use foliage to complement flowers and grasses is as important as understanding the plants themselves.
Flowers come and go, weather can kill blooms prematurely or prevent them from ever appearing, but sturdy, reliable foliage can be the gardener’s salvation, year after year.
About the Author
Nancy Ondra is the author of six books, including Grasses and Taylor’s Guide to Roses. She is also the co-author of The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer. She lives in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, where she previously operated Pendragon Perennials, a rare-plant nusery, for six years.
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