Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pretty Tough Plants: 135 Resilient, Water-Smart Choices for a Beautiful Garden, by Plant Select. Timber Press, 2017

This is an encyclopedia of plants chosen for the cold, dry, areas of the Rocky Mountains. The team that tested plants was based at the Denver Botanic Garden and Colorado State University. The main focus is the dry. If you have wet winters or springs, many of these plant will be very unhappy unless you provide sharp drainage (which is possible, of course).

The plants range from groundcovers and petite gems through perennials, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees. There also included is a short section on tender perennials and annuals (the majority of annuals sold today are water hogs), which I didn’t expect. Each plant has a detailed entry giving size, flowers, sun/shade needs, if it is deer resistant or if pollinators like it, how to grow it, place of origin, and how to place it in the landscape. They also give hardiness zone ratings, but from what I can see, the many of the plants will only be hardy to those zones if they are not wet in winter.

They have trialed and used a great many plants that are native to the intermountain west area- lots of penstamons and salvias, for instance. I was happy to see this- now we just have to find out where to buy these plants! In a way, this book is a big catalog advertising Plant Select plants, but if they are not exaggerating the attributes of the plants, I am quite happy to see it on the library shelf. 

The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy something- anything- from Amazon, they will give me a few cents. 

This did not influence my review.  

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