Monday, January 15, 2018

Color for Adventurous Gardeners, by Christopher Lloyd. Firefly Books, 2001

Christopher Lloyd is my favorite garden writer. He is very down to earth- no pronouncements from the gardening gods- and humorous. So of course I really like this book, but even if he wasn’t my favorite, I’d think this was a really good book.

First, he gives us the basics- mainly, that color is one of the last things you worry about when creating a garden. Structure, good soil, and the rest come first. Color is easy to change (except for trees), but it’s a lot harder to change up hardscape. He points out that color harmonies are wonderful, and that he uses them a lot himself.. but.. he likes some excitement in the garden. So he pairs something like an intense orange dahlia with a purple verbena. Sometimes shocking color is fun. He says that you need to know the rules before you can break them, but that one should go for wild combos.

Then he give a chapter to each color, running through the spectrum and including black and brown. He gives a lot of plants that fit the chapter, including what growing conditions they like. The book is filled with gorgeous photos, as well. It’s not a coffee table book of all pictures and little info; it’s got a lot of information, provided in an informal voice, as if you were talking to him out in the garden or discussing the garden over tea. Five stars. 

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This did not influence my review. 

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