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Better Homes and Gardens Choosing Plant…

Better Homes and Gardens Choosing Plant Combinations

by Better Homes and Gardens Books

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0696210142, Hardcover)

For those gardeners intimidated by the thought of planning color symphonies, creating color echoes, or applying any color theory to the garden as a whole, Choosing Plant Combinations will come as a welcome relief. Granted, color is the single most important effect gardeners work with--nothing is more important to the first impression a garden gives and the emotional response it evokes. However, color can be a challenge to work with, as it depends greatly on surrounding colors, quality of light, and individual perception.

The author, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, describes her book as "a non-designer's garden design book." Her idea, and it is a good one, is that pleasing gardens are built combination by combination. You don't need an overall scheme, but rather dozens of workable combos of two or three plants that, seen as a whole, make up a garden. All plants are clearly identified in 250 full-color photographs that illustrate ideas for effective combinations. Barash also explores the role colored and variegated foliages, architecturally shaped plants, and ornamental grasses play in creating pleasing, long-lasting combinations.

While the book's design (graphically lively to the point of excess) itself is questionable, the photographs are nevertheless lovely and may inspire gardeners to experiment, loosen up, and help them to worry less about using color. Nothing can set a mood or enliven a garden more than the bold use of color and form, and Barash's new book provides plenty of ideas to encourage gardeners to do just that, one plant combination at a time. --Valerie Easton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:59 -0400)

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