The Year-Round Garden
by Geoff Stebbings
The Year-Round Garden is the perfect resource for northern gardeners who despair at the lack of interest in their landscapes once winter rolls around. Stebbings offers a plethora of plant choices for each of the seasons. Gladly, he goes beyond the common suggestions of tulips for spring, roses for summer, mums for fall, and hollies for winter. These standbys are included, of course, but there is so much more out there! No matter your taste, The Year-Round Garden will show you something to make your garden shine.
The book is organized by season, and then broken down into the categories of herbaceous plants, shrubs & trees, climbers, bulbs, and bedding (annual) plants. In essence, it is a seasonal directory of plants. Each plant is afforded a short description that includes its size, preferred cultivation, and suggestions for placement as well as suitable companion plants. There are also clear photos of each plant. The only problem I really had with the plant descriptions was that there was no mention of hardiness zones, so if you are unfamiliar with a plant, you will have to look elsewhere to find out if it is hardy in your area. In addition, Stebbings doesn't cover issues such as pruning, fertilizing, dividing, etc., so that is another thing the gardener will have to look up on their own.
The plant directory makes up the bulk of the book. The second part of the book is a short chapter suggesting planting combos by season. This section is full of photos showing the possibilities for your own garden. The third section is a very useful chart that lists all of the plants from the directory, along with their height, spread, bloom/leaf time, site preferences, and any known pest or disease problems.
For pure inspiration, as well as good information, The Year-Round Garden would be a great addition to any gardener's library.ITGO