Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gardening Book



The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques
by Tracy DiSabato-Aust


This is one of my favorite gardening books. Not a coffee table book with lots of beautiful photos, but a practical book about perennial care. All the usual perennial information is here. Soil--moist or well drained? Is sun or shade best? Which plants resent transplanting? How often should you divide?

The book also covers things like how to prune your tall perennials to avoid staking. How to prolong bloom time or how to delay bloom. How to extend the life of biennials. When and how to shape your plants for fuller foliage and more flowers.

Ever wonder why some plants open up in the center and how to avoid it? Ever try cutting half your monardas back to get longer bloom at staggered heights? Ready to pull up your floppy Autumn Joy? Tired of staking large plants? Uncertain about which plants can be cut down in fall and which should not? What pruning techniques will cause early flowering perennials to rebloom later in the summer. Tracy has the answers to these and more.

It would make a great gift for any gardener on your Christmas list;)

44 comments:

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I prefer informational books, too. I've heard great things about this book from so many other gardeners. I've not found it locally at B&N bookstore. I have so many books on my wish list!

Cameron

Darla said...

That sounds like it's worth checking out for sure, thanks!

flydragon said...

Yes, I'm ready to pull up my floppy Autumn Joy. Book or no book!!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cameron, I had to order mine, never saw it locally.

Hi Darla, it is a great reference.

LOL, Flydragon, I know, when Autumn Joy flops it looks bad!

Marnie

beckie said...

Marnie, this is exactly the type of gardening book I need. And I can think of a couple of people who would love this for Christmas. Thanks for the great suggestion!

Are you surviving the cold and snow?

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beckie, barely surviving;) Every year it gets harder, LOL.

I've checked amazon for used copies in good condition. Unfortunately, the price never seems to come down.
Marnie

Cindy said...

Marnie - This is just the type of book I love. Thanks for the recommendation.

Patsi said...

Sounds like a very useful book.
Shame Autumn Joy always flops over...personally I do as little staking as possible.

ramblingwoods said...

Marnie..it sounds like a foreign language to me..floppy? GG. I am starting to learn about gardening past the time when my knees, back and wrists worked well. But I am jotting this down..thank you..

tina said...

That is one book I don't have but I have seen it before. I will have to check it out, though I must say I am partial to pretty photos, but occasionally read too.

Sarah Laurence is hosting a Book Boost Club if interested. I plan to post about a book too, then let her know. Garden books are the best and that is what I'll be posting on-one of these days. Sigh. Stay warm.

Sue said...

This is one of my favorite books , too. I love the casual way DiSabato-Aust writes. Also, you can tell she loves to garden. In 2006, an expanded edition was published. It has photos in the list of plants, and the photos that illustrate the things she is writing about are with the information instead of the page to find them on.

This is where I got the idea to cut my Virginia mountain mint back harder at the edges so it won't flop over the near by plants, and some of the blooms would be on shorter stems. I like how it turned out. (I recently posted on the plant in my blog.)

Sweet Repose said...

I wish I would pay more attention to these wonderful informational books...I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gardener, usually more attentive, but this year the spideys took over...next year it's WAR...no more Mr.NiceGuy, I'll be armed with a fly swatter and boots...can't help it, it's a serious affliction...eeewww! I just couldn't force myself to go THERE!

Dog_geek said...

Hmmm... I may have to ask Santa for this one. I'm not sure I've been good enough this year, though!

flowergardengirl said...

I will look in to it just cause you said so! You made an informational book really appealing.

Cordwood Cabin said...

I love gardening books ... somewhere I have a reproduction garden journal from the early
1900s, chronicling a woman's seasonal experience with gardening. The garden illustrations are beautiful as well.

The flowing-robed figure in the slideshow is "The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come" from our Christmas Carol series last year (he's all cheesecloth over wire, with a tiny ghost face tucked in the hood. I don't think Scrooge's tombstone made it in the shot, but I made one with a little woodburned inscription like the one in the book. We haven't reissued them in awhile, but they were fun to make (especially the dramatic pointing finger).

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
This looks like a tempting one! Though why we'd get yet another gardening book (except for the pictures), I have no clue! Then again, I'm a guy who owns an entire book about Fritillarias too, lol.

Thanks for pointing this one out, I'll have to look it up. I guess it's not on your wish list for Christmas, eh? :-)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cindy, your welcome. I hope you find some interesting info.

Patsi, I agree. I hate the look of stakes in my garden.

RamblingWoods, don't try to learn it all at once;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Tina, I love those gorgeous picture books too. Especially the ones on English rose gardens and antique roses...sigh.

Hi Sue, don't you think almost anyone can learn a little something from this book?

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sharon. I know exactly how you feel. I have developed an 'eye' for spiders and snakes. I can see the tiniest spider form 100-yards in the dark...really. I hate 'em. Snakes are worse. I can sick the cats on snakes;)

I got scolded a while ago. Someone pointed out that spiders and snakes are a gardener's friend. Ya well, in this case the gardener's enemies are much preferable.
Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi DogGeek, Santa will know who has been bad. Don't try to fool him;)

Hi flowergardengirl, the book is writen in a friendly, relaxed style. Very easy to read.

Hi Cordwood, I loved that figure. Strange and unusual. YOur book sounds good. What's the name.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi IVG, just something to consider. As Sharon said, a seat-of-the- pants kinda gardener. I have to do things 'my way'. Of course that isn't always successful;) Occasionally there is a better way and someone else already found it;)
Marnie

Blossom said...

This sounds like a really great book! I often come home from the library with several gardening books, and most of the time they are so-so. I'll have to look for this one next time.

Amy

perennialgardener said...

This looks like a great gardening resource Marnie! I've seen this online, thanks for the info.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Blossom, if your library is anything like mine, their gardening books are ancient;)

Perennialgardener, you are very welcome. You may or may not find it interesting but a lot of people really like this book.

Marnie

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Great review. You made me want that book too. Oh gosh, and I have two shelves devoted to gardening books.~~Dee

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Dee, yes I've collected a few over the years. This really is one of the best.
Marnie

Gail said...

Marnie,

It's time for a new book...this one might be the one! I am going to wander over to Amazon and check it out and then see if the local bookshop keeps or can order it. Have a great weekend!

gail

TC said...

Is there anything in there about the not-so-well-tended perennial garden?
;~)

Kathleen said...

I have collected quite a few gardening books over the years too Marnie but don't have this one. It does sound like a great gift, I'll have to check it out. I have several books on my wish list this year, and now, maybe one more...

oldcrow61 said...

Sounds like a great book.

Cosmo said...

Hi, Marnie--This is my favorite book of all time. I have one or two I use more--usually for ID's because they have more color plates--but for actual perennial care this is the best one I've come across. She hates day lilies, though--she offers good advice, but I always remember that she doesn't like them. I hope you're staying warm--

walk2write said...

I'm inclined to think like TC. You mean perennials need tending? ;>} I thought they were supposed to be money- as well as timesavers. No wonder mine look more like runaway weeds than anything else at this point. Great recommendation, Marnie!

The Garden Faerie said...

You know, I have this habit of checking out all kinds of interesting books from my library and then... having to return them unread. This book is one of those, but thanks to your review, I'll make a point to check it out again!
~ Monica

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Gail, lots of time for reading books and catalogs on these long, cold nights.

Hi TC, I think that books remains to be written.

Hi Kathleen, I just ordered a couple more gardening books. Planing and preparing for next season.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good morning OldCrow, it is a pretty good book.

Hi Cosmo, another gardener who has read and liked the book. It's probably the most read and most talked about book on the garden forums.

Hey Walk2Write, of course there is all kinds of gardening from extreme control to extreme neglect. This book is somewhere in the middle right;)

Hey Monica, I do that to. Most of the time I find the books disappointing.

Marnie

Frances said...

Hi Marnie, wow, I must have this book! I have seen it on many lists of best gardening books and your glowing report has been just what I needed to go ahead and get it. I have so many gardening books, but those special tips about dividing perennials speaks to a need here. Thanks so much!
Frances

marmee said...

marnie, this book sounds great, i will have to check it out, thanks for the advice. hope you are enjoying your wintery days.

Connie said...

We have something in common, as that is one of my favorite gardening books, as well. I checked it out so many times from the library that I decided I might as well buy my own, but I'm glad I waited...because by the time I purchased it the expanded edition was available. Another favorite book of mine is "Great Garden Companions" by Sally Jean Cunningham.

joey said...

Thanks, Marnie ~ I've added this book to my Christmas Wish List. Great idea for my monarda (can't believe after all these years, I've never thought of cutting half for staggered heights)!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Frances, I think you will find it a really helpful book.

Hi Marmee, enduring our wintery days;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

I Connie, I'll have to look at the Cunningham book. I have the original addition. I keep meaning to order the new one.

Hi Joey, nobody every thinks of everythng;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Gail, lots of time for reading books and catalogs on these long, cold nights.

Hi TC, I think that books remains to be written.

Hi Kathleen, I just ordered a couple more gardening books. Planing and preparing for next season.

Marnie

BeadedTail said...

This certainly sounds like a book that I need!

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