Kruger, Anna; Pavord, Anna Plant Partners

ISBN 13: 9780751303551

Plant Partners

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9780751303551: Plant Partners
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Herbaceous perennials are the star performers in the garden. To create maximum impact they need the right partners and knowing which plant to put with which is an art that often eludes even the most knowledgeable of gardeners. Here Anna Pavord helps solve this tantalizing problem by suggesting 60 plants that she feels deserve a place in every garden - her star plants - and two ideal partners to accompany them. She shows season by season how to create irresistable planting associations that juxtapose texture shape colour and scent. In these small-scale recipes she uses herbaceous perennials annuals and bulbs that either perform simultaneously or dovetail to provide interest for most of the year. To extend the options Anna also gives scores of alternatives for each combination. Stunning photographs and Anna's unique ability to awaken us to the delights and idiosyncracies of these her favourite plants work together to provide a marvelous source of planting ideas. These can be visited time and time again whether we want merely to fill one small gap transform an awkward corner or start a whole new border from scratch.

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Anna Pavord has no patience for dwarf plants, pastels or winter gardens, not to mention all-white beds. She has a sharp eye and a predilection for cheeky Britishisms and she's not afraid to use either. Plant Partners is organised into seasons--the real growing seasons: signs of spring, spring turns to summer, high summer, and into autumn. Within these seasons Pavord presents 60 "star" plants that should be highlighted in the perennial bed. For each of her favourite plants she provides a supporting cast of two varieties--annuals, bulbs or perennials--that partner particularly well with the stars and under the same soil and light conditions. The groupings might be designed so that all of the flowers will be in bloom at once (Pasque flower with grape hyacinth and deep-purple primroses, for example), or so that when one flower's blooms are just starting to fade another's are waiting in the wings (lily-of-the-valley with a hellebore and barrenwort). A listing of "alternative" partners extends the range of choices to include more unusual plants and ones that might be more challenging to grow. Foliage is given as much consideration as blooms:

'Darling! Salmon! How brave!' exclaim the white-garden brigade as they sharpen their pruning knives for a horticultural mercy-killing. You might as well fall on your garden fork there and then as try to explain that the point of the rodgersia they are looking at is not the buff-pink flower but the whirls of bronze underneath it.
But her exhortation to use foliage--as well as grasses and non-flowering perennials as "star" plants--to best advantage cannot be ignored in Plant Partners. Pavord's advice throughout is, as always, practical and opinionated and highly entertaining. --Liana Fredley


An entertaining read from one of this country's greatest gardening writers, Anna Pavord. Amusingly written in her own inimitable style, it contains tips and planting advice on how to get the best out of your plants all year round. With today's small gardens all plants need to earn their keep and provide interest throughout the seasons. A plant that flowers only for a week or two at the height of the season such as Papaver orientalis needs company to cover up the fact that for the rest of the year it looks unmentionable. The author has taken 60 of her favourite 'star' plants and looks and discusses the best 'supporting cast' for each, season by season. She is no stickler for classic plant combinations but these are included along with braver, more vibrant contrasting plants. Dahlias and cannas star alongside more traditional plants such as nigella and cosmos. Zinnias and busy lizzies, regarded as some as beyond the pale, take the stage in some unforgettable plant combinations. Concentrating on perennials and annuals, although they are by no means all flowering plants, Anna Pavord gives a highly readable discourse on the pros and cons of various plants and does not hesitate to give her own view on certain types of planting and those of other gardeners with whom she would beg to differ! Her ability to humanise plants gives them their own individual character, from the aloof tender perennials taking a holiday outside in the borders to the boisterous bedding plants, nudging and pushing their way through more permanent planting. Divided into seasons and lavishly illustrated, it also contains a concise list at the back of the 60 favourites alongside a list of alternative planting companions for quick reference. Not only an invaluable reference book but a good bedtime read, her descriptions bringing a smile to the face and encouraging dreams of what next year might hold.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780789480170: Plant Partners (American Horticultural Society Practical Guides)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0789480174 ISBN 13: 9780789480170
Publisher: DK Publishing, 2001

9781405305785: Plant Partners

DK, 2004

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Anna Pavord
Published by Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd
ISBN 10: 0751303550 ISBN 13: 9780751303551
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