Designing With Perennials
Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right From the Start, by C. Colston Burrell (Rodale Press, 1999; $29.95) is as much an inspiring photo collection as it is a practical how-to manual. Each photo is accompanied by a step-by-step guide, complete with planting diagrams and plant lists, to help you duplicate each design in your own yard.
The book presents valuable information about why particular plants do well under certain growing conditions, and explains how to identify and take full advantage of the microclimates in your own garden.
With this book, novice gardeners can easily develop and maintain healthy perennial gardens, and experienced gardeners can draw inspiration to change or improve their existing gardens.
Favorite or New Plant
Mother fern (Asplenium bulbiferum) is an interesting and unusual plant, with feathery fronds held upright on dark, wiry stalks. When the leaves mature they are covered with tiny plantlets, which you can separate and pot up to give to friends. The plant gets quite large up to 4 feet when grown under ideal conditions. It requires bright, indirect light, plenty of moisture, and fast-draining, moist soil amended with lots of organic matter.
Mother ferns do well indoors with ample humidity, but grow equally well outdoors in a shady spot. When grown indoors, they go through a short rest period in the winter months. During this time, hold back on water and fertilizer until new growth appears.