What's so great about perennials? The huge variety of shapes, colors, and sizes that make it possible to have a garden unlike anyone else's. The fact that, if reasonably content, they come back year after year, and even reproduce. Seeing old favorites return each spring is a special pleasure. Watching the garden evolve throughout the year is another. Being able to give spare plants away to fellow gardeners is a third. And perennials make a garden a living thing in a way that annuals do not, because they are present even through the winter. Although some are then dormant, others add texture and an architectural element year-round. - From the Introduction. The problem is that some perennials, wonderful as they are, are reluctant to reside in our part of the world, or will grow only with a great deal of special care. However, as Ezra Haggard reassuringly puts it, for each plant that won't thrive in the Lower Midwest, there are always two more that will. In this book he suggests 101 perennials that can be counted on to do well here, and with which you can create a base for a new garden or expand an existing one. Some can grow just about anywhere; others play a more specialized role.
Some will be familiar to many gardeners; others may come as a surprise. The author's photographs-one "portrait" and one "garden-setting shot" accompany each essay-illustrate real gardens, not unattainable dreams. The text is full of practical advice on what to put where for low maintenance and high interest. Both text and photographs are rich in ideas for creating effective plant combinations and color schemes.show more