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The Harmonious Garden: Color, Form, and Texture

By Catherine Ziegler

Timber Press, Inc., 1996

Softcover: $24.95


     It is not customary to read a book from back to front, but it may be justified in this case.  While the first half of this book focuses on pictures of plant combinations in their momentarily perfect state, the second half provides a wealth of reference materials.

     “Part Two: Plant Details and Associations” provides suggestions for what plants might complement the star player you have chosen.  Having brought home a fine flat of, say, Snapdragon Antirrhium majus ‘Princess White with Purple Eye’, she suggests that the two allysums Lobularia maritime ‘Carpet and Snow’ and ‘Easter Bonnet Deep Pink’ might be perfect associates.  To prove it, she refers you back to the photo that captures this combo at the height of it’s glory in the garden.

     “Bloom Options for Temperate Climates by Exposure, Season, and Color” would be a helpful guide to selecting plants for a color-themed garden, or a flower bed planted for peak bloom in a particular season.

       The first half of the book devotes one page to each plant combo that  the author has found attractive, or, I suspect, that she had a fine photograph of.  She analyzes why the combination is effective and how many of each plant you might purchase to recreate the scene in your own garden.

Many of the photos were taken in England or New York, and feature lovely plants that will not grow here, so substitutions would need to be made.



Reviewed by Karin Guzy