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400 Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces

By Diana M. Miller

A first step toward choosing trees and shrubs that won't result in future pruning disasters or an overly gloomy garden.

Seattle Times

Trees and shrubs are a valuable asset to a garden bringing structure, shade, year-round interest and the all-important vertical dimension. However, choosing the right ones for small gardens is a fine art, and it's all too easy to end up with heavyweight shrubs overtaking the border, dysfunctional climbers, or trees outgrowing their designated spaces. In this practical reference, woody-plant expert Diana Miller takes the anguish out of the process by recommending plants and cultivation techniques that excel in small garden spaces.

Small gardens require careful planting, and the book starts by considering plants that fulfill a particular design function, such as trees that provide the right levels of shade for an underplanting of choice bulbs, columnar or weeping trees for very restricted spaces, and specimen shrubs that provide an effective foil for herbaceous perennials in a mixed border. Pruning, coppicing, topiary and container-planting restrict growth and are helpful techniques in the small garden armory. Useful too are scaled-down versions of favorite trees, such as Prunus 'Amanogawa', that take up less space, and create less shade, than other cherry trees. At the heart of this book is a comprehensive plant directory that provides detailed descriptions, including full cultivation advice for over 400 top-performing trees and shrubs. Further advice on pruning, information on planting to encourage wildlife and handy lists that allow readers to search by color, height and other characteristics are invaluable.

Color photographs complement the plant descriptions, aid identification and complete this practical plant reference.

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Awards for this book: American Horticultural Society Book Award

Media reviews

"Even small gardens need good 'bones.' Miller provides lots of ideas for selecting woody plants that will lend structure without being overpowering."

—Viveka Neveln, American Gardener

"Miller aimed to 'introduce the wealth of trees and shrubs which could be grown in a smaller garden.' She did a commendable job. The book is filled with a wide variety of trees and shrubs — some well known, some rather obscure."

—Tom Torrance, Washington Gardener

"Plenty of information and excellent color photographs throughout. ... As a gift to an improving gardener, it would be a valuable tool in developing a small garden."

—Kevin Croucher, BBC Gardens

"A first step toward choosing trees and shrubs that won't result in future pruning disasters or an overly gloomy garden."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"The scope of the book is broad ... and it is sure to delight the more adventurous gardeners among us."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

About the author

Diana M. Miller

Diana Miller has been a horticultural botanist whose work with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) spans three decades. From 1979 she was Keeper of RHS Herbarium, where she developed and maintained the world's only herbarium dedicated to cultivated plants. Over the years she has written, edited, and contributed to a range of horticultural publications, including The Garden. Diana holds a BA in Botany from the University of Manchester and an MSc in Microbiology from Wellesley College.

Read more about Diana M. Miller

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