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Design in the Plant Collector's Garden: From Chaos to Beauty

By Roger Turner

Emphasizing compatibility and successful relationships, Turner aims to let gardeners have both their ferns and euphorbia.

Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

All gardeners love plants but if you love them too much the chances are you will end up with a plant collection rather than a garden. Help is at hand from confirmed plantaholic and architect Roger Turner, who describes how to indulge a passion for collecting plants without forfeiting the joys of a coherent, well-designed garden. Happily, the book prescribes little need to curb the excesses of plant addiction but simply recommends ways of focusing it to the advantage of all who share or visit your garden. Good collections need to be displayed well so that you can see them properly. The first part of the book looks at the structure of the garden as a whole, the balance of 'empty space' to 'planted space', the use of framing devices, and the value of paths in providing routes around the garden. At the heart of the book is a large section on plants that proposes ideas and solutions for making gardens with different types of plant collections. Here you will find schemes for displaying collections of trees from small groups to full-scale arboreta; recommendations for single-genus collections that look well planted together in one bed; and the ideal 'space-holder' plants that cover bare earth before prize bulbs emerge. Over 200 eye-catching and informative photographs highlight successful planting methods and illustrate the rewards to be gained from finding the perfect setting for a treasured plant. Plant enthusiasts, collectors and gardeners everywhere will unite in their enthusiasm for this practical book that provides the key to making beautiful gardens while keeping the spotlight on the plants.

Media reviews

"Emphasizing compatibility and successful relationships, Turner aims to let gardeners have both their ferns and euphorbia (and alpines, bulbs, viburnums, too)."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"Good advice from a plantaholic on how to create a well-designed garden."

—Lorraine Flanigan, Canadian Gardening

"Turner understands the collector's psyche. This book is one of the best inspirations to look through before heading out to your next collecting spree."

—Jean Starr, Northwest Indiana Times

"This book shows how to indulge a passion for collecting plants without forfeiting the joys of a coherent, well-designed garden."

Publishing News

"Plant enthusiasts, collectors and gardeners everywhere will unite in their enthusiasm for this practical book that provides the key to making beautiful gardens while keeping the spotlight on the plants."

Rainy Side Gardeners

"I always pick up new garden books at the library but never read them. ... Turner's humor hooked me into reading the entire book. His writing is excellent and his suggestions practical."

—Cheval Force Opp, Washington Gardener

"It's one of the best inspirations to look through before heading out to your next collecting spree."

—Jean Starr, Northwest Indiana Times

About the author

Roger Turner

Roger Turner trained as an architect and now works as a landscape designer. He is a knowledgeable plantsman, active in the Hardy Plant Society, and a founding member of the Gloucestershire group of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens. He contributes to a number of journals and magazines including Hortus and The English Garden, and lectures on a wide range of subjects.

Read more about Roger Turner

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