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Gardening with Grasses

By Michael King and Piet Oudolf

Foreword by Beth Chatto

Shows us how to use these graceful plants with flair and intelligence.


Ornamental grasses are among the most versatile and sophisticated of garden plants. Planted as single specimens in beds or on the terrace in a container, grasses are striking focal points. Smaller forms bring rhythm and diversity to mixed borders, and clumping forms richly carpet the ground. This beautifully illustrated book by two imaginative garden designers will provide equal measures of information and inspiration.

Media reviews

"Abundant and well-labeled photographs suggest pleasing plant combinations ... The authorsí enthusiasm is contagious."

Publishers Weekly

"These two internationally recognized design experts on uses for grasses have teamed up to provide readers with inspiring photographs, detailed information on over 150 varieties and cultivars appropriate for a wide range of garden situations. This is one of the most inspiring books to come out of new naturalistic gardening and an invaluable reference work. Listing of Common names and Botanical names is an added plus!"

—Bob Hornback, Pacific Horticulture

"The writers have such a fresh and inspiring approach that it is easy to be caught up in their obvious enthusiasm for their subject."

—Coni Tarquini, Hardy Plant

"One of the most inspiring garden plant and design books to come out of the growing interest in naturalistic gardening. ... Also an excellent reference for the ornamental grass gardener. The photographs and text are far superior to most other gardening books in this price range. ... The best book on designing with grasses to own at this time."

—Brian Maynard, HortScience

"Very attractive, well written well organized and useful book."

Vineyard Gazette

"For some thoughtful guidance and solid advice on both aspects of growing ornamental grasses, you could do no better than pick up a copy of Gardening with Grasses."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

"Extravagant pictures, explanatory text, and enough descriptions of different grasses so you can make choices rather than playing plant by numbers."

—Judy Glattstein, Home Monthly

"Michael King and Piet Oudolf have thought deeply about the appeal of their favorite grasses, and it shows in the photography, which is their own. They have given special consideration to the question of cominations of grasses with flowering perennials, a topic on which they are utterly inspiring."

—Allen Lacy, Homeground

"This is truly finesse gardening made attainable by anyone who chooses to try."

Bloomsbury Review

"Shows us how to use these graceful plants with flair and intelligence. ... It will be the rare gardener who comes away from Gardening with Grasses without a determination to make his or her garden a grassier place."

—Thomas Fischer, Horticulture

"The essential reference book on the subject."

Wisley Bookshop

"An excellent design-oriented book on using grasses as the mainstay of the home garden."

—Lillie Dorchak, Hunterdon County Democrat

"Full of design ideas and good pictures ... An excellent resource for readers who already have a good grounding in gardening."

Log Homes Illustrated

"This superlative book delves into the design qualities grasses possess and how to use them for various effects in the garden. This book should be required reading before purchasing your next grass."

—Gary Keim, Hybrid

"Their designs are represented by beautiful photographs and clear descriptions ... If you have been afraid to try grasses in your landscape, this book will give you inspiration and direction."

Hobby Greenhouse

"Loaded with ideas on using native and exotic grasses in a mixed border."

Green Scene

"A spectacular graminoid book."


"Great photos and helpful descriptions."

—Jennifer Brennan, Weedpatch Gazette

"This book is a "must" for any serious gardenerís bookshelf."

—Max Davidson, St. John's Express

"The book is at the forefront of the new naturalistic planting trends, and with abundant colour photographs, it provides visual inspiration and new ideas."

Gardens Illustrated

About the authors

Michael King

Michael King is a garden designer, photographer, and author who runs a garden advice bureau from Amsterdam. Previously he worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as secretary to the board of trustees. In addition to designing gardens, he has written many articles on plants and planting design and is the author of five books.

Read more about Michael King

Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is among the world's most innovative garden designers and a leading exponent of naturalistic planting, a style that takes inspiration from nature but employs artistic skill in creating planting schemes. Oudolf's extensive work over 30 years of practice includes public and private gardens all over the world. He is best known for his work on the High Line and Battery Park in New York, the Lurie Garden in Chicago's Millennium Park, Potters Field in London, and his own private garden at Hummelo in the Netherlands.

Read more about Piet Oudolf

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