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Managing the Wet Garden: Plants That Flourish in Problem Places

By John Simmons

Brings us vivid insight into the creation and management of the wet garden.

BBC Gardens

Water is usually a gardener's friend, bringing lush plant growth and the sensory delights of fountains, streams, and ponds. But even gardeners can have too much of a good thing, and excess water can be hostile to plant life. Fortunately, John Simmons comes to the rescue with the definitive guide to managing a variety of wet garden sites. Managing the Wet Garden dares gardeners to consider excess water an opportunity to cultivate an unexpectedly large and unique range of plants. Natural wetlands — water meadows, marshlands, and riverbanks — provide inspiration for practical water management, plant selection, and aesthetic considerations. In Part One Simmons provides readers with practical tips on how to recognize and manage a wet site. Part Two includes a detailed directory of water tolerant plants, including ferns, conifers, trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous plants, and bulbs. Twenty years in preparation, Managing the Wet Garden will inspire readers to not only accept the challenge of too much water, but to appreciate the ample rewards.

Media reviews

"Though Simmons is writing about his experience with wet gardening in England, his information and advice are applicable to those wishing to establish, maintain, and enjoy wet gardens anywhere."

—R. L. Krajewski, Choice

"Brings us vivid insight into the creation and management of the wet garden. He shares his expertise as he guides the reader confidently through what is a difficult environment in which to garden."

—Mat Reese, BBC Gardens

About the author

John Simmons

John Simmons has had a long professional career in botanical horticulture. From 1972 until his retirement in 1995 he was curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, after which he directed the development of the arboretum at Castle Howard in Yorkshire. His book stems from his experiences of developing his own private garden.

Read more about John Simmons

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