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The Nonstop Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide to Smart Plant Choices and Four-Season Designs

By Stephanie Cohen and Jennifer Benner

A born teacher, [Cohen] has put her considerable knowledge to work in this book for gardeners of many levels in many situations.


The Nonstop Garden gives gardeners all the information they need to create a productive, beautiful garden from the ground up. This easy-to-use guide is split into four main parts: the nuts and bolts of designing a mixed garden, the garden's main attractions (trees and shrubs), the garden's supporting cast (bulbs, annuals, edibles, and vines), and finishing touches (ornamentation, containers, and garden structures). The Nonstop Garden also includes ten fail-safe design plans that can be incorporated into any garden. Gardeners can choose from a native garden, a scented garden, a gold-colored garden, a garden for wet sites, a vibrant-colored garden, a cool-colored garden, a winter garden, a shade garden, and a design plan for the daunting area known as the hellstrip.

By following Cohen and Benner's trusted advice and building a nonstop garden, you’ll have more creative planting options, a garden that provides year-round interest, and — most importantly — a yard that requires less maintenance than a traditional perennial border. Building a better, smarter garden has never been so much fun.

Media reviews

"Any book of gardening advice written by people more accustomed to working with soil instead of ink is worth a look. ... Add in a bunch of handy planting plans and some smart maintenance advice, and you've got everything you need to create a four-season garden."

Fine Gardening

"That's smart gardening."

—Pam Penick, Digging

"This book will stir a desire to plan for year-round interest and hold your hand while you endeavor to achieve it."


"One of the leading authorities on overall gardening techniques and strategies."

—Elizabeth Licata, Buffalo Spree

"Belongs in every library."

—Jean Starr, Northwest Indiana Times

"The photos are gorgeous and creative, the designs are well-thought-out and easy to envision and understand, and Stephanie's humorous, no-nonsense approach will make you feel like a more experienced gardener has taken you by the hand and joined you in creating the garden you've always dreamed of."

—Genevieve Schmidt, North Coast Gardening

"A compact guide to seasonal plant groupings, Cohen and Benner's handbook suggests innovative changes to the humdrum yard."

—Mary Ellen Snodgrass, American Reference Books Annual

"Garden design can be intimidating, but this book is a great place to start."

Garden Gate

"If you're shooting for a landscape that's colorful, that changes with the seasons and that's reasonably low maintenance, here's your guide."

—George Weigel, People Places Plants

"Clear writing and instructive photos aimed at beginning gardeners and those baffled by seasonal plant choices and arrangements."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"A born teacher, [Cohen] has put her considerable knowledge to work in this book for gardeners of many levels in many situations."

—Kym Pokorny, Oregonian

About the authors

Stephanie Cohen

Award-winning author and horticulturist Stephanie Cohen taught herbaceous plants and perennial design at Temple University for more than twenty years. The former director of the Landscape Arboretum at Temple University, she is a contributing editor for Fine Gardening and The HGTV Newsletter.

Read more about Stephanie Cohen

Jennifer Benner

Writer, photographer, and horticulture consultant Jennifer Benner has extensive experience in garden installation and maintenance as well as in nursery production. A former editor and photographer for Fine Gardening, Jennifer has also worked as a gardener, specializing in containers and perennial gardens, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Read more about Jennifer Benner

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