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Perennial Companions: 100 Dazzling Plant Combinations for Every Season

By Tom Fischer

Photographs by Richard Bloom and Adrian Bloom

Fischer gives as much attention to texture as he does to color, and the results look doable as well as desirable.

Seattle Times

Every gardener wants to create breathtaking designs with color, form, and texture. But perennial combinations present challenges: How do I know all plants will bloom at the same time? How do I pick plants that have interest in each season? Most perplexing — which plants look good together in the first place?

Perennial Companions takes away the guesswork by providing Tom Fischer's 100 proven picks. New gardeners will learn how to create simple pairings with two plants and gardeners with a bit more experience — or beginners looking for a challenge — will find complex arrangements with four or more plants. Arranged chronologically by season, spanning the earliest spring to the onset of winter, each entry identifies all the main plants by both common and botanical names, specifies the care and conditions each requires, and indicates when the combination reaches its peak of beauty. Love flowers? You'll find both quiet compositions and bold blends. Prefer the texture of leaves? You'll find ferns and soft sweeping grasses. Better yet? Combine both for sophisticated tapestries that beguile and dazzle the eye. Whether you want to create a small-scale sanctuary, a welcoming path, or a bewitching border, you'll find an abundance of inspiration in this perfect package.

Media reviews

"Frees the imagination to pursue a garden for all seasons."

—Peggy Mackenzie, Toronto Star

"The author has chosen beautiful and original color and plant combinations. ... The arrangement by season will ensure that users can have a lovely garden year round."

American Reference Books Annual

"Takes away the guesswork of gardening."

Houston Lifestyles and Homes

"[Fischer is] affable and quick-witted as any dude I'd ever want to know."

—Douglas Lord, Library Journal

"Other books have presented companion-plant suggestions, but Fischer's seasonal approach is particularly handy — added insurance that a carefully composed arrangement of plants will actually bloom at the same time."

—Peter F. Sleight, Hartford Courant

"If good garden design starts with choosing the right plant, then Tom Fischer, editor-in-chief of Timber Press, shows how."

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

"Fischer gives as much attention to texture as he does to color, and the results look doable as well as desirable."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"Much more than eye candy. … [It] is compelling — one beautiful combination after another."

—Madeline Caliendo, Washington Gardener

"Whether you want to create a small-scale sanctuary, a welcoming path, or a pretty border, you can find ideas in this handy guide."

Michigan Gardener

"Simplifies garden design by suggesting plants that not only complement one another in color, form and texture, but also bloom at the same time and have like requirements for sun and moisture."

—Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron Beacon Journal

"This little gem ... takes a new approach to guiding gardeners toward success."

—Molly Day, Muskogee Phoenix Online

About the author

Tom Fischer

Before moving to Portland, Oregon in 2004, Tom was the editor of Horticulture magazine in Boston, Massachusetts. His experiences as a bi-coastal gardener and his inexhaustible curiosity about plants have shaped his new garden, which in 2008 was profiled in The Oregonian. A prolific writer as well as an editor, his articles have been featured in magazines such as Garden Design, Gardens Illustrated, and Martha Stewart Living.

Read more about Tom Fischer

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