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Seedheads in the Garden

By Noel Kingsbury

Photographs by Jo Whitworth

The photos alone will make any keen gardener salivate.

USA Weekend

Seedheads bring impact to late summer borders and linger to provide interest well into autumn and winter. They look dramatic set against a backdrop of fading flowers, associate well with grasses and native plants, and are key components of the naturalistic garden in which every phase of a plant is enjoyed from first shoot to final decay. After providing historical context, Noël Kingsbury explains how plants reproduce and participate in the garden's wider ecology, and explores seedheads' role in diverse gardens worldwide. At the heart of the book is a plant directory in which Kingsbury's hand-picked selection describes the particular characteristics of each plant's seedheads and grades them according to their value and persistence. Jo Whitworth's compelling photographs capture the individual character of each seedhead and open our eyes to the intricate shapes, tempting textures and dense monochromes of seedheads.

Media reviews

"The photos alone will make any keen gardener salivate."

—Fran Sorin, USA Weekend

"Seedheads in the Garden isn't simply 'garden porn,' as we say in the trade. ... This pleasurable hardback ... actually [has] something to say."

—Ketzel Levine, NPR.org

"This beautifully photographed book showcases the unusual textures and striking silhouettes of plants past their prime. ... If you aren't interested in the botany of seedheads, you'll find plenty of design ideas to keep you reading."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"Garden books are often beautiful; they are often educational or useful. Less often they are all three. Kingsbury delivers the dramatic impact of nature's fantastic wombs."

—John Bagnasco, Garden Compass

"A perfect book to settle down in front of the fire with. Reading it will enlighten you. ... [It] will teach you to appreciate seedheads and how to plant with winter in mind so you can improve your winter setting."

—Linda Cobb, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

"Noël Kingsbury and photographer Jo Whitworth capture the shapes, textures and, yes, drama of plants gone to seed. ... But just as important as the appreciation lesson is the book's plant directory, the only directory of plants chosen for their spectacular seedheads."

—Sharon Wootton, Olympia Olympian

"Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, Kingsbury's richly descriptive writing draws readers into a fascinating botanical realm. ... With tips on cultivation and a comprehensive plant directory, Kingsbury's latest should prove exciting for gardeners open to new ideas."

—Alice Joyce, Booklist

"Any lover of nature who has been teased about letting the garden 'go to seed' will welcome this beautiful book. It's perfect to display proudly on the coffee table to silence any critics who fail to see the beauty in an unmown patch of grass or a flower border that has not been deadheaded."

—Marianne Binetti, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Clear prose and the sort of photographs that look like paintings convey the beauty and interest that seedheads offer through the cold months long after the plants have flowered."

—Irene Virag, Newsday

"I'd be very much surprised if, after a few hours with Seedheads in the Garden, the garden neatniks out there don't think twice before chopping everything down to the ground in the fall. I don't think you can come away from this book without wanting to enjoy the beauties described and pictured here."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

"Gorgeous photographs ... throughout the book offer a great way to visually understand what the author is describing."

—Micki Brown, Victorville Daily Press

"A very useful compendium for anyone interested in year-round gardening with a different kind of impact."

—Jane Berger, Garden Design Online

About the author

Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury is a well-known designer, commentator, and writer on plants, gardens, landscape, and the environment. A a passionate advocate for sustainable plant combinations, he trials plants and gardens at his home on the border between England and Wales and travels widely.

Read more about Noel Kingsbury

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