Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Books Speak Volumes on Gardening

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Books Speak Volumes on Gardening

Article excerpt

"The only book about flower gardening you'll ever need."

This sweeping claim is made on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens' "Complete Guide to Flower Gardening" (408 pages, $29.95). Because this thick volume is colorfully illustrated with information on planning, planting and the individual needs of most garden flowers, the claim may not be an exaggeration.

But need and want are two different things. Those of us with a passion for gardening and a desire to read about our passion certainly will want more than one of this year's crop of new garden books and will put them on our Christmas wish list. Ann Foy, who annually stacks all of the new editions on a long table at the Webster Groves Bookshop, pointed out her favorite this year. It's Readers Digest's "The Gardening Book of Color," written and illustrated by Andrew Larson (190 pages, $32.95). Beautiful color pictures of individual plants and color harmonies bring on "oohs" and "ahs," whether you have a corner garden or abundant acres. The blue-mauve violets with pink got to me; I'm in my Monet period. As you may have noted, magazines are book publishers now. Country Living's offering is "Seasons at Seven Gates Farm," photos by Keith Scott Morton, text by Mary Seehefer Sears and foreword by Rachel Newman (Hearst Books, 224 pages, $30). Inspired by the home of James Cramer and Dean Johnson - artists, craftsmen and gardeners - it has decorating ideas for holiday seasons. "It's never been easier to create a perennial paradise in your yard, no matter where you live," is the claim of "Gardening with Perennials," edited by Fern Marshall Bradley (Rodale, 312 pages, $27.95). Perennial gardening has been on the increase in recent years. "Perennials for the Midwest" by Ezra Haggard (Indiana University Press, 206 pages, $19.95) says that, "Perennials, besides adding beauty to the home, increase its value." One of its pictures prompted me to combine my ubiquitous eupatorium (perennial ageratum) with Russian sage for effect. The showiest books are those lavishly illustrated, but there are others intended just for reading such as "The 3,000 Mile Garden," the correspondence between Leslie Land and Roger Phillips (Viking, 330 pages, $24. …

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