Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Timber Press (March 11, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.6 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #57,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #4 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Perennials #31 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Landscape #48 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Design
First of all, I want to apologize for the fact that never in a hundred years I can write a book review as grand as Jake Hobson’s. Or the one by Anne Wareham, Thomas Rainer, Noel Kingsbury and practically any other person with native English and better understanding of the subject. So, I’m absolutely aware, that the new book “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” by Roy Diblik deserves better. Better English, deeper insights and louder cheer than mine. I assume these all will follow, and many well-deserved reviews will be written, by critics and by readers, because it cannot be any other way.The book’s too good to be unnoticed.It’s in many ways a mind-changing book. I’ve just finished reading, the book is still on my desk, its pages covered with my notes and some are even dog-eared. This dog-earing thing I haven’t done since high school, which probably means something. Being deeply touched? Provoked? Excited? Inspired? Well, all of the above.What I’m about to share with you is my personal impression, as a reader and as a gardener.Well, every time when I’m about to read a garden-related book I wonder if it might be one of those: yet another gardening guide (read: nothing new), a dreamy literary essay with barefoot wandering in the dew (too personal), a piece of landscape theory written in physician tongues (too far from real dirt), or a gizmo, selling one-size-fits-all ready-made solutions (naaah, baby-food).That’s why I’m thrilled every time I come across a book, which has all the goodness of the above genres without becoming any of them. A new kind. I'd call it - the next generation of gardening books.Just what “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” is.First of all, it’s all about - new.
The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden is a very well presented book packed full of everything you need to create a beautiful and thriving perennial garden. From specific plants, their care, garden plans, and site preparation and planning, all topics a novice gardener needs are discussed in detail.The book is broken down into the following chapters: Understanding your garden, understanding plants, site preparation and planting, care and maintenance, key plants for know maintenance gardens, garden plans, creating plant communities, and examples of gardens from professionals.The book is pleasantly image heavy, showing good and poor gardens as well as all the plants mentioned. Preparation and understanding local soils is given due discussion, whether a new house lot, established older garden, or even smaller commercial gardens as for a church or office building. Especially interesting are the most common weeds and how to take care of them (though I wish the author had included photos of the weeds as well).A large chunk of the book is dedicated to plans and detailed descriptions/care of perennials. Included are many examples of different gardens, first for full sun and then for shadey areas. Several are based on famous paintings or works of art. Following the plans is a chapter on gardens and creating synergy among the perennials chosen.The last portion of the book is the weakest, in my opinion. It is a section devoted to colleagues of the author and their gardens. It is meant to be inspirational but there's a LOT of text on the person and the 1-2 images of the gardens are almost an afterthought.
The Know Maintenance Perennial GardenRoy Diblik, of 30 years experience as a plantsman and garden designer, in "The Know Maintenance Garden" has given us an excellent guide to "meadow" or the more modern term "natural" gardening.Roy starts by stating the philosophy of his gardening approach, illustrating his approach with good and bad examples. Roy does not like the "old" style garden of each plant as an individual set in a sea of wood chips. He would rather see a prairie like sea of color and texture spreading across the landscape.He moves into choosing a site with suggestions for pre-established lawns, to newly built construction site, to old gardens. Then he tells us how to start, how to prepare the soil, how to choose plants and how to plant the plants.He includes an excellent list of 74 hardy, common, standard stock perennials that he has used in his native Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa area, meaning zones 3 - 5 in the upper Midwest. This puts him on the west side of Lake Michigan, a major divide for plant ranges. His descriptions, planting instructions, care and maintenance suggestions, and comments on the plants are right on, easy to follow, and very helpful. The images are well done and illustrative. Roy does not talk much about the trees and shrubs that could form structure and boarder for these gardens.Then Roy lays out 62 garden plans for 10 x 14 foot spaces. He does say these spaces could be combined or divided up as fits different garden sizes. There are shade plans and sun plans. These plans are well done and easily followed. They also lend themselves to dividing and combining. I would have liked to see more pictures of the gardens following the plans.
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