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The Complete Shade Gardener

Selected as one of the "great gardening books" of the century, George Schenk's book is simply the best on this popular gardening subject.

Paperback: 311 pages

Publisher: Mariner Books (March 18, 1991)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0395574269

ISBN-13: 978-0395574263

Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.8 x 0.8 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #2,304,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #82 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Shade

This book is the bible of shade gardening. (I bought apaper-back version in 1985 ........, and have used ever since.) A big Walnut Tree shades my back yard and I alternately curse and bless it. I want a cool patio on a hot summer afternoon, but the Walnut tree makes gardening a challenge. Using Schenk's book, I have learned how to grow pleasing and pretty plants in the dry shade under it.Probably the best part of Schenk's book is his discussion of trees and shrubs. Many gardeners, even experienced ones, pay the least amount of attention to the trees affecting the ground they are trying to cultivate. Trees do matter. Some trees create more problems than others. Most of us discover too late that Maple trees are not the gardeners' best friend. (Those cute little maple trees from the Japanese hybridists are a possible exception.) Mr. Schenk shares many good thoughts on making a beautiful, not just passable garden under your shade tree(s).

This is an excellent resource for any gardener. Well written, practical advice on all aspects of shade gardening, planning, planting & care. It includes lists of plants & their descriptions, uses, & requirements, subdivided between trees,shrubs,perennials & annuals. Also good examples of shady gardens & imaginative ideas.

George Schenk writes with humor, knowledge, and a refreshing restraint about the rich world of the shady garden...his interest in species and unusual plants shines but does not eclipse his regard for shade staples like vinca. Schenk provides vital information on soil, pruning, and planning, as well as the several varieties of shade. Discussion of plants is divided into chapters (trees, shrubs, groundcovers) and organized alphabetically by botanical name (the index provides common names). A must for any serious gardener--the book I inevitably turn to when confronting shade troubles.

The Complete Shade Gardener by landscape and garden designer George Schenk is an exceptional, well-written and organized guide to shade-gardening for atmosphere, beauty, and personal satisfaction. Black-and-white photographs with an inset selection of color plates illustrate the advice and commentary provided. Also included is a horticultural wealth of background information on a long list of recommended plants to cultivate, how-to instructions for their incorporation into a garden, and a great deal more. The Complete Shade Gardener is an excellent gardening resource and a welcome, practical, highly recommended addition to personal and professional gardening reference collections.

If you a looking for a pretty picture book - this is not it. It does have a nice color picture section in the middle however.If you are looking for an indispensable reference to shade gardening - this is your book! It has detailed information on growing the plants, neatly arranged in sections according to type of plant. Highly recommended for the shade gardener.

I purchased this book because most of my property is covered with mature trees, and I had a very hard time getting anything to grow. While building a patio/garden, this book proved invaluable many times. I bought it several years ago and still use it every Spring!

The author spends the first part of the book discussing what to do to prepare a shady site for a garden and his informal tone and candid assessment of his own mistakes will encourage the most timid to venture into the darker regions of the garden. There are 8 pages of full color and scattered black and white photos throughout the book, so for those unfamiliar with the mentioned plants, another photo-heavy reference or two is a must. The black and white photos, however, are very useful to indicate foliage texture and form, which is often not noticeable in color pictures. Rather than using USDA hardiness zones, Schenk gives region codes to indicate the hardiness of plants. He includes trees, shrubs, groundcovers, vines, ferns, perennials, annuals, even edibles. The book was last updated in 1991 and the list of hybrids grows ever longer; still, this is a handy reference to consult before a nursery trip to see the latest and greatest. A helpful list of specialty nurseries, with notes on the specialty of each, is included, as are suggested plans for a shady retreat. A terrific book.

Thinking I needed full sun to grow any plants and flowers, I was prepared to cut down trees and clear land. But finding this book in the library stopped me in my tracks. I renewed it three times because I didn't want to give it back. Finally I came here for my own copy. There are incredibly beautiful flowers that grow in partial and full shade. I would've never known that without this excellent book.

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