In response to our call for gardening book reviews in the OGV newsletter, our supporter Victoria Sheehy shares her review of two very useful books by Andy McIndoe.
Victoria came across the first at her local library and had to buy them both they were so helpful!
From Victoria Sheehy...
I stumbled across one of these books at my local library and had to buy it and the other by the same author as they are so informative. They are both by Andy McIndoe.
The Creative Shrub Garden: Eye-Catching Combinations for Year-Round Interest
Image of The Creative Shrub Garden: Eye-Catching Combinations for Year-Round Interest by Andy McIndoe and courtesy Amazon.com
Shrubs: Discover the Perfect Plant for Every Place in Your Garden
Image of Shrubs: Discover the Perfect Plant for Every Place in Your Garden by Andy McIndoe and courtesy Amazon.com
I have many books on perennials and trees but was yet to discover a great shrub book. I am currently designing a rose border and I needed to fill the gap between the trees and the roses.
Both books have many colour pictures. The only downside is they use the US and UK hardiness ratings but this doesn't worry me as it gives an excuse to continue my research which I enjoy immensely especially in these winter Covid times.
'Shrubs' has many suggestions for every situation such as hot and dry conditions/wet or acid soil etc. It also assists with design by suggesting shrubs for restricted planting spaces and there is a chapter on shrubs with desirable characteristics.
I found the 'Creative shrub garden' invaluable! I am only an amateur gardener and had trouble with some colour combinations. My previous garden was lacking the wow factor. There were lots of purple, pink and blue with highlights of orange but I had never known what to do with variegated or lime coloured plants for example.
Amongst others this book has two great chapters. One on mood gardens which are colour schemes and planting suggestions for your mood. I am now replicating this in my new garden. In my design I also replaced some plants with Australian natives. This is easy to do as Andy describes the plants used so I can find similar features in natives to get the same look.
A lot of reference books do not go into colour combinations which is why I find this book so useful. I was inspired by the colour at Broughton Hall, especially the orange and blue garden. My other favourite chapter is on styles. It has suggestions for different types of gardens such as country/mediterranean/urban etc.
My 20 Treloar roses are arriving soon so I better get back to my mulching and soil preparation!
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