Friday, September 20, 2013
September Book Review: Planting Companions
I always enjoy browsing through the bargain books section of book stores. And that is where I found Planting Companions: Winning Plant Combinations for Every Garden©1997 by Jill Billington with photography by Clive Nichols. The book has proven to be a good value, because over the years I've used it, not only for garden inspiration but occasionally I simply enjoy looking at the pretty pictures. Sometimes gardeners just need a little eye candy!
Even though Winning Plant Combinations is filled with beautiful photos, it also contains some practical advice for designing a garden.
In the first section of the book the author discusses design principles using easy to understand examples. There are photos of formal, romantic, natural, late 20th century, and modern gardens to illustrate the various types of garden styles.
The author explains how to best use form and shape, texture and pattern, and color with plant combinations to achieve visual harmony in the garden. I especially liked the section on color. There were numerous photos of garden beds using single colors and colors in mixed borders, as well as suggestions for designing a white garden bed, which has long been on my to do list.
The next section of the book discusses "Natural Compatibility." Planting the right plant in the right place. Plant combinations for Mediterranean, temperate, woodland, and wildflower gardens are illustrated, using a wide variety of interesting plants.
While reading through the book again, I noticed a photo of 'Love in a Mist' (Nigella damascena) paired with 'Lamb's Ear' (Stachys byzantina). They actually make an interesting combination, which I intend to try next year in the spring garden. I like a book that still provides inspiration after all these years!
For more garden inspiration and to see what other gardeners are reading, visit the monthly book reviews kindly hosted by Holley from Roses and Other Gardening Joys.