I have long been a 'weekend' flower gardener, concentrating more on herbs and vegetables, but when Storey Publishing asked if I would like to review Nancy Ondra's new book Five-Plant Gardens: 52 Ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants , I jumped at the chance. Let's face it, flowers are so pretty, the bees love them, and this five plant idea (especially using 'plant 'em once and they keep coming back' perennials) sounded simple enough.
Planting and other information about each recommended perennial is included, as well as alternate plants to consider if you have trouble finding the suggested plants or want to substitute something else, along with a season-by-season description of what the garden should look like.
After flipping through the various plans, I decided that I would give the Think Pink plan a try. It includes a neat variety of yarrow and also coneflower, both of which I use in my chicken keeping. Yarrow and coneflower (also known as echinacea) are both excellent for chickens' (and humans) respiratory health. Plus, pink is such a pretty contrast to the vibrant green leaves and stems in a garden.
So, here's what the book has to say about the Think Pink Plan:
"A pink planting is one of the easiest themes to try, because there are so many wonderful pink-blooming perennials to choose from. Pale pinks may bleach out and appear near white in strong sun, so if you want flowers that stay distinctly pink in full sun, look for rich rosy pinks. They’ll look as good with the soft yellows, baby blues, and crisp whites of spring as they do with the rich purples and golds of summer and fall."
Here's the Shopping List for the plan - made helpful with a full color photograph of each flower.
Full color photographs of each perennial are included so you can easily visualize what your garden will look like, or quickly spot that plant in the garden center.
And finally, the plan layout and color sketch of what it should look like in its glory is included for each plan.
"Excerpted from Five-Plant Gardens (c) Nancy J. Ondra. Photography by (c) Rob Cardillo. Illustrations by Beverly Duncan. Used with permission of Storey Publishing."
I can wait to get started! I can tell this book is going to be a lot of fun. There are sun and shade plans, and so many interesting plan names, such as Stunning in Silver, Red All Over, Winter Wonderful, On the Edge, Don't Stop Here, Deer!, Cottage Charm, Elegant Edging, Perfumed Perennials....and so many more!
Nancy Ondra is a garden writer and editor - and the author or co-author of a dozen gardening books, including Foliage, The Perennial Care Manual, Tried and True Perennials, Grasses and more. You can find her blogging at www.hayefield.com.
Leave a comment below telling me why you would like to win a copy of her new book. One winner will be chosen at random on Saturday, April 12th. US addresses only please. Or, if you don't feel lucky you can purchase a copy HERE.
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