Book Recommendations – Plant Combinations

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So I am officially in The Netherlands now, so this post is launching via some help back at home. I have a deep weak spot for design books. In my suitcase I am bringing an extra bag just for flying home all the garden design books I plan to buy throughout my trip. Here are two book recommendations for those who are also looking for some good plant selection books to add to their library.


Designer Plant Combinations, by Scott Calhoun 

This book includes 105 combinations using 6 plants or fewer. The book is grouped by perennials, annuals, groundcovers, etc so you can look within the type of combination you would like. It also has photos of the combo in landscape, plus the individual plants. The photos of the combo in landscape/planted are nice if you are not 100% familiar with the specific plant so you can see how the plants relate with scale and texture. This is a book I have stored next to my desk for quick reference when I need some inspiration for mixing etc. From Amazon here.


Natural Companions, Ken Druse

This book was released in March 2012, and I came across while browsing my local Barnes & Noble so I am behind on the ranting and raving. What first struck me about this book was the use of photography to show the plant combinations; Individual plants photographed on a black background in a very artistic and striking view. The book is grouped around seasons/zones and the combos highlight plants that bloom at the same time. In my review the majority of the combos include photos also in a landscape setting. I did not purchase this book, it is next on the list of purchases (need to wait until after my book buying on this trip). If anyone has additional inputs on this book I would love to hear, but from the photos alone (by Ellen Hoverkamp) should make this a must buy. From Amazon here.

I should have two more posts scheduled for while I am gone, then I will be bombarding you with photos from my trip.

Private Gardens of Connecticut – details

Book Recommendation

Here are some detail images from Private Gardens of Connecticut by Jane Garmey and all photographs by John M. Hall.

Stone fountain covered in algae. The delicate plant is papyrus.
Boxwoods in urns flank an opening in the hedge. 
Clipped Hornbeam within a boxwood parterre.
A natural waterfall with ferns, evergreens and moss.
Large azalea (purple) with Peonies and a stone wall in the foreground.
Boxwoods in turf used as sculpture. 
Mixture of Hostas with Hakonechloa. 

Garden Library – Two Recommendations

Book Recommendation

This weekend I picked up two new books for my design library, Gardens of the Hudson Valley and Private Gardens of Connecticut. I recommend both books for your own library.

Both books reflect gardens on a grand scale, but feature elements that can be applied to any size garden. Showcasing interesting mixing of plants, hardscapes and structures, the books include wide landscape views as well as detailed views of unique areas. As implied by the titles, the gardens reflect formal, traditional designs often seen on the east coast, but include some modern, woodland and prairie designs also. Over the next few days I will provide details on some of my favorite gardens featured in each book since neither book provide detailed plant identification for novice gardeners.

Purchase via Amazon:
Gardens of the Hudson Valley
Private Gardens of Connecticut