Cultivating and appreciating native flora is a first step towards ecological gardening, a concept whose time has come. By choosing to grow the plants that thrive naturally in the conditions your garden offers, you are working with rather than against nature, resulting in easier maintenance and a reduced need of water and chemicals. A great many of the very loveliest flowers are available as natives, such as columbines, iris, trout lilies, violets, trillium, and even orchids. The delicacy of the native species, their simple forms and unadorned beauty, make many of the cultivars we see in the nursery appear overdone and blowzy, like a girl who has overdressed for a party. Horticulturists have worked for years to make new colors, double forms, and larger, brighter flowers, but these small natives have all the appeal of the original, plus they naturally thrive in appropriate conditions.
More than a thousand species of flowers are discussed and pictured, with thorough information on native habitat, cultural requirements, propagation, and design considerations. At the back of the book are lists of plants ideal for specific situations and with certain characteristics; look here to find what species have large leaves or attract butterflies, as well as which do best in dry shade, rocky areas, bogs, and, perhaps most useful of all, which wildflowers are deer-resistant. --Valerie Easton
I was under the impression that this book would provide the information I needed to cultivate these plants on some scale. I was very disappointed. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2003 by J Davis
This is the best reference I've found for native plants, and it's a worthy book for a coffee table. Accessible and extensive, it's pleasantly written, with care information about... Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2002 by secondadd