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The Natural Shade Garden Hardcover – Feb 18 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (Feb. 18 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517580179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517580172
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 2.4 x 28.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #530,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Shade can be a gardener's curse or delight, depending on how it's managed. Even a heavy grove of mature trees needn't have bare ground beneath; they can be surrounded with any number of shade-loving foliage, grasses, or grasslike ground covers, including galax, dichondra, ivy, vinca, wintergreen, maidenhair fern... the list of possibilities is a long one. Druse himself gardens in the shadow of a Brooklyn brownstone, so his advice is by no means limited to gardeners with woodland acreage. This book also successfully punctures the myth that a shady flower garden must be colored in greens and subtle pastels: a parade of brilliant camellias, columbines, clematis, and primula proves that a shade gardener's crayon box is as varied as any, and the well-organized Druse sorts the herbaceous perennials by color in an addendum at the back of the book.

From Publishers Weekly

While the idea of shade gardening has cropped up from time to time in garden manuals, Druse ( The Natural Garden ) effectively defines a new American horticultural aesthetic with this enthusiastic volume. He brings clear, engaging writing and gorgeous color photographs (his own) to bear on just about every category of plant and terrain relevant to his subject, and explores the fine differences between "partial shade," "light shade," "dappled shade" and "deep shade" with an appetite that will hearten any gardener whose plot has a tree or a tall building nearby. Druse encourages American gardeners to "live with shade," cultivating native plants that are naturally adapted to shady habitats, augmented by choice species from around the world or hybrids that blend in. He begins with a general discussion of natural shade habitats and shade plant features, and goes on to cover the use of containers, water and other special elements appropriate for shade gardens. The book is especially helpful for its photo essay on exemplary American shade gardens, for its state-by-state list of gardens to visit, for its suggested reading list and for its extensive plant, seed and book source listings. The Natural Shade Garden may very well be the definitive work in the area of shade gardening, which will become increasingly important as Americans seek to grow plant species in their natural habitats even as these are transformed by development. It should be welcome to gardeners in the cities, suburbs and the country alike. Druse's own beautiful plot near downtown Brooklyn, N . Y . , is featured throughout. (Mar .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster on April 14 2001
Format: Hardcover
THE NATURAL SHADE GARDENER by Ken Druse is a beautiful book even if the photos are slightly "touched up." I have to laugh at the oxymoronic title, however. There is nothing natural about shade gardening, and this is not the WILD GARDEN William Robinson wrote about where drifts of plants are allowed to form naturally. I can tell from Druse's photos someone has been working very hard. Nature's version of vegetation in shade is quite different. Plants in nature tend to run to riot. If you don't think so, take a walk in the "real" woods. In nature, the toughest plant wins.
For example, Druse says English Ivy is a good ground cover in shade. Well, it is. English Ivy will grow in shade---and grow and grow and grow. Recently, a group of local volunteers in our area pulled English Ivy from the trees in a local nature preserve. The stuff kills. Another vine Druse recommends without a warning is Porcelain-berry which is becoming a major problem in along the east coast. Are you old enough to remember the introduction of the new wonder vine Kudzu??
On the other hand, Druse says Tradescantia, a native of Virginia brought to England where it was hybridized at Kew Gardens is a pest. Well, it is a prolific plant if you reintroduce it in a Zone 7 garden, but it can be controlled without a great deal of effort, unlike Lysimachia clethroides (White Gooseneck Loosestrife) which Druse recommends without warning that it will take over if you invite it into your garden. Allen Lacey and other garden writers have ID'd Gooseneck Loosestrife as a "thug in the garden" and I can tell you from personal experience they are absolutely correct (of course I had to find out for myself!!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Power on Feb. 6 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you have a shady garden space, this book will make you feel like the luckiest gardener in the world. Ken Druse structured the book around the organization of natural woodland plants: understory, middle layer, and overstory. (Note that this is not the right book for you if you are looking to create a formal shady garden.) The beautiful photographs, both closeup and scenic, and the detailed yet readable text make this book a success on two fronts. There is enough practical advice to take you from designing your shade garden to keeping it healthy and beautiful through the seasons and years. There is even a resource list to help with ordering your plants. Did I mention how amazing the photographs are? This is my favorite garden book so far, and I am accumulating quite a little collection.
Partial shade, dappled shade, and deep shade are all addressed with beautiful pictures of plants and gardens and with descriptive, practical text.
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Format: Hardcover
Druse's photographs alone would justify the purchase of this book. It's a feast for the eyes, and inspired me to aim for something truly artistic as I begin designing my own shade garden. For those of us who have both shade and a woodland setting, there is a useful chapter specific to woodland gardening, although it doesn't substitute for a full book on the topic. Occasionally it was difficult to determine which plant was which in a photo showing many plants, although Druse makes a huge effort to label all photos in detail. It was also a bit daunting to extract the key information from each chapter, as the text tends to present long discussions of numerous plants in succession. Taking notes is imperative. While the book is necessarily written for readers across the nation, and perhaps has a slight bias towards the northeast or wet climates, I was able to take plants I liked and cross-reference them in more detail with the Western Garden Book, thus locating more appropriate varieties for California.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the 5 best gardening books I have owned. Ken Druse is truly a great plantsman and the photography in this book is the best of any gardening books you will ever find. One of the best things about his books are the combinations of plant types displaying the creative use of form, texture and color as well as seasonal variations to develop the most attractive gardens and spaces. Utilizing cultured and natural plant selections can yield variety as well as that appearance of mother nature doing an extra special job. Don't hesitate to buy any of his books, but this is probably the best. See also Bold Romantic Gardens by Jim Van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book 1.because everything Ken Druse writes is top-notch, and 2. because my yard is -and is becoming more- shady. What a cornucopia of ideas, wisdom, helpful hints and fabulously beautiful and inspiring photos. It has become a much used reference in my library, as well as just being so delightful to look through. As a Master Gardener and garden writer in a metropolitan area I get lots of questions about what can be grown in shade and half-shade areas; this book never lets me down for ideas, and I feel comfortable recommending it to both beginner and long time gardeners. The only thing I wish it was heavier on is native plants.
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By A Customer on June 14 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is my second copy of this beautiful book. A friend "borrowed" the first one and never returned it! But I can't blame her because this book is a delight to the eye and a treasure trove of ideas for the shady yard. I must say that I do not have a green thumb, but my once lackluster yard now supports a huge assortment of hosta in every shade of green. You have to love a plant that flourishes in shade, comes up every year with very little care and doubles its size! The photos in this book are beautiful and will make you want to try and recreate the vistas. A wonderful book for the gardener or the lover of beautiful books.
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