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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.
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.
I'm not as big on this book as the other reviewers. The photography is beautiful, and I certainly appreciate Druse's gardening philosophy. Read morePublished on April 5 2001
This is my second copy of this beautiful book. A friend "borrowed" the first one and never returned it! Read morePublished on June 14 2000
What a beautiful book jammed with pictures that actually make you long for more shady areas. I'm re-doing my whole back yard by replacing the unnatural grass (that doesn't grow... Read morePublished on June 8 2000 by Bryan V
There are two reasons to buy this book:
First, it's a great guide, reference and philoshophical perspective on how to garden successfully in the shade. Read more
For those of us challenged with gardening in the shade, Ken Druse gives not only detailed information on how to make your garden flourish, but also offers wonderful pictures of... Read morePublished on Feb. 2 1999
Extremely thorough in its content, it is intelligent and offers a generous number of spectacular photographs. Read morePublished on June 22 1998