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BOOK REVEIW

THE WELL-TENDED PERENNIAL GARDEN, Planting & Pruning Techniques

Article and photos, Anne K Moore

Posted November 26, 2009

Ryan's Pink Chrysanthemums. Photo by Anne K Moore.Many gardeners and wannabe gardeners look at an overgrown perennial bed and shudder.  It is easy to lose track of plants in the border.  Where are those liatris I planted next to the Ryan's Pink chrysanthemum?  A quick inspection finds them underneath the flopping mums.

Now, if I listened to Tracy DiSabato-Aust, I would have cut those mums back several times during their growing season and would have staked them so that they didn't shade out their neighbors.

THE WELL-TENDED PERENNIAL GARDEN, Planting & Pruning Techniques, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust, is a treasure of a book for both novices and know-it-alls.  In it, the author begins, as all good gardeners do, with the soil.  She then explains the way to figure out the spaces for the flowers according to their eventual grown-up size.

Many gardens that look good in June melt in the heat of August and are full of sticks and straw in the fall.  If you are not sure just how much good staking and pruning perennials can do for the look of a garden, just take a gander at the seasonal photos of the author's garden.  Follow her tips and techniques to a beautiful garden worthy of any tour or party.

Cover photo of "The Well-Tended Perennial Garden" by Tracy DiSabato Aust.  Photo by Anne K Moore.More than 130,000 copies of this book have been sold.  A new addition is now available.  It is still the perennial gardener's bible.  Now, it has journal pages, too, so you can record your successes.  (Failures go on the compost heap.  No one needs to know.)

Gardeners get muscles from many activities.  Add lugging The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by DiSabato-Aust into the garden along with your pruners.  She is a garden designer, writer, and speaker who knows how to squeeze everything into a tidy border.  A little reading this winter will open your eyes and your garden next year.  Find this book at amazon.com.

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