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Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants That Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Februar 2014

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A delightful new book filled with gardening tips and inspiring color photos of plants and gardens. "

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Kristin Green is a qualified horticulturalist. She is a garden blogger and writer for specialist gardening magazines.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 14 Rezensionen
35 von 39 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A useful book that will be unfairly condemned by the hysterical 12. Februar 2014
Von Beth in Iowa - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Due to the possible controversy over this book, I'm writing a more careful and longer review than usual.

"Plantiful" is a book that, despite its usefulness, I'm a bit surprised ever got published due to the possible controversy over plants that spread, which some people confuse with genuinely invasive plants. The author's strategy is to make gardening easier, cheaper and more serendipitous by growing plants that are bountiful and exuberant: plants that self-seed and spread generously. In this way, gardeners can save money by buying fewer plants and have a garden that fills in quickly.

Does that mean the author (who is a full-time professional gardener for a 33-acre Rhode Island public garden - not just her 0.17-acre yard) is telling unknowing new gardeners to plant INVASIVE species? Absolutely not; in fact she spends a section of the book addressing that question:

Not all aggressive or weedy plants are invasive and not all invasive plants are invasive everywhere. The term "invasive" should be used only for introduced species that have escaped cultivation, colonized vulnerable ecosystems or outcompeted native species; it does NOT apply to plants that can be controlled within a tended garden. She advises that gardeners should consult state invasive species lists and local master gardeners, and lists any states in which the plants on her lists are actually considered to be invasive.

Green's lists include:
50 self-seeding annuals and perennials, with information on seed saving and propagation.
50 spreading perennials and shrubs, with info about dividing and propagating them.
50 tender perennials that can be overwintered in cold frames, basements and indoors.

The first section doesn't seem controversial to me; most gardeners value the way annuals and perennials can seed themselves into interesting spots, and our gardens are the more beautiful for it. Her list includes such cottage garden stalwarts as chives, milkweed, cleome, larkspur, foxgloves, columbines, California poppies, hellbores, bronze fennel, lupines, forget-me-nots, nigella, nicotiana, feverfew, mullein, and verbena bonariensis. Most gardeners love these flowers and wouldn't want to garden without them.

The second section of spreading perennials is probably what will leave some gardeners (such as the first reviewer of this book) gasping for breath in horror. I myself have never had problems with many of the plants on this list: Yarrow, Japanese anemones, mums, cranesbill geranium, lysimachia, lamium, monarda and phlox (both tall garden and creeping). However, there are undoubtedly some species on the list that have caused gardeners grief: plume poppy, lily turf, Mexican evening primrose and even spearmint.

Some gardeners may worry that new gardeners may unknowingly plant some of these species and regret the amount of time and physical labor to eradicate them, and there is some truth to this. However, Green is absolutely right that beautiful and enjoyable gardens are filled with plants that flourish and look exuberant. Should we avoid those plants and grow only species that don't spread or seed?

It seems to me that there is a continuum of species which is different for each location, ranging from 1) species that are unsuited to our climate, soil and location and which require heroic intervention simply to survive; through 2) well-behaved species that grow well but hardly increase or seed (which, if a gardener wants a carefully-controlled garden as a work of art, she should limit herself to growing); through 3) Self-seeders and exuberant spreaders that pop up in unexpected places which many gardeners will want to include, even though there is some work in keeping them from spreading "too much" (in that gardener's definition) - what "Plantiful" is about; through 4) Truly invasive species that damage natural areas or farms/other people's gardens, which should be avoided and destroyed when possible.

It's too bad that some gardeners will condemn this book outright because of their certainty about which plants are suitable for every gardener's location and temperament. There's a place for a book about knowledgeably growing self-seeders and spreaders -- the author is right that gardeners can make delightful, cost-effective gardens by including these exuberant plants.

The third section of the book covers overwintering tender perennials, which seems somewhat unrelated to the first two sections. Her reasoning is that overwintering allows gardeners to save money by not re-purchasing frost-tender plants each year, but overwintering seems to involve so much extra work to make them survive, and is unrelated to plants that grow (perhaps too) well outside.

The photos in the book are not particularly glorious, with only a few showing the larger design of gardens and most of them just closeups of listed flowers, but they suffice for the task. Her writing is certainly both knowledgeable and enthusiastic and does inspire me to try some of her ideas, while providing advice about how to go about doing it. Altogether a useful book, although one that is doomed to be condemned by gardeners suffering from invasive species hysteria. (Over-reacting by condemning every plant that spreads does a grave disservice to the important issue of real invasive species.)

(For a more detailed review, including photos, please visit my garden blog: gardenfancy.blogspot)
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Plantiful 23. Februar 2014
Von Stephanie - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
A gardening book for gardening the way I like it, letting the plants do the work for you. I appreciate this book and all of it's tips since I have a garden just like this. Plantiful shows you a way to flower garden in a way that will "let self-sowers, also known as volunteers, work for you..." just plant and let grow!

You can tell author Kristen Green is passionate about sharing her knowledge as she states "I would share every plant in my garden with you if I could. Instead, I wrote this." In her books she gives you a run down of basic plant biology that every gardener should know and then begins to share the advantages of self-sowers, plants that plant themselves.

In Plantiful you will find three helpful lists of 150 self-sowing plants characterized by 'Faithful Volunteers,' 'Thrilling Fillers' and 'Come Back Keepers.' The list includes a picture of the plant, what zones they like to grow in, when they like to grow, what they look like, what they attract and care instructions. Also included is the very important information on where these plants are considered invasive. You should double check all of the plants you choose to make sure they will not be invasive in your area since some of these suggestions could be misleading.

The section on frost-tender plants that are mostly exotic and will need to be overwintered inside are not my cup of tea, but other gardeners might want to try it.

Helpful instructions on propagating (which will need to be done eventually in any garden) are also included along with handy pictorials.

A great book for any gardener or someone looking into low maintenance gardening.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
It's about balance and wise choices 1. März 2014
Von paula carmichael - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Really nice, practical book for those of us who do not have endless time or money for dealing with our property. She has lots of practical tips, and it is written in a sunny, upbeat style that makes them sound accessible and doable.

Regarding the criticisms, I think that if you read the book she addresses those with sections on how to wisely use plants that spread quickly by choosing the right spots, and planning ways of containment. These are not plants to put in willy-nilly, thinking you're going to be able to pull them out in a couple years if you don't like them. In the right spots, they can be a wonder of Color, places of refuge for wildlife, and beat the heck out of planting grass.

We've never thought of overwintering, I am intrigued and emboldened to consider it after reading her book.

This is not plant porn. The pictures are pleasant if not luscious, giving more of a realistic depiction of what the plants would look like in a real yard.

I can't wait to start to use some of her ideas in our yard.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fun to read, inspiring 5. März 2014
Von Hilly van Loon - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I love Plantiful for Kristin Green's approach to gardening, her witty and comfy writing style, all her suggestions for saving money, saving seeds, encouraging gardeners toward "rowdy creativity" and "uncontrived informality." She has opened my eyes to new possibilities, new ways of combining plants to complement each other (love the idea of sweet woodruff under my blueberry bushes, against a big rock), and "building a collection" of plants. I have been gardening on a shoestring for over 40 years and have leaned on "opportunistic" plants to feature nooks and crannies of the yard and as staples in my perennial beds, so I am very happy to know about new possibilities. I cozied up to this book the day I got it for my birthday and read it almost cover to cover. It will be the book I turn to when spring finally emerges and I can begin to dig in the garden. Hilly van Loon, Vermont
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wonderful book for the limited experienced gardener 17. März 2014
Von Karen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
With spring just around the corner I thought this book might help me move my gardening skills to the next level. Although I haven’t been able to get out and dig in the soil due to this very long winter, I am starting the planning process with Plantiful as my guide. I had hoped to design a very natural feel to my garden beds this season but had no idea where to start. This book has put me on the right path. It’s well thought out and beautifully written with easy to follow instructions and gorgeous photos. I hope Kristen’s “Green” thumb will rub off a little on me just a little!
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