am 7. April 2005
This book has had the odd effect on me of making me long for more shade in my garden. All I have are 20 meters of a north-facing border - and that is certainly not enough to accomodate all the plants Beth Chatto so seductively and persuasively describes.
The book is arranged as a year-round companion to the shady parts of her gardens, so we get to follow her delight at the different seasonal effects. I found this very helpful indeed, as she makes it easy for the reader to envisage what plants will go together at which time of the year and how they will make place for others eventually.
The glossary of shade-loving plants at the back of the book is also very helpful and gives a lot of useful information.
The only disadvantage of this book that I can think of is that it has cost me very dear indeed. All those fancy epimediums and actaeas don't come cheap.