This book is the bible of shade gardening. (I bought apaper-back version in 1985 ........, and have used ever since.) A big Walnut Tree shades my back yard and I alternately curse and bless it. I want a cool patio on a hot summer afternoon, but the Walnut tree makes gardening a challenge. Using Schenk's book, I have learned how to grow pleasing and pretty plants in the dry shade under it. Probably the best part of Schenk's book is his discussion of trees and shrubs. Many gardeners, even experienced ones, pay the least amount of attention to the trees affecting the ground they are trying to cultivate. Trees do matter. Some trees create more problems than others. Most of us discover too late that Maple trees are not the gardeners' best friend. (Those cute little maple trees from the Japanese hybridists are a possible exception.) Mr. Schenk shares many good thoughts on making a beautiful, not just passable garden under your shade tree(s).
This is an excellent resource for any gardener. Well written, practical advice on all aspects of shade gardening, planning, planting & care. It includes lists of plants & their descriptions, uses, & requirements, subdivided between trees,shrubs,perennials & annuals. Also good examples of shady gardens & imaginative ideas.