Managing the Wet Garden: Plants that Flourish in Problem Places
Water is usually a gardener's friend, bringing lush plant growth and the sensory delights of fountains, streams, and ponds. But even gardeners can have too much of a good thing, and excess water can be hostile to plant life. Fortunately, John Simmons comes to the rescue with the definitive guide to managing a variety of wet garden sites. Managing the Wet Garden dares gardeners to consider excess water an opportunity to cultivate an unexpectedly large and unique range of plants. Natural wetlands—water meadows, marshlands, and riverbanks—provide inspiration for practical water management, plant selection, and aesthetic considerations. In Part One Simmons provides readers with practical tips on how to recognize and manage a wet site. Part Two includes a detailed directory of water tolerant plants, including ferns, conifers, trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous plants, and bulbs. Twenty years in preparation, Managing the Wet Garden will inspire readers to not only accept the challenge of too much water, but to appreciate the ample rewards.
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Managing the Wet Garden: Plants That Flourish in Problem PlacesUser Review - Book Verdict
Simmons, who was curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from 1972 through 1995, shares his many years experimenting with growing plants in his own wet garden in Norfolk, England. He begins by telling how to recognize a wet garden site and then discussing garden microclimates. He goes on to cover designing a wet garden and selecting plants for it, then describes how to manage this special type of garden. The bulk of the book is an encyclopedia of plants suitable for wet soils, also including some plants that grow in moist woodland soils and some bog and water plants. He includes chapters on ferns and conifers; trees, shrubs, and climbers; and herbaceous plants and bulbs, with a brief final chapter describing bog and water plants. Entries include recommended species with cautionary remarks, if applicable, along with cultural and propagation information. He often includes USDA hardiness zones for the plants. As Simmons's growing conditions differ from those available in much of the United States, this book is recommended for specialty collections and those libraries in areas with a similar climate.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL