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The Well-Tended Perennial Garden

The Essential Guide to Planting & Pruning Techniques
by Timber Press
March 19, 2017

Classics are classics for a reason, and this holds as true for gardening books as it does for any other creative endeavor. A classic gardening book addresses its subject better and more deeply than its predecessors. It brings together information that had been scattered or overlooked. It opens up new vistas and possibilities for its readers and their gardens. That’s exactly what Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s masterful book, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden, did when it was first published in 1998, and why it has held a place of honor on gardeners’ bookshelves ever since.

What Tracy did in her book was brilliant in its simplicity: to observe how perennials grow and develop, and then to use that information to ensure the most effective and long-lasting displays. This meant experimenting with deadheading, cutting back, and other techniques to discover what worked and what didn’t. Tracy’s great gift to gardeners was to show them how a little timely intervention could have an enormous payoff.

But even classics can benefit by being updated. Gardening is anything but a static activity. New plants come on the market; planting styles change; scientists and horticulturists continue to make discoveries. So in this third edition Tracy has added dozens of new plant profiles, each of which lists all the tricks for getting the maximum performance out of the plant. There are also completely new sections on ornamental grasses and ferns, along with clearer illustrations of her time-tested techniques and examples of how gardens can be groomed and cared for as they mature. And of course the new edition retains all its indispensable information about planting, site preparation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

If you love perennials—and what gardener doesn’t?—you can’t afford to be without this once-in-a-generation classic. It will help turn your dream garden into reality.

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