Creating Beds and Borders is actually a great collection of articles written by several different contributing authors for Fine Gardening magazine. The authors talk about a wide variety of topics related to creating garden beds and borders, from how they design garden beds to what plants are good for difficult sites.
|Six of the 16 different authors of this book|
I also especially appreciated the article on how to create a long season of garden color here in the hot climate of the Southeast ('Designing a Warm-Climate Border' by Jimmy & Becky Stewart).
With the heat, perennials often have shorter bloom times here, even though we have a longer gardening season. The authors supplement with many annuals, which they change out twice a year (warm-season and cool-season). I don't think I could do that for much of my garden now, due to time/cost factors, but I do have a small area in the front garden where I do this. The authors also give a great list of tried-and-true perennials that bloom for a long time in the South, as well as suggestions for some plants that are similar to Northern favorites but will take the heat better.
There are articles on shrubs, good edging plants, seed-starting techniques, garden design, and much more! I will probably have to recheck this book out of the library several more times to absorb it all!
I do have to let you in on a secret, though. One of my reasons I love this book has nothing to do with the articles, but with the fact that the pictures are beautifully realistic. Several of the gardeners have gorgeous garden beds and borders that will hold your attention - but if you look closer, you will see that next to those beautiful flowers is a weedy lawn. Just like mine! Okay, maybe still better than mine, but still.. It makes these beautiful gardens seem attainable. And that is truly inspiring for me.
To find more great gardening books, check out this month's book review over at Holley's site Roses and Other Gardening Joys. Happy Gardening!