An Encyclopedia of Shade Perennials by W. George Schmid

By W. George Schmid

Discovering an array of designated and various crops for coloration might sound like a frightening job, with constrained suggestions to be had to the gardener. color perennial specialist W. George Schmid dispels this conception in his new encyclopedia. This companionable reference offers details on greater than 7000 species and cultivars in 184 genera, from Acanthus to Woodwardia — a few new to horticulture, others unjustly neglected, yet all superbly suited for the colour garden.

Schmid has in the back of him a part century of useful gardening adventure, horticultural schooling, and vast commute gazing coloration perennials of their local habitats; readers are for that reason taken care of to either valuable growing to be guidance and his own institutions with the vegetation. The specialist textual content is rounded out with 500 beautiful colour photos, many taken via the writer himself.

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The bed where a lot of peat moss had disappeared gave the first clue. There was nothing wrong with the plants. I watered, fertilized, and did all the things gardeners are supposed to do, but to no avail. Trying to reestablish the former elevation, I removed the plants and started digging. The soil appeared to be of good tilth, too good perhaps, because nearby dogwood trees had greedily invaded the bed over the years, forming a thick mat of roots. No wonder the plants had declined. I replenished the soil, and, back at their old level, the plants showed renewed vigor the following spring.

My grandfather had a half dozen barn cats; all they got from him was a dish of milk each morning—all their solid food came from the barns and fields. I still remember my grandfather’s stinging rebuke when, as a little boy, I innocently fed one of the cats with leftovers from the table. As with most good cures, the hungry domestic cat has a serious side effect: a preference for songbirds over quadruped rodents. Most gardeners entice the lovely birds (which themselves are so effective against insects) with birdbaths, feeding stations, and berried shrubs, so cats usually find a satisfying hunting ground for birds in our gardens.

Keeping an untried plant in a pot, in the fore, reminds me to keep watching over it and to learn all about it. It may take some time to determine its likes and dislikes, but eventually the plant will find its way into the garden and happily add its beauty and character to all the others gathered there. This page intentionally left blank CHAPTER 4 Plants Assigned Shade-loving or Shade-tolerant? Many plants are described as shade-loving. This is utter nonsense. All gardenworthy plants require some level of light to photosynthesize and create chlorophyll.

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