Passionate Gardening: Good Advice for Challenging Climates [Hardcover]

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Item Description...
For over a decade, Lauren Springer and Rob Proctor have been good friends and garden writing colleagues. In "Passionate Gardening," readers will be entertained, informed, and inspired by the pair's practical wisdom, wit, and tales of perseverance. Gardeners who live in challenging climates where extremes of temperatures, wind, and more are the norm. Garden success depends on on the most appropriate plant selections, the best gardening techniques, and maximizing the seasons. Every subject the authors tackle--from early snows to slugs, from bulbs to botanical Latin--urges readers to make the most of the gardens they tend.
"Passionate Gardener" takes the gardener through the season in a most comprehensive, yet pleasurable and accessible way, as the authors celebrate a diversity of plants for every site and every season. The champion sound, ecologically friendly gardening techniques, from soil and water issues to pest management. They also offer up stories of their horticultural adventures as their personal gardens have evolved, making this lively, information-packed reading with a personal, real touch.
Hailed by critics and fellow garden writers as among the top American garden writers of today, Lauren and Rob have translated their shared passion for gardening into gardens that thrive beautifully and into a new book that will raise the spirits, expectations, and results of all those who read it. With its mixture of sparkling essays and lush photographs, "Passionate Gardening" is an indispensable guide for both budding and seasoned gardeners.

Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.84" Width: 9.8" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   2.91 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 2, 2000
Publisher   Fulcrum Publishing
ISBN  1555913482  
EAN  9781555913489  
UPC  978155591240  

Availability  0 units.

Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > By Climate > General   [47  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > Essays   [131  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > Flowers > General   [366  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > General   [3116  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > Reference   [380  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > Techniques > General   [440  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Agricultural Sciences > General   [1816  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Gardening In The "Wild West"  Jan 20, 2009
Passionate Gardening: Good Advice for Challenging Climates

Authors: Lauren Springer and Rob Procter

Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing

ISBN 1-55591-348-2

The concept of the Westerner in American culture, conjures up the image of a friendly and unpretentious person. That explains the feeling one gets when reading this book. Not only is the style of writing informal but also, the gardens illustrated are bereft of the formality we often see and read about in British garden books. More than just a book about gardening, this publication is a window into the unabashed joy of getting down and dirty in the garden and the sheer pleasure of the physical energy expended in doing related chores.

The authors' respective gardens are located in a challenging locale. Gardening in Colorado forced them to adjust their expectations and needs to the extremes of the Western climate. They share with us their experiences and the advice that grew out of dealing with a harsh climate. To understand the authors' take on gardening, one needs to understand the obstacles they tried to overcome. These challenges included heat, drought, hail, blizzards, clay, sand, weeds, slugs, grasshoppers and raccoons.

. This book is a collection of no less than one hundred and sixteen short essays, or mini topics. It is not a "how to" book. Each essay covers a different aspect of gardening in a challenging climate and is dedicated to discussing the topic from the point of view of two friendly Western gardeners. It is the charm of the authors that makes this book such an enjoyable read; they have a lot of fun doing what they love.
I was pleasantly astonished to discover that the authors chose to address the eternal problem of the rude visitor. Gardeners who visit the homes of their peers are prone to making inappropriate comments related to the host's garden. The authors' treatment of this topic is serious stuff and forced me to reconsider every comment I have ever made to owners of gardens I have visited

Studying the many photographs of the authors' terrains, it is clear that Ms. Springer gardens on a large tract of land. Because her home is situated on one hundred and fifteen acres, she has the luxury of allowing her gardens to grow exponentially with a total disregard for boundaries. Mr. Proctor's home is located on one acre of land, and the floral compositions on his property are more disciplined. While Ms. Springer's garden is devoid of any straight lines, Mr. Proctor's gardens are defined by them. Photos of their respective lands indicate that despite the differences in their size, both gardens are in harmony with the rugged nature of Colorado

In reading the essays, I discovered several bits of information that I found to be helpful. Here are a few; some in the authors' own words.

* Local variations in temperature and rainfall will sometimes allow us to grow plants not recommended for our growing zone.
* Garden one up man ship is a pervasive problem everywhere. There ought to be a book of etiquette on how to behave when visiting other people's garden.
* Clay can be useful, if properly used. Several perennials thrive in clay. These include sedum, coreopsis, perovskia, veronica, and the list goes on.
* There is no such thing as an instant garden. A perennial garden takes time to develop and knit together.
* Geography matters. Most perennials come from climates different than our own; zone hardiness alone will not determine the success of growing a plant. The more we know about a plant's native habitat, the better we can adapt it to our garden
* Flower borders can thrive in hot dry summers. All borders need to be stuffed with plants and all of the plants in one border need to share the same cultural requirements. Furthermore, borders need depth to create drama.
* Some herbs make excellent growing companions for roses because of their insect repellent properties
* In a vast meadow garden, plants chosen for their untamed appeal make the transition from flower bed to the surrounding countryside a more graceful one
And finally, my favorite essay is titled `The Summertime Blues" and discusses the invaluable contribution that blue foliage and flowers make to any garden. Once again, in the authors own words, because they say it better than I have ever seen it said before: - "Blue is an amazing color, seemingly effective with every other hue. It's elegant with white, pale pink and cream. It shimmers with silver and chartreuse leaves. It glows with fiery orange or scarlet and smolders with maroon and blood red."

Other essays that fill this book deal with diverse garden related topics as hand care, essential garden tools, what to wear when getting dirty, gardening when pregnant, pets in the garden, and plants that make the land look awesome in winter.

Reading this publication has been more than an informational exercise. I am happy to have met two new friends who have invited me into their gardens and made me feel welcome with their proverbial warm Western hospitality.
Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun  Jun 2, 2007
Friends Proctor and Springer love gardening, love writing about gardening, write well about gardening. Springer is serious and Proctor takes a wry squint at the subject, and soon you'll recognize which has written which article a few sentences in. A book for when it's too cold or too hot to go out and do the joy/work of gardening, a good gift book, a good one for the coffe table or bedside table. Be passionate! Then read their other excellent ones. Enjoy!
nice photos, limited use  Feb 24, 2004
Although this book has beautiful photos and snappy dialogue, realize that it is a collection of essays. This book does not have chapters, per se, and not exhaustive discussions, but the essays are by two very experienced gardeners. Gardening advice is charmingly presented, but in a piecemeal fashion. It makes for entertaining and enjoyable winter reading but for more practical advice in dry climates with hot summers and cold winters, I find Lauren Springer's book The Undaunted Garden, to be much more helpful. It has plant lists that Passionate Gardening doesn't have. I read Passionate Gardening for inspiration and for vicarious gardening experience, but when it comes down to doing things, I use other books. Realize also, that Passionate Gardening isn't necessarily Xeriscape oriented, featuring at least a few essays where plants require regular moisture(e.g. the essay on lilies, and one on roses).
Fun and Fabulous!  Feb 19, 2004
This book is chock full of information for challenging climates and written with a wonderful sense of humor. I've read my copy again and again! Although not written for gardeners in the OH area, there are useful ideas and plant combinations that I have used successfully in my own garden. I LOVE this book - I wish they would write more.
A lovely, inspirational book  Jul 9, 2003
I'm a beginning gardener and live in Colorado. Springer and Proctor's book has inspired me and given me reams of useful information to improve my garden. I may not be ready to plant thousands of plants a year as they do, but their short essays have given me the ideas and information to focus on bit by bit. The photos, mostly of Springer's foothills garden and Proctor's city garden, are beautiful and excellent as plant combination possibilities. I can't recommend this book enough, particularly for Western gardeners.

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