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Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening with Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones
     

Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening with Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones

by Susan A. Roth, Dennis Schrader
 

Passionate gardeners in cooler climates struggle year after year to overwinter their gorgeous tropical plants. Our new paperback edition is the answer to their problem — practical advice for achieving the tropical look in a temperate garden. The authors, who both live and garden on Long Island, New York, reveal the secrets to creating a lush, flamboyant

Overview

Passionate gardeners in cooler climates struggle year after year to overwinter their gorgeous tropical plants. Our new paperback edition is the answer to their problem — practical advice for achieving the tropical look in a temperate garden. The authors, who both live and garden on Long Island, New York, reveal the secrets to creating a lush, flamboyant landscape. Separate chapters cover such topics as principles of design and maintenance, proper plant selection, container gardening, and overwintering. Fantastic color photography throughout will inspire gardeners in even the hardiest zones. With the help of this book, an impressive tropical garden is within any gardener's reach.

Editorial Reviews

Rainy Side Gardeners
"Touching on everything from principles of design and maintenance to proper plant selection and overwintering, this book ensures that an impressive tropical garden is within everyone's reach."

—Rainy Side Gardeners, May 8, 2006

Buffalo Spree
"Read this book to figure out how to use tropical plants as a major design element in your garden, creating a lush, exotic enviornment."
—Elizabeth Licata, Buffalo Spree, April 2006
Perennial Notes
"Whether creating a jungle paradise with ... striking contrasts in size and color, planting a container for mixed varieties to drop into an existing landscape, punctuating an entrance, or framing a view, readers will find this an inspiring guide for building that lush look."

—Sandra J. Sandefur, Perennial Notes, Winter 2006

Northern Gardener
“. . . an engagingly written handbook – covering everything from design to plant selection to winter maintenance – that will help anyone who wants to create a convincing and pleasurable tropical look in their own northerly back-yard.”
— Felecia Parsons
From the Publisher
"Whether creating a jungle paradise with ... striking contrasts in size and color, planting a container for mixed varieties to drop into an existing landscape, punctuating an entrance, or framing a view, readers will find this an inspiring guide for building that lush look."
—Sandra J. Sandefur, Perennial Notes, Winter 2006

“. . . an engagingly written handbook – covering everything from design to plant selection to winter maintenance – that will help anyone who wants to create a convincing and pleasurable tropical look in their own northerly back-yard.”

Northern Gardener - Felecia Parsons
“. . . an engagingly written handbook – covering everything from design to plant selection to winter maintenance – that will help anyone who wants to create a convincing and pleasurable tropical look in their own northerly back-yard.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Garden fashion turns outrageous in this spirited call for cool-climate gardens to shed their English-borne respectability and don the dress of tropical wilds. With their typically hot and humid summers, gardens from Virginia to Minnesota and Oregon can mimic a Hawaiian paradise or a Costa Rican rain forest with layers of hanging greenery, contrasting leafy textures, gargantuan flowers and riotous color. Emboldened by Roth's (Four-Season Landscape) prose and Schrader's knowledge (he is the foremost grower of tropical plants in the New York metro area), readers can start with one of several simple container plantings or design an entire garden room around a temple of faux ruins. Gardeners will come to think of tropicals as big annuals that come into their own when the typical perennial garden is headed for ruin, learn how to begin with tropical-like cold-hardy plants and get the feel for garden design based on contrasting textures and a dominant vertical presence. Half of the book is devoted to an encyclopedia of 100 tropical plants and useful plant lists, categorized by color and pattern. This is certainly one of the liveliest and best-organized presentations on the tropical trend in gardening. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Roth, author of a long list of gardening books, and Schrader, a tropical plant grower in New York, team here to present the latest gardening craze. They explain why the tropical look has become popular, what the various tropical regions are and how their plants are distinctive, how to plan a garden with a tropical look, and how to care for and overwinter the plants. (This section is lavishly illustrated with photos of tropical gardens in temperate-zone locations.) The last half of the book is an "Encyclopedia of Plants"; for each plant, there is a color photo, and the scientific and popular names are given. The plant's habitat, size, and hardiness are provided. Following these basic elements, an article gives more detailed descriptions, suggested uses, and cultivation requirements. The first appendix consists of lists of plants classified by characteristics, e.g., "Tropical Plants with Colorful Leaves." Appendix 2 provides "Sources for Tropical and Tropical-Looking Hardy Plants." Recommended for comprehensive collections or where there is interest.--Carol Cubberley, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780881927191
Publisher:
Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/01/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
228
Product dimensions:
7.52(w) x 9.72(h) x 0.49(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Tropical plants move north

It's easy to create a dazzling display of tropical foliage and flowers even in seemingly inhospitable climates such as those found in Vermont, Pennsylvania, or Oregon, far from the Tropic of Capricorn. Summers in most parts of North America bring plenty of sun, heat, and humidity, along with thunderous rainstorms. These conditions fuel tropicals into high gear, so that even if the plants start off the summer small, they grow by leaps and bounds and turn into impressive specimens in a matter of a few weeks. Overwintered specimens are large to begin with and use this head start to great advantage, claiming an immediate presence in the garden as soon as they are set out in spring. By late summer and fall, tropicals are at their best.

The tropics are the most fecund and diversely vegetated region of the world, boasting, by some estimates, as many as three-quarters of the world's plant species. Only a relatively small number of these exotic plants are available to gardeners outside the tropics, and fewer still adapt to being thrust into a garden in Delaware or Minnesota. Many tropical plants need specific temperatures with hardly any fluctuation from day to day or wilt unless the humidity hovers around 100 percent. Others require specific nutrients or have an essential symbiotic relationship with another plant or fungus. Yet despite these restrictions, you can still choose from countless exotic plants to incorporate in your garden.

The ones that perform best in temperate gardens grow undaunted by the climate's normal fluctuations of temperature, humidity, and rainfall during the summer and fall. If they can also adapt to houseplant culture or to one of the many types of overwintering techniques, they become even more valuable as garden subjects because they'll only get more beautiful with size and age. Many common and popular houseplants, such as rubber trees, diffenbachia, spider plants, prayer plants, Chinese evergreen, and pothos, rescued from the dark corner of a living room, perform fabulously out-of-doors in warm weather and make authentic additions to a tropical-style garden.

You can grow tropical plants right in the ground or in containers outdoors in cold climates during the frost-free months of the year, creating entire tropical-style gardens from these tender beauties. For the most natural appearance, you might wish to plunge the pot of a large container plant right into a hole dug in the ground in a bed of tender or hardy plants. You might also site the container aboveground, but camouflage its base with dense plants.

Going native

Although some native-plant enthusiasts are purists and might disapprove of growing tropical plants in gardens where they are not endemic, this is really a matter of style and personal preference. Certainly when exotic plants — and in this case we define "exotic" not as a tropical plant per se but as

What People are Saying About This

Tovah Martin
Tovah Martin, author of Tasha Tudor's Garden, Garden Whimsy, and Tudor's Heirloom Crafts,

Engagingly written and dense with alluring detail, this book is both seductive and practical. If you're just testing the waters with tropicals, it has the bait to lure you in. If you've already succumbed, you'll find here all the specific information to turn your exotic dalliance into a serious affair. In short, it's a valuable reference disguised as a good read.

Meet the Author

Susan A. Roth is an award-winning writer and photographer. She cultivates her own eclectic garden in Stony Brook, New York.

Dennis Schrader is on of the foremost experts on tropical plants in the Northeast. He co-owns and operates Landcraft Environments, a wholesale greenhouse in Mattituck, New York.

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