Tough Plants: Unkillable Plants for Every Garden

Overview

Few gardens have perfect growing conditions. Invariably there is a corner that is too shady, windy or dry. The solution: a tough plant! One that will shrug off the worst conditions, often thrive despite them.

Tough Plants is an easy-to-use, fully illustrated guide to more than 100 virtually unkillable plants for the garden — whatever the growing conditions. The extended back flap of the book can be used as a quick reference to identify the symbols used throughout the book, ...

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Overview

Few gardens have perfect growing conditions. Invariably there is a corner that is too shady, windy or dry. The solution: a tough plant! One that will shrug off the worst conditions, often thrive despite them.

Tough Plants is an easy-to-use, fully illustrated guide to more than 100 virtually unkillable plants for the garden — whatever the growing conditions. The extended back flap of the book can be used as a quick reference to identify the symbols used throughout the book, identifying whether a plant is ideally suited for a particular situation, microclimate, or soil type.

The book features:

  • An extensive directory with more than 100 plants chosen for their ability to survive difficult conditions, while adding beauty and color to the garden
  • Assessing and improving a garden
  • Matching plants to garden conditions
  • Understanding soil and microclimates created by sun, shade, and wind
  • Caring for plants in tough situations
  • Suggestions on where, how and what to plant
  • Dealing with damp or dry conditions, sun or shade
  • Practical tips on getting started, planting, routine care, and weed control.
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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Botanical Gardens - Elaine Juhl
Colorful and instructive in its examination of a select group of plants that can handle a variety of difficult situations.
Globe and Mail - Sherry A. Firing
Brown thumbs rejoice ... 100 plants that thrive in rotten conditions: always wet, hot and hard-baked, or dry and shady.
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35 - Mary Ellen Snodgrass
A treat to the eyes and good news to the neophyte gardener... The choices are appealing and the information simple and doable.
Montreal Gazette - Stuart Robertson
An encyclopedia of plants that have certain tough characteristics that make them useful in different situations.
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Kim Ode
Loaded with great color photos and planting information.
Spokane Spokesman-Review - Susan Mulvihill
If we use a book like this and actually put the right plants in the right place, we should have much better results.
Neil Sperry's Gardens Magazine - Susanna Reid
For any gardener who struggles to keep plants alive. The plants Amos suggests in the book are both stunning in sight and strength.
Booklist - Carol Haggas
A superb guide ... with tender advice, Amos reveals tough plants able to rescue frustrated gardeners before they throw in the trowel.
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal - Linda Turk
Packed with good advice ... a very sensible book.
Seattle Times - Valerie Easton
The author has done a fine job of rounding up a selection of truly tough, hard-working, foolproof plants.
E-Streams - Lynn C. Westney
An unusual gardener's guide... A wonderful addition to the enormous world of gardening publications as it focuses specifically on an area of gardening which has been largely ignored.
Indianapolis Star - Mary Beth Breckenridge
Makes gardening achievable for even the brownest of thumbs... these plants are survivors that will tough it out where prissy plants fail.
Garden Center Merchandising and Management - Sarah Martinez
What really makes this book worthwhile is the concise handbook for novice gardeners outlined in the first 40 pages... very accessible and welcoming... worth recommending to customers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552975268
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Amos is an author and freelance journalist specializing in gardening. Her previous books include Celebrations, Garden Wisdom, Pulbrook and Gould Flowers and Plants for Free.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Most gardens do not have smooth, flat lawns and beds of rich, easily dug soil. We have to put up with damp, sunless corridors between houses, awkward slots, or plots shaded by trees or neighboring buildings. Equally difficult to plant are seaside gardens, which are exposed to gale-force winds and salt spray; waterlogged plots, where the drainage is poor; and dry ground, which is exposed to the merciless glare of the sun day after day, without the slightest shade. In sort, few gardens enjoy perfect conditions.

If you try to plant any of these difficult areas with a standard selection of garden-center plants the chances are that you will end up with an unsightly display of brown leaves and dried stems as the plants are defeated by the unsuitable habitat.

What you need for these sites are tough plants, which will not only shrug off all the worst conditions in your garden but actually thrive in them and grow well. Of course, these plants are not unkillable — put drought-tolerant heather into a bog garden and it will die — but they are practically invincible in the specific hostile conditions they have evolved to withstand.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Assessing your garden
- Getting to know your soil
- Your garden's microclimate

Improving what you have
- Improving your soil
- Creating shelter
- Weed control
- Making your own compost

Matching plants to your garden
- Choosing the right plants for your garden

Caring for plants in tough situations
- How to make the most of difficult conditions

Plant Directory
- How to use the directory
- Achillea filipendulina (Yarrow) to Yucca filamentosa (Adam's Needle)

Index
Acknowledgements
A zone map for the US and Canada

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Preface

Introduction

Most gardens do not have smooth, flat lawns and beds of rich, easily dug soil. We have to put up with damp, sunless corridors between houses, awkward slots, or plots shaded by trees or neighboring buildings. Equally difficult to plant are seaside gardens, which are exposed to gale-force winds and salt spray; waterlogged plots, where the drainage is poor; and dry ground, which is exposed to the merciless glare of the sun day after day, without the slightest shade. In sort, few gardens enjoy perfect conditions.

If you try to plant any of these difficult areas with a standard selection of garden-center plants the chances are that you will end up with an unsightly display of brown leaves and dried stems as the plants are defeated by the unsuitable habitat.

What you need for these sites are tough plants, which will not only shrug off all the worst conditions in your garden but actually thrive in them and grow well. Of course, these plants are not unkillable — put drought-tolerant heather into a bog garden and it will die — but they are practically invincible in the specific hostile conditions they have evolved to withstand.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction

Most gardens do not have smooth, flat lawns and beds of rich, easily dug soil. We have to put up with damp, sunless corridors between houses, awkward slots, or plots shaded by trees or neighboring buildings. Equally difficult to plant are seaside gardens, which are exposed to gale-force winds and salt spray; waterlogged plots, where the drainage is poor; and dry ground, which is exposed to the merciless glare of the sun day after day, without the slightest shade. In sort, few gardens enjoy perfect conditions.

If you try to plant any of these difficult areas with a standard selection of garden-center plants the chances are that you will end up with an unsightly display of brown leaves and dried stems as the plants are defeated by the unsuitable habitat.

What you need for these sites are tough plants, which will not only shrug off all the worst conditions in your garden but actually thrive in them and grow well. Of course, these plants are not unkillable -- put drought-tolerant heather into a bog garden and it will die -- but they are practically invincible in the specific hostile conditions they have evolved to withstand.

Read More Show Less

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