Most garden books lead midwestern gardeners down the Primrose Path with gardening advice meant for friendlier climates with cool, still growing seasons and plenty of moisture. Here in the Midwest, that kind of advice doesn't hold water.
Gardeners here face tougher conditions: constant wind, extremes of both heat and cold, sudden and violent weather changes, and drought, not to mention periodic insect explosions.
But breathtaking flower gardens and bountiful vegetable gardens are just as achievable in the country's midsection as they are on either coast, writes Rachel Snyder. The key is understanding the peculiar conditions of the region and making the most of them.
In Gardening in the Heartland, Snyder focuses exclusively on Midwestern garden problems and prescribes simple, effective remedies. In 49 stunning full-color photographs of gardens in this region, she offers irrefutable evidence that her methods work.
Snyder reviews hundreds of kinds of plants and identifies those that grow best in the Midwest. She explains different gardening techniques and offers a cornucopia of gardening advice: hints for growing annuals and perennials, tricks for cultivating beautiful roses and keeping them beautiful year after year, up-to-the-minute tips on kinds of vegetables ready-made for the region, and a list of fruits that will grow in the Midwest without a fight.
Snyder also explains the advantages of native plants and organic gardening methods. She evaluates the pros and cons of xeriscaping versus the traditional "well-manicured lawn," and includes a realistic discussion of plant hardiness zones based on the Department of Agriculture's very latest calculations.
Finally, for encouragement and further study, Snyder provides a list of public gardens in the Heartland.
Table of Contents
1. Where We Garden
2. Soil Matters
3. A Realistic and Satisfying Design
4. The Lawn Question
5. Your Garden of Vegetables and Herbs
6. Fruit Gardens in the Heartland
7. Annuals—A Short Life but a Flowery One
8. Perennials—Through the Years
9. Heartland Roses
10. Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
11. Dealing with Adversities
12. Garden Keeping through the Seasons
A. Public Gardens to Visit in the Heartland
B. Plants that Attract Birds