University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial Publications : Book of the Month

Perennial Reference Guide
Karleen Shafer and Nicole Lloyd.  2007.  Stipes Publ. spiral bound, 346pp.

 To date there haven’t been many tables listing perennials for various purposes, or at least all in one place.  This book solves this problem when selecting perennials, composed solely of tables in six color-coded categories.

The first and largest table is by plant characteristics, divided by bloom color and height.  For each is given common name, comments, growing/hardiness zones, light needs, and bloom season.  At the end of this table is a list by fall foliage color, as well as one for poisonous plants.  The next section has alphabetical listings by specific groups or genera, such as ferns and hostas.  For each, eight columns for characteristics are given.  Need a plant for a certain soil type or moisture, or even ones to grow under black walnuts?  Then check out the third table. The fourth table lists plants for land uses, such as winter interest, low pollen, native plants, or deer resistant.  The fifth table concerns plant and flower uses, such as cut flowers, herbal uses, or attracting butterflies.  Finally there is a design table by themes, such as perennials for knot gardens, Japanese gardens, or rock gardens for instance.  With so many tables, the table of contents is quite handy, complete, and useful.  The spiral binding and small size (5.5 x 8.5in.) make it a handy field reference.  Students, home gardeners, and professionals should all find this book an often-used reference.

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