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I bought this book in hardcover when I started my first garden in 1991, and have returned to it repeatedly since. It is water-stained, yellow-highlighted, and written in because I've used it so much. The author is opinionated, and provides lots of good tips on thinking through how to maximize what you like about gardening and minimize the tasks you'd like to get rid of. Several inspired sections about easy-care and labor-intensive perennials help you decide what to plant.