This book fills an otherwise abandoned nich in plant design. It is a nice introduction to the use of dark-flowered or leaved (usually "black") plants and their merits. It exposes some superb plants that are just beyond the fringe of normal, and are decently categorized, but I hesitate to give it a perfect review due to a few things: It could use more plants in general, and of the individual plant descriptions, more notes on cultivation, soil, exposure, hardiness, etc. I'm afraid the garden combinations/designs in the latter half of the book fail either due to differing cultural preferances or unmatched time of year.
It is still just the book to give someone with a perfectly and evenly green garden!
On October 28th, 2005, JamesCO changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
I read the book again and realized that she was only lacking a few common dark plants I could think of. The designs are decent but not wthout their problems. I still hold that cultivation notes are a bit short. Plant Sources would certainly have been a nice extra chapter, as it is a trend with specialty plant books. (A U.S. list would have needed to be made as well.) Her plants are organized in a design-in-mind fashion that is very usable.
After the re-read, I realized how enjoyable it was not only as a volume, but as a book; which by far overshadows its few shortcomings. Definately buy it.