This is my go-to book for easy instructional info. If you purchase any book about perennial gardening, this is the one for you!! Great color photos, and I love the pro/con sections about the different plants. A true bible that covers most anything about the basic backbone plants (and then some) of any perennial garden.
I worship the ground Larry Hodgson gardens on! After 10 years of perennial gardening, I would still need to be classified as an ignorant beginner, so I have purchased many books on perennials. I wasted my money on all of them, because it is to Perennials for Every Purpose that I alway go. Hodgson's discussion of the plants provides fabulous details, along with his own personal observations that really "speak" to me. His is the only book I own that includes the author's personnal likes and dislikes, but with info that I can use should I select a plant he doesn't recommend. I love this book!
Six years ago, we built a new house and had some basic structural landscaping done (shrubs and trees) along with a large front bed. I have always loved roses so I put in three shrub roses. Boring bed! Over the next couple years, I started filling in the bed with perennials I bought at local garden shops. I had no knowledge at all about what I was doing - just picking plants because I liked the color or form, etc. I ran across this book on one of my "browsing" excursions and read the whole thing, cover-to-cover in about three days- I was HOOKED on perennials and now I'm one dangerous garden center shopper! The other reviews describe very well the structure of the book and the contents... this is a perfect reference book for all levels of gardeners and my copy is bent, worn, dirty and very well-loved! My husband, the local "hole-digger," gets very concerned whenever I pull this book out becaus ehe knows I'm planning ANOTHER bed - I've planned sun washed beds, part shade beds, color-blocked beds and the next one is a large shade bed for the north side of our house. I couldn't have been successful at this new wonderful hobby I've found without the valuable information in this book!
This book is useful in so many different ways. I recently went through it to note propagation methods; I plan to save money by propagating many plants from cuttings. Larry lists the best propagtion method for each plant, and the "top performer" for each species. He also helps with the issue of plant zones. I myself know from personal experience that these are often inaccurately listed on plant labels and in books.
I recently compared this book to Perennials for Michigan by Nancy Szerlag and Allison Beck. Hmm. All I will say is, if you have Larry, you can skip this book.
I borrowed this book from the library so often, that I finally bought myself a copy. I plan to take it to my job at a local nursery, so that I can refer to it when offering customers advice. Also top notch is his book on shade gardening.
Lovely and useful book. I have the 2003 paperback edition. It has sections on long-blooming perennials, spring/summer/fall-bloomers, no-care and easy-care perennials, drought-resistant and water-loving plants, cool-summer perennials and shade plants. Gorgeous photos of each plant, and extensive growing info with pros and cons clearly listed. Use this to pick plants to suit your site. Also has good general introductory section including some great planting plans.
I bought this book one fall and spent the entire winter reading and re-reading the book looking forward to spring.
I think it is a great book, and also bought a copy for my sister. I like the sections - shade, water, spring, summer, fall, etc. good pictures and descriptions. A great book for beginner gardeners like myself. I just wish it had more flowers. I think the author also wrote annuals for every purpose - but not completely sure....
I love this book. It is the only book on plants of any kind that gives the negatives as well as the positives about the various plants. The book covers only perennials and only by genus, but is the first place I look for information on any perennial and one of two books that I take with me on every plant buying trip. My only regret is that Mr. Hodgson has not written a similar book on other groups of plants.
Arranged by section (e.g. Summer Blooming, Foliage, Groundcover, for Birds & Butterflies), this book is a very complete reference for planting according to conditions the plants prefer. Good photos, warnings of any pesky qualities, recommendations of good cultivars and suggestions for attractive plant combinations. One of the most useful books I have read on perennial selections.