I bought this book when my passion for heirloom flowers began a few years ago. I cannot recommend it highly enough! Some of the things I love best is after each 'plat profile' she has a list of recommended antique varieties, which I take not of and look for in catalogs. Also in the back she has a valuable list of resources, which I found many of my favorite companies through.
I had the honor of meeting and speaking with the author once. What a thrill! I also recommend her book "Herbs in Bloom". Her others are probably excellent, but I haven't read them yet.
I wouldn't want to be without this basic reference! The author includes sections on designing accurate historic gardens; plant propagation and cultivation; and an encyclopedic listing of 89 genus' of ornamentals, with historic notes, dates of introduction, and cultivation specifics. The listing for 'Dicentra' for example, includes species eximia, formosana and spectabilis, discussed over two and a half pages. Revised edition of her 1992 book The Heirloom Garden.