This is an absolutely incredible book by the great English gardener Christopher Lloyd. It features sets of photos of the same spot throughout the seasons. Each area is planted with a succession of bulbs, shrubs, and perennials that grow harmoniously together and take turns shining through the seasons. The text gives detailed planning and care instructions. The garden featured is in England, so of course it will not be possible to grow all of these plants throughout the U.S., but there are many, many inspirational ideas here for any gardener. The photography is stunning. Every ornamental gardener should read this book!
I can't believe that no one has commented on this wonderful book, before. The late Christopher Lloyd was the Master of the layered planting system at his home, Great Dixter. Lavishly illustrated with planting plans for the Long Border bed ( 5 layers for the same bed) and then photos of the results. Layer 1 is anchor plants / key perennials, with the spaces between filled in succession with 2- bulbs, 3- self sowers, 4- bedding plants and 5 late summer bedding. Plants are orchestrated--some seasons they shine in their solos and then at other times they contribute color, texture, and nuance to the complete symphony. Note that the timing is based on the English seasons and adjustments will need to be made for some US zones. Still, even if you don't have a Long Border or an English garden, you can follow the same principles by making your own lists of plants for each layer that do well in your climate.