Part 1 Flowers in detail: the attraction of flowers; plant breeding and selection; growing healthy flowers. Part 2 The palette of flowering plants: key plants; companion plants; massing plants; plants to use as backdrops; the colour question. Part 3 The natural garden: approaches to planting; achieving the natural look; the meadow garden; waterside gardening; natural rock gardens; a New England garden; a garden in Holland; a garden in Vermont; on the French Riviera. Part 4 The flower border: border styles; schemes and themes; crathes in Scotland; Stonecrop, New York State; Ashtree Cottage, Wiltshire. Part 5 The framed garden: framing techniques; the living frame; flowers framed; Chilcombe in Dorset; a garden near Paris; filoli in California. Part 6 Plants for the flower garden: an A to Z guide.
Hobhouse, a well-known garden writer ( Garden Style , LJ 9/15/88; Gardens of the World , edited by Hobhouse and Elvin McDonald, LJ 3/15/91), here combines essays with reference. Giving examples from spectacular gardens in many countries, her essays discuss such topics as the natural garden, color, key plants, massing, and borders. The reference section, offering particulars on 307 herbaceous plants, includes information on hardiness, size, and soil and sun preferences for each. The hardiness zone map is based on temperature ranges rather than geographic areas, so is more useful than the usual presentation. This is a book for the experienced gardener who wants ideas for new plants to use and ways to group them. Not a ``how-to'' guide, it assumes that the reader knows how to prepare the beds, feed the plants, and deal with pests. The price is high, but then there are hundreds of beautifully reproduced, stunning color photographs. Not essential, but a good addition to strong gardening collections.-- Carol Cubberly, Univ. of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg