Book Review: Planting the Dry Shade Garden

Planting the Dry Shade GardenPlanting the Dry Shade Garden
The Best Plants for the Toughest Spot in Your Garden
by Graham Rice

193 pages
Timber Press, 2011
List price: $24.95

I’m partial to books that address a problem I’m having in my own garden. I’m especially partial to them if they give me practical solutions for it. I dove right into Planting the Dry Shade Garden because this is one of the toughest growing situations that I, along with many other gardeners, have.

First off, Graham Rice explains what makes a dry shade garden tough for plants. Part of dealing with the problem is understanding it. And then he gives us the good news – news that we’ve known all along – that it’s a matter of growing the right plant for the situation.

There really are many plants that will handle dry shade just fine. And that’s what the bulk of the book is about. More than 130 plants that will grow well in most zones are profiled, giving us plenty to choose from. Included are shrubs, climbers, perennials, ground covers, bulbs, biennials, and even annuals. In addition, Rice shares tips on how to improve the dry shade garden conditions themselves, thereby increasing our chances for success.

Planting the Dry Shade Garden is a valuable garden tool that I’ve needed for a long time. I’m using it to help keep my vow to garden smarter, not harder.

Graham Rice is an internationally known plantsman and the award-winning writer of more than 25 gardening books. With a degree in horticulture from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, Graham gardens in dry shade on both sides of the Atlantic.

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