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Book Review: Fine Foliage

Fine Foliage
Elegant Plant Combinations for Garden and Container
by Karen Chapman & Christina Salwitz

Fine Foliage

140 pages
St. Lynn's Press, 2013
List price: $16.95

Besides being a neat little package of horticultural eye candy that could stand on this merit alone, Fine Foliage delivers much more for beginning and seasoned gardeners alike. For those challenged or overwhelmed by the plant choices available for combining in the garden or the container, Karen and Christina come to the rescue, giving more than 60 examples of what works together, without the use of blooms.

Starting out by explaining the science behind their beautiful combinations, readers will soon learn how to start playing with possibilities in their own gardens. Most of the book, however, is a graphic volume of recipes, one after another, of simply gorgeous plant pairings, with such names as "Bright Lights, Big City," "Deep Sea Jungle," and "Ribbons and Curls." To make things even easier, shade plants and sun plants are given separate sections, and other vital growing requirements such as hardiness zone are provided.

With its genius play on texture and color, Fine Foliage will almost make you forget that flowers exist. Or at the very least, that you don't need to rely on them for beauty in the garden.

Karen Chapman is proprietor of Le Jardinet, a custom container and landscape design business in the Seattle area. She writes regular garden-related articles for online and print publications, including Fine Gardening, and she's a popular speaker at garden clubs, nurseries and the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show.

Christina Salwitz is a horticulturist with a passion for great design. Her Seattle-based business, The Personal Garden Coach, helps gardeners of all skill levels to achieve their gardening dreams. Her custom designed containers and writing have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens and Fine Gardening, and she is a regular speaker at garden shows and nurseries.

Read more garden book reviews.
Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.