Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Plant Lover's Guide to Salvias

Redolent with decadent color and brimming with enthusiasm for salvias, The Plant Lover's Guide to Salvias is sure to kindle your passion for this beautiful plant, and to ignite your creativity in garden planning. Drawing from his extensive knowledge of the different varieties of salvias, John Wittlesey has pulled together easy to understand lists to help any gardener find the salvia that best suits her need, whether she prefers a salvia with dramatic foliage, such as Salvia officialis Icterina, or one best suited to cutting- like Salvia sclarea. Looking for something to fill in and add texture to a rock garden, this book will steer you in the right way. Need a fragrant but sturdy groundcover? Whittlesey has something for you as well. The Plant Lover's Guide to Salvias even has something for those who are tired of purple.

Detailed plant identification information and an explanation of their place in the world of pollination makes for an informative book, rather than just a pretty one. Of course, the most useful part is probably the section picturing each cultivar of salvia and explaining its type, habit, size, hardiness, origin, and landscape use. Of course, if you live in the cold northern expanses, you might have a moment's jealousy when you see the gorgeous cultivars that thrive in zone 10b. That said, I think I am going to try to incorporate some Salvia caespitosa into my garden this year. Not only is it beautiful, but it's suited to zone 5, and I have been planning a rock garden for a while now.

All in all, it is a beautiful, easy to follow, instructive book that incidentally has a lot of coffee-table value as well.

For more of my gardening book reviews, check out Paisley & Pretties.

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