Recommended by jathton - Nov 24, 2019 10:03 PM
I wrote the following late last night... and with your indulgence I'll repeat it here:
There is an area in this new website I'm so fascinated by that allows us to recommend gardening books we like to other members. Last night I pulled out a book I hadn't looked at in a long time… but nonetheless felt strongly about and felt I knew well. I felt strongly about it because it was the first of only two books my father ever gave me about landscaping. It was titled 100 Great Garden Plants and it was by a Landscape Architect named William H. Frederick Jr. In it he presented an essay on each of the 100 plants; discussing in some detail settings in which they worked well and companion plants he felt worked well with them.
Looking at it last night brought back the memory of Dad quietly, without any fanfare or explanation, giving it to me. And last night I realized, for the very first time, what a powerful influence this single book had had on the direction my career took.
When I was in college I spent an inordinate amount of time in the school library looking through and reading all the books I could find on ornamental plants. Without reservation my favorite class, outside of design classes, was one taught by Dr. Carl Whitcomb called Landscape Plant Materials. When I drew landscape designs in class one thing the head of our small department always noticed was the number of and types of plants I used in my designs. Everything about landscape architecture, to me, revolved around the plants… what to use, where to use them, how to combine them, how to make them the center… the focal point… of the entire design.
When I graduated and found employment as a designer… and then later broke off on my own… my designs always revolved around the plants I could use in those designs. And as I progressed in my career my plant "palette" grew and grew and the complexity of the plant designs I executed grew as well.
Last night I looked through that book Dad gave me pretty carefully for the first time in years. And I realized that single book helped dictate the direction my entire career as a garden designer took. Out of curiosity I counted the number of plants out of the 100 in the book that I had used and loved throughout my career… they totaled 34 of the 100. I guess it's time to say "Thanks, Dad."
My story aside... this is an imminently readable book, and a very informative one as well. I think you will be surprised and interested in the plants Mr. Frederick wrote about... 44 years ago.
[Since I've gone this far I'll also mention that Thriftbooks [an on-line used bookstore] actually has this book in stock. They have 2 copies]
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