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Colour Guide to Flowering Perennials
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Hot; warm; cool; pastel; neutral.

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Australian publisher Murdoch Books have produced an attractive introduction to flowering perennials. It is compiled by Susin Leong and Tracy Loughlin who have selected their favourites and divided them by colour groups - hot, warm, cool, pastel and neutral. Vibrant dahlias and lychnis almost setting fire to the herbaceous border; softer yet still colourful kniphofias and abutilons; cool blues and lilacs such as agapanthus and pulsatilla; calming pinks such as mallows and peony and finally the all important neutrals - alchemilla, euphorbia and eryngiums, their shades of green providing both background and flower. Lavishly illustrated and handily-sized, it is a good introduction to these backbones of every garden. For us English, the only disadvantage is the inclusion of what we regard as summer bedding or houseplants - clivias, orchids, crassula etc and a gardener would need a modicum of knowledge to realise these will not survive our cold, wet winters. But notwithstanding this, the text is informative and the photographs clear making it a useful reference for any gardener looking to colour their garden with perennials. - Lucy Watson

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