Versatile partners - getting to know grasses as garden plants: what is a grass?; the light fantastic; textural tapestries; choosing wisely; how do your grasses grow?. Color palettes - creating stunning combinations with grasses: glowing golds and bronzes; cool blues and quiet grays; darkly dramatic; variety, the spice of life; color surprises. Yearlong beauty - transforming every garden through four seasons: a new twist on beds and borders; front yard gardens; lining the path; perfect for pots; companions for roses; eye-catching accents; small is beautiful; by the waterside; aglow with autumn color. Problem-solvers - selecting special grasses for special places: celebrating hot, dry sites; the luxury of moist soils; made for the shade; coping with slopes; creating privacy; covering the ground; easy does it.
Nancy Ondra is a freelance garden writer and editor from Emmaus, Pennsylvania, where where she operated Pendrago Perennials, a small rare-plant nursery, for 6 years. She is the author or co-editor of 6 gardening books and has also written for several magazines.
Grasses have grown in popularity over the last few years, their ease of maintenance and soft forms making them a gardener's dream. From the original prairie plantings which migrated here from the US and Europe, grasses are now more widely recognised as good "doers" for the garden. Adding form, softness, colour and all year interest they are taking the place of the stolid evergreens so endemic in this country for winter "colour", adding cohesion and diversity of form to beds and borders. Being so amenable means many are happy growing in shade, dry soil, moist soil, and containers or as statuesque features in island beds on their own. US garden writer, Nancy Ondra, presents a comprehensive look at the most easily available grasses. Including some grass-like plants such as a phormium, liriope and ophiopogon, she takes the reader through a careful selection of grasses for particular colour schemes and sites. Wonderfully photographed by Saxon Holt, this is an inspirational guide to grasses' uses in the garden accompanied by sound cultivation advice. If you are wary of grasses or unsure how to use them, this colourful book will set aside such doubts and ensure an easy introduction to these easy, amenable range of plants. - Lucy Watson