Perennials through the seasons; preparing the border; propagation; maintenance through the year; pests and diseases; the plant directory; gardener's guide; naming of plants.
Hardy perennials are the stalwarts of herbaceous borders. Most require little maintenance once planted other than an annual tidy-up and dead-heading during the growing season. They are easy to propagate and come in all shapes, sizes, forms and colours. There are hardy perennials to flower from winter through autumn, ensuring a splash of colour every month of the year. Eric Sawford is a regular contributor to the gardening press and writes with years of experience having worked in the gardening industry since the age of 16. He also has an interest in photography and the book is attractively illustrated with his own photographs. He explains techniques of buying, planting, cultivating, tidying up and propagation in depth, his written advice being accompanied by the colour drawings of Katy Sleight. The A-Z list of perennials is informative, giving a brief description accompanied by a photograph together with details of species and varieties for each genus, preferred soil types and general cultivation details. The selection ranges from the floriferous to those grown primarily for their foliage such as hostas, artemesias and euphorbias. Both slightly tender plants such as agapanthus and tough-as-nail diehards such as alchemilla are included making it easy for the novice gardener to make an informed choice of plant for their particular situation. So cut out all that time-consuming gardening with annuals and high maintenance plants and use hardy perennials instead, ensuring a colourful border free from labour and giving you the opportunity to sit back and admire your handiwork.