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August 21, 2014 / Leslie

The Creative Shrub Garden by Andy McIndoe

The Creative Shrub GardenThe Creative Shrub Garden
by Andy McIndoe

Genre: Gardening
Publisher: Timber Press, July 2014
Format: Hardcopy | 248 pages
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Home gardeners know the key elements to a well-designed garden: perennials that bloom year after year, annuals that add a burst of color, and bulbs that guarantee spring flowers. But what about shrubs—what role should these hardy plants play?

My Thoughts:

The Creative Shrub Garden contains a wealth of information for gardeners looking to enhance their existing landscape or to create a new space. The experienced gardener will be able to jump right in and browse through the sections on how to combine shrubs to create different moods or styles. Color combinations can be bold or relaxing, and styles range from country garden to contemporary or exotic. Each page is filled with gorgeous color photos. Whether the space is large or small, there is something for every garden.

New gardeners will benefit from the introductory chapters which explain the role of shrubs and how to make them fit in to the available landscape, plus how to choose the right shrub for the garden. There is an important chapter at the end on planting and caring for the new shrubs. Early in my gardening years I learned the hard way that the proper care during the first few years was critical for the survival of a new, and often expensive, shrub.

When I decided to add a few areas of wildflowers to my garden, I also assessed my overall landscape and realized that I only had a few shrubs. Shrubs add structure to a landscape. They are a good focal point and many have foliage, flowers or berries that add interest and change with the seasons; some are even a food source for wildlife.

The Creative Shrub Garden also contains a plant directory including the scientific and common names of each shrub, expected size at maturity and a brief description. Each is accompanied by a color photo. This is the section I was most interested in. I already knew what I wanted to accomplish, but I didn’t know which shrubs would be the best ones for my yard and I wanted to see what they looked like.

For anyone looking for ideas, or that wants to know more about the care and maintenance of shrubs, this is a good place to begin.

Source: Review copy through NetGalley and Timber Press.
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Leave a Comment
  1. debbierodgers @Exurbanis / Aug 21 2014 2:39 pm

    This sounds like a comprehensive volume to add my gardening library. I’ll have to search it out. Thanks for the recommendation, Leslie!


  2. Alyce (@AtHomeWithBooks) / Aug 24 2014 7:54 pm

    It’s so important to know how the shrub is going to grow and whether or not it will fit with the rest of the landscaping once it’s grown. I know we had some at our old place that we had to take out because they were too big for the space. We think the builders of the development got whatever looked good when they planted it, without allowing for what it would be like months later. If I ever plant anything like that I will be researching it first for sure. 🙂


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