Making the Most of Shade: How to Plan, Plant, and Grow a Fabulous Garden that Lightens up the Shadows Spiral-Bound | April 16, 2005

Larry Hodgson

★★★★☆+ from 101 to 500 ratings

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A gorgeous celebration of the shade garden--featuring nearly 300 perennials, annuals, bulbs, ferns, ornamental grasses, and climbing plants that will thrive without direct sunlight
A shaded garden can be a soothing sanctuary that even the most dedicated sun worshipper can welcome on a hot summer day. But how do you get plants to grow in a spot where trees and shrubs hide the sun? In this stunning volume, garden expert Larry Hodgson shows how to create a lush and lovely garden filled with plants that will flourish in the shade.

The first part covers the basics of shade gardening, including planning, planting, and problem-solving. Here readers will find out how to use shade-tolerant grasses and groundcovers for the root-filled areas under trees; discover solutions for dry shade and heavy needle and leaf drop; and learn what to do if a tree should fall and a shade garden is suddenly thrust back in the sun. The second part is devoted to an encyclopedia of shade-loving plants.

Complete with expert designs for five different kinds of shaded gardens, Making the Most of Shade is a splendid new gardening title by the popular author of Perennials for Every Purpose, which Susan McClure, author of Easy-Care Perennial Gardens, called "a treasure . . . the next best thing to having a friendly expert whispering in your ear as you plan, plant, and perfect your perennial garden."
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 416 pages
ISBN-10: 1579549675
Item Weight: 1.9 lbs
Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 101 to 500 ratings
“Gardeners who weed, plant, and prune under the sun's beneficial rays may think they have it "made in the shade" when it comes to horticultural variety, but there's a downside to all that versatility, according to Hodgson. Those who garden, figuratively speaking, where the sun don't shine, have less weeds, watering, and other bothersome maintenance than their full-sun compatriots. Sharing his considerable expertise throughout this comprehensive guide, Hodgson entertainingly educates both novice and seasoned gardeners about the myriad merits of shade gardening. From cultural considerations to design decisions, Hodgson covers those relevant topics necessary to transform dark garden corners into radiant exhibitions of texture and color. Hundreds of popular and lesser-known perennials, annuals, bulbs, vines, and grasses are profiled in-depth, their inclusion based on decades of Hodgson's personal and professional experience. With informative special features, helpful at-a-glance tips, and lots of color photographs, Hodgson's enlightening guide is a ray of sunshine for shade gardeners.” —Carol Haggas, Booklist

“Shade-a welcome retreat for gardeners who want to escape the heat on a hot day or a curse for those who want to grow lots of colorful flowers? Hodgson (Perennials for Every Purpose) here discusses varying degrees of shade and their advantages and disadvantages, revealing that plenty of shade does not exclude one from having a lush and beautiful garden. For gardeners who want more shade, he offers detailed lists of the top shade trees and shrubs; the book's second half features nearly 300 shade-loving plants (perennials, annuals, climbing vines, and more), plus detailed information on growing, top performers and varieties, and problem solving. Design tips on how to combine colors and textures as well as a presentation of five garden plans in various themes (Japanese, Victorian, Native, Textured, and Annual) keep gardens looking bright and beautiful. Most helpful is Hodgson's chapter on how to cope with problems like root competition from trees, growing plants in dry or moist shade, and what to do when your neighbor or a storm knocks down the tree that is your shade source. Along with George Schenk's The Complete Shade Gardener, this is an excellent addition for public libraries.” —Phillip Oliver, Univ. of North Alabama Lib., Florence, Library Journal
LARRY HODGSON is the author of the Rodale books Perennials for Every Purpose and Annuals for Every Purpose. A regular contributor to garden magazines here and in Canada, he has also been radio garden commentator for CBS Radio. Hodgson lives in Sainte-Foy, Quebec.