The Undaunted Gardener
I grabbed this book off the shelf on my latest trip to the library. I almost didn't bother, but what's a library trip if you don't come home with at least one gardening book, right?
I am so glad I did. This book is fantastic. Not only does it introduce a LOT of species I've never had the chance to become familiar with before, it really does a good job of highlighting their special "performance abilities" and made it easy for me to imagine how I might use them in a garden of my own.
I particularly liked the author's evident focus, in her own garden and in her writing, on form and foliage as well as bloom, taking the plant as a whole for what it does in the garden, not just what color and shape the flowers are. The use of texture is great. Wonderful ideas that make it easy to wrap my head around creating multiple-season interest.
I think that just reading this book has improved my understanding of gardening by a large margin and I'm going to get a copy of my own.