Return to the Ornamental Grasses Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
hands down the best book for........

Posted by gardenlady48 z5 IL (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 25, 06 at 17:34

Hello,
I need to find the absolute best book for designing with ornamental grasses.....plese share your choice. Thanks for you time! :-)


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 26, 06 at 8:50

Taylor's Master Guide to Landscaping

It's not just grasses, but has many in it's designs. 372 pages of photos and ideas for landscape design, maintenance and renovation.


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Check out pretty much any book by Piet Oudolf, particularly 'Gardening with Grasses" with Michael King or "Planting the Natural Garden" with Henk Gerritsen. Oudolf is a master at designing with ornamental grasses and has done much to bring these plants to the popularity they now have in the country.


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Check out "Grasses" by Nancy Ondra, photographs by Saxon Holt. Absolutely the best photos of ornamental grasses I have seen, capturing their unique beauty and appeal. The book is broken down into chapters listing OG varieties by their colors, uses in the garden and special habitats. It is very useful for design purposes. However, the book does not provide an encyclopedic listing of most or all OG varieties, if that is what you are looking for.


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 1, 06 at 16:13

Being one that is just a rookie in the grasses jaunra I have several different grass books and each and everyone of them holds something that is not quite there in any of the others.

It might be a photo or an article. It might be the description of how to maitain that grass or what other plant or plants goes good with a particular grass.

Each book is worth the money I spent to get that book.

My list includes these books:

The Pathfinders Guide to Ornamental Grasses by: Roger Grounds

Step-by-Step ornamental grasses, by Better Homes and Gardens

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES The amber wave, by: Carole Ottensen

Gardening With Grasses, by: Michael King, Piet Oudolf

GRASSES by: Nancy J. Ondra

The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses by: Rick
Darke

Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses by: Rick Darke

Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses text by: John Greenlee photographs by: Derek Fell (who is an excellent landscape / plant photyographer, writer and speaker)

Taylors Guide to Ornamental Grasses

From these books I have found most everything that I think is important to grass habitat, grass characteristics and grasses in all forms, shapes and sizes.

These books have worked for me and I still contiue to look for more books because every grass covered by one author is not spoken of the same way by another.

So which book would I recommend ?? Let read through them again and maybe I might be able to narrow it down to 6 or 7 books.

Jake


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Good question, but you won't get an absolute answer here. (And that is absolute.)

Best book? More likely "favorite" book. For design: Piet Oudolfs "Designing with Plants." Good because it shows grasses in combination with other plants and plant-shapes. (All of Oudolfs books are good in this regard. See reviews at amazon.)

For grasses only: absolutely, hands-down, bar-noneRick Darkes "Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses" DK


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 2, 06 at 20:27

gardenlady48 -

Are you asking for yourself or to suggest such book to a friend who has no design skills?

If you actually are going to use the design from any book be sure to read what zone that design was created for.

I only use the books for ideas as most times I am not wholly comfortable with the designs that I see.

I really can't believe that any designer would readily copy or use a design from a book. As a starting point maybe but by the time you finish your design will it look like the design from the book?

Mine never have and most likely never will. Thank goodness.

Jake


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 3, 06 at 5:58

What'samatter, Jake? Don't any of the designs in the books include the lawn chair? ;>)


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 3, 06 at 23:51

None do that I have read but then again not everyone is on the same page.

The books that i have seen I feel are only guide lines and inspiration and not specific designs that I feel would work in the landscapes that I have worked on.

Again just personal opinion here.

It's like those that think a CADD program will make them a better designer when in fact in some cases it doesn't even make some a better draftsperson.

You have it or you don't, I know it took me quite awhile to get that correct ornamental grass chair.

Dang that search took more work then planting, cutting back, making the refreshment, plopping my butt down and watching the grass grow.

Just gotta love those grasses.

Jake


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Jake, you got me thinking about something I never thunk before: surely people don't look at these books in order to "copy" them, do they? The thought of someone doing that is as embarrasingly funny as it is baffling. But your questions are astute: afterall, somebody buys those preplanned and plotted perennial beds that some nurseries sell. I guess I can see a beginner doing that, but not a learner. The learner gardens from inspiration and wonder, often from a butt-in-chair position. The books mentioned here do inspire, but dirt under the fingernails holds the seeds of wonder. (Now, I've gone over the top and can't get my tongue out of my cheek.)


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 13, 06 at 10:19

What other people do we have no control over. Let 'em do what works for them.

As I see the calendar and the temperature are coming together for another season of growing I need to get out to the garage, pull the chair out from under the tarp, clean it up and make sure the slats are firm enough for another season of hard watching.

Jake


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Hi, I'm new here and have fallen in love with this web site. From my eavesdropping, it seems Jake has his research down, now could you maybe narrow down the book list to about 3 that provide 1)good photography, 2)solid information about growth habit, propagation, care of. I hate the books that just show how grasses look on a California hillside, I live in Indianapolis for heavens sake. So if maybe you could say which books do you consult the most. And Jake, those chairs are for dreaming up more places to dig, plants to add-you understand.
aunt millie


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Mar 17, 06 at 13:11

Aunt millie...the two best are listed above:

The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses, Rick Darke, Timber Press, ISBN 0881924644

The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses, John Greenlee, Rodale, ISBN 0875961002


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Well, I ordered the 'Planting the Natural Garden'.....I have to say I was disappointed. I've flipped thru it twice and now it is sitting on my bookshelf. Oh well...
Pam


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

Thanks for the help, I have lots of ripping out to do before I am ready to pick plants, so I will be watching for more advice. aunt millie


 o
RE: hands down the best book for........

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 7, 06 at 13:42

Aunt Millie -

I have never needed a chair or any support to dream of places to put more plants. If there is bare ground - it needs some kind of plant.

If there is a bad looking plant then it needs to be replaced. If I want "that" spot for a different plant then that spot is where the new plant will go regardless if there is a plant there already.

I will agree with Donn on his two choices for the best OG grass books yet I cannot dispel any of the others that I listed.

Jake


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Ornamental Grasses Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here