Perennials for Midwestern Gardens
Proven Plants for the Heartland
By Anthony W. Kahtz
(Timber Press (OR), Hardcover, 9780881928938, 228pp.)
Publication Date: May 2008
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Gardeners everywhere want to grow perennials. But with its hot, humid summers and often bitterly cold winters, the Midwest presents a formidably challenging climate. This book provides concise, experience-tested information about popular perennials-including herbs, ornamental grasses, and bulbs-that can be grown successfully throughout a wide range of the midwestern United States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin). From the unusual yellow-edged, mahogany-red, disk-shaped flowers of Mexican hat ("Ratibida columnifera") to the demure charm of blue-eyed grass ("Sisyrinchium angustifolium"), beautifully illustrated descriptions also tantalize with perennials that deserve wider appreciation for their superb garden qualities. In all, more than 400 plants are recommended, grouped into 140 main descriptions arranged alphabetically by botanical name. Each entry gives the plant's common name and describes its flowers, leaves, habit, soil and sun or shade requirements, propagation, insect and disease problems, outstanding cultivars and similar species, recommendations on where to use it, and other plants that will complement it. An easy-to-use box at the beginning of each description summarizes key characteristics. Native midwesterner Anthony Kahtz holds a Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Illinois. His plant selections are based on his many years of professional and personal experience and represent perennials noteworthy both for their ornamental features and for the ease with which they can be grown. This trustworthy guide will be an indispensable aid to gardeners in America's heartland who seek to make their time in the garden easier and more fun.