Armitage's Garden Perennials: A Color Encyclopedia
Armitage's Garden Perennials is the most comprehensive single-volume photographic resource on perennial plants. It describes and illustrates the choice of perennials in 136 genera from Acanthus to Zauschneria.
The book's greatest strengths are the quality of its more than 1400 photographs, all taken by the author, and the exhaustive information on the most interesting, important, or overlooked perennial plants. Based on his own extensive experience — he has gardened in climates as dissimilar as Quebec and Georgia and studied plants on three continents — Armitage makes a discerning selection of the best cultivars, from classics to cutting-edge recent introductions.
The text is concise and delightful, like a private tutorial with a master teacher. The reader will have no doubt about which plants the author most admires ("What else do you know that is big, bold, and beautiful and wants to be planted in a bog?") and which fall short ("Variegated coral bells like 'Snowstorm' ought to be trashed. I am constantly told how wonderful they are. I don't listen. To each his own.")
The encyclopedia is rounded out by more than a dozen extensive lists of plants suitable for particular situations or uses, including plants for wet places, for drought tolerance, and for fragrance or color. It is a noteworthy addition to Timber Press's acclaimed series of pictorial encyclopedias that includes Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs and Rick Darke's Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses.