The Seasonal Gardener: Creative Planting Combinations by Anna Pavord 2022

Garden books generally fall into two broad categories—those that are too simple and those that are too complex.  Pavord manages to thread the needle pretty well with a book targeted to those who already have a fairly deep knowledge of plants and gardens and who are looking for more specialized advice.  And advice is given in large quantities, in clearly written prose, and accompanied by spectacular, close up photos of individual plants.

The book is organized into the eponymous seasons beginning with spring and ending with autumn, strangely omitting the potential beauty of the garden in winter.  Each section begins with a detailed overview of the potential of that season’s gardens followed by individual sections about a few groups of plants (e.g. grasses in late summer and hydrangeas in autumn). These are followed by groupings of three plants, one designated a ‘star plant’ by Pavord and two other plants that form pleasing combinations.  Each of the three plants are presented in fine photographs and a paragraph detailing their specific characteristics and the varieties that work best.

The book is limited, as is so much of the gardening literature, by being written by a Brit so that many of the plants are not hardy enough or available in New England.  Given that, I still found the book to be a valuable source of new ideas for my gardens resulting in several pages of scrawled notes to be transferred to usable lists for the late fall and early spring visits to my favorite nurseries.

Read Pavord for information or just peruse the photos for the delight of seeing nature’s beauties up close and personal.