The Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Beds And Borders With Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals, And Bulbs by Tracy Disabato-austThe Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Beds And Borders With Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals, And Bulbs by Tracy Disabato-aust

The Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Beds And Borders With Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals…

byTracy Disabato-aust

Paperback | August 26, 2009

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The Well-Designed Mixed Garden is a design book with a difference. Written for gardeners who are passionate about plants of all kinds, it reflects decades of professional experience and artistic innovation. 

Tracy DiSabato-Aust provides not only inspiration but also scrupulously organized information on design and connoisseur plants. A gallery of detailed design plans is included, as is an encyclopedia of plant combinations with notes on design considerations and tips on how to keep the combinations looking their best. The result is a nearly foolproof guide to every aspect of designing superior gardens with superior plants. 

With more than 250 color photos and illustrations, The Well-Designed Mixed Garden is a feast for the eyes and a trusted reference for the library shelf.
Tracy DiSabato-Aust has worked in the horticulture industry for over forty years earning international acclaim as one of America’s best-known and most knowledgeable garden writers, speakers, and designers. She has spoken internationally at venues like England’s Royal Horticultural Society Garden, The Royal Botanic Gardens, The English ...
Title:The Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Beds And Borders With Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals…Format:PaperbackProduct dimensions:460 pages, 11 × 10.04 × 1.06 inShipping dimensions:11 × 10.04 × 1.06 inPublished:August 26, 2009Publisher:Timber PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0881929670

ISBN - 13:9780881929676


Read from the Book

When gardens that you've visited linger pleasantly in your memory, what do they look like? Do they have trees above to protect you? Are the trees underplanted with rhododendrons, hellebores, and daffodils? Perhaps there are old-fashioned roses, whose fragrance you can almost still smell. Around the roses are alliums, foxgloves, and dianthus, the wall behind may be covered with honeysuckle and clematis. A group of nigella in soft blue, seeded from the previous season, adds a soft grace to the romantic scene. Maybe you remember a garden with the bold tropical foliage of cannas, the bright yellow flowers of heliopsis, the swaying panicles of miscanthus. The enlivening scene was grounded by the solidarity of a boxwood hedge. These picturesque images are of mixed gardens, the gardens I find to be the most spectacular and emotionally rewarding.A mixed garden is one that is planted with a combination of herbaceous (soft-stemmed) and woody plant material. Trees and shrubs, roses, and perhaps large-growing ornamental grasses may give the garden its outlining structure. Herbaceous perennials and annuals, along with spring- and summer-flowering bulbs, vines, and sometimes vegetables, fill the remaining space. The planting is diverse, derived from a wide palette of plant material, making for a garden that has interest and function year-round. Varied textures, forms, and colors abound in a mixed garden. The rhythm of undulating plant heights and habits makes for a dynamic scene. Planting in layers, utilizing all available space, frees the designer and gardener to choose from the wider variety of plant material; space is used more creatively and efficiently. Sections of light and shadow provide the ability to grow sun- and shade-loving plants in close proximity. Mixed gardens are particularly important for small spaces, where the luxury of separate spaces for a shrubbery (shrub border), an annual bed, and a perennial garden are not possible.What I call mixed gardens or borders are often an extension of the traditional perennial border, yet they offer several advantages over a strictly herbaceous garden. The framework of deciduous and evergreen shrubs or trees can add tremendously to the winter garden. Annuals, tropicals, and early spring, summer, and autumn bulbs further extend the season of interest in a mixed garden. We need not rely on flowers for the predominant interest but can look to fruit, bark, and autumn color from the woodies to provide further drama. Vines incorporated to utilize the vertical space in the garden can add scale if used on a freestanding structure such as an obelisk, or they might soften a wall or hide a fence. Aligned as it is with planting in nature, a mixed garden often has a more natural feel to it than a purely perennial or annual planting. Hearken back to fourth-grade science (yikes!) and its lessons about the layers of the forest: canopy, understory, shrubs, and herbaceous groundcovers. For plantaholics — those of us who love all kinds of plants, no matter if they are herbaceous or woody — planting a mixed border better satisfies our fanatical plant-lust. It turns a collection of plants into an artistic garden.

Editorial Reviews

“Provides not only inspiration but scrupulously organized information on design and connoisseur plants.” —Publishers Weekly “This new book stands out for its comprehensive approach to designing the border. . . . The motivated gardener will find a wealth of information and ideas in this book.” —Library Journal “DiSabato-Aust brings her trademark exuberance, expertise, and efficiency to bear on frequently daunting elements of garden design, demystifying them with her direct approach and encouraging gardeners with her infectious enthusiasm. A patient instructor with a keen sense of the essential, DiSabato-Aust explores areas other authors often ignore. . . . [An] admirably inspirational, abundantly informative, and absolutely indispensable guide to great garden design.” —Booklist “Tracy makes it possible for the novice gardener to design an artistic mixed garden.” —National Gardener “A gorgeous and practical guide to having it all. . . . The Well-Designed Mixed Garden is one of those enormous and comprehensive works that is equally at home on your coffee table or out in the potting shed.” —American Gardener “This book is written by an expert for those who aspire to become experts in design fundamentals.” —Real Simple “A master class in plant and color mixing.” —Los Angeles Daily News “The newest book by this author who does a fine job in presenting ideas on how to combine plant elements to yield a unified whole. Her ideas are basically down-to-earth and ones which most home gardeners can relate to with ease.” — “Tracy DiSabato-Aust does not skip a stone over the pond of an idea; she immerses herself in it and swims deep and wide. . . . This book, an outstanding work of gardening scholarship, is at the same time down to earth, inspiring, practical, and altogether useful if you want to develop an extraordinary mixed garden.” —Horticulture “Unlike so many books on garden design that tempt readers with pretty pictures and give little or no instruction as to how to accomplish such delights, this work begins with site evaluation and takes readers through the complete design process.” —Chicago Botanic Garden “This much-anticipated book is a nearly foolproof guide to every aspect of designing superior gardens with superior plants.” —Northwest Horticultural Society “Owning a copy of this book is like having a 24-hour daily access to a talented landscape designer.” —Christian Science Monitor