Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Review: Plants for Atlantic Gardens

Plants for Atlantic Gardens: Handsome and Hard-working Perennials, Shurbs and Trees

As a gardener new to the Atlantic region, the title of this book, Plants for Atlantic Gardens, immediately intrigued me.  I was anticipating a book that would introduce me to plants in this region and author Jodi DeLong did not disappoint.  Over 100 of the most popular garden plants in the Atlantic region, from large imposing trees to flowing groundcovers were discussed.  Neither perennial, nor shrub, is left unscrutinized in the author’s quest to find plants that are both commonly used, and useful, in the Atlantic region.

Each of the plants described in this book is beautifully photographed. Plant features are clearly visible and each description begins with a large header full of essential information such as growing size and required conditions. Basic information is easy to find allowing you to compare and contrast plants.

After each header, the real treat is in the intimate details. The lengthy descriptions showcase the author’s knowledge and expertise of Atlantic plants. The page on lilacs reveals that Isabella Preston was the first Canadian woman to work as a plant hybridizer and as a result many lilacs bear her name. The discussion on sedums recalls the author taking a summer hike in Nova Scotia and discovering hardy sedum growing wild. The author also includes details about plant placement as experienced in her own garden. These details turned this book from reference material into a delightful read. One gets the sense that this book encapsulates just a portion of the knowledge and experience this author has to offer.

Whether you are creating a new bed or renovating an old one, this book will provide essential reference material for what plants to choose and how to place them.

If you’d like to add it to your collection visit the author's blog, Bloomingwriter, to purchase your copy.


  1. thanks for the tip and the website Marguerite! I went to the blog and she was having another giveaway so made a comment - if I don't win a free copy of the book I'll order one from Amazon - it's just what I need!

  2. Very nice - and helpful - review, Marguerite. -Jean

  3. Marguerite, This sounds like a great resource. I always like to hear about the quality of the photos in these 'reference' books since I feel they make all the difference. It sounds like Jodi published a book that's as interesting to look at as it is to read. Great review.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to do this, Marguerite; I am so glad you like the book and find it useful. Wish you could have been at the launch yesterday, which was a blast--lot of people there, and the bookseller was thrilled to bits with the number of copies he sold. So it was great! Thanks again for your thoughtful review.

  5. Really enjoyed and appreciated reading the thorough review Marguerite. Great photos and great advice...perfect.

  6. Jane, I had to wander over to Jodi's blog to see your comment. Lupines! You'll have no troubles with those when you get to PEI. I rather suspect you might find there's too many.

    Jean, thank you. It was a treat to be able to review this book.

    Debbie, The saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words' holds very true to me. Especially when it's a new plant that I'm trying to envision.

    Jodi - the launch sounds like it went wonderfully. I'm sure all those readers will be very pleased when they get a chance to spend some time with their own copy.

    Thank you Gardeningbren, it was a pleasure to preview this book and I think will be a valuable addition to my collection.

  7. Hi Marguerite,
    I am sure this book will be a great reference for you. I have a library of books that I always consult.
    P.S. With regard to the Lavatera, I did not want to rely on memory to answer your question, so I checked the height of Lavatera on the Vessy's Seeds website. They say the plants reach 26"-36" inches. Lavatera plants very much remind me of hibiscus and do get a bit bushy.

  8. Great review, my books are old and probably outdated. But I still drag them out.

  9. Jennifer thanks for looking that up! I was confused as there are both annual and perennial lavatera's and wasn't sure which was which. The striped flowers just looked so lovely I had to purchase the seeds.

    Cheri, some of the best gardening books are old ones! I have books that I drag out time and again, covered in dirty fingerprints, they never get old for me.