Christopher Lloyd's books give practical advice on plant care and use in the garden. (Great Dixter)
Winter is a challenging time for us gardeners, and to make matters worse for me, I’m in the process of downsizing. It’s tough to weed out treasures no longer in use.
My tool shed, packed full of gardening tools and trappings, was no place to start. The basement, crammed with seed starting equipment, my prized collection of flowerpots, yard art and grow lights was a consideration, but I’ll need to “stage” my gardens for showing this spring. And there are tomato seeds to plant in April.
That led me to my gardening books. I figured I’d spend the winter weeding out my collection amassed over a 20-year career in garden writing.
My efforts stalled with the English author’s section. I’m a true anglophile, so when it comes to thatch roofs and cottage gardens, I’m in heaven — a good place to be when a polar vortex arrives.
The discovery that Fergus Garrett, the head gardener and CEO of Great Dixter in Sussex, England, will speak at the annual Master Gardener’s of St. Clair County Spring symposium in Port Huron on March 22 spurred me to take a fresh look at older titles such as “Christopher Lloyd’s Garden Flowers: Perennials, Bulbs, Grasses and Ferns” (Timber Press) and “Exotic Planting for Adventurous Gardeners” (Timber Press) also by Lloyd. They garnered rave reviews when published more then a decade ago and stand the test of time.
For those who want to try their hands at growing from seed, “Garden Flowers From Seed” by Christopher Lloyd and Graham Rice (Timber Press) is worth the read. All these classics give practical advice on care and use in the garden by famous opinionated garden experts, quick to comment on their likes and dislikes, making these books fun as well as informative.
The best news is they are available as used books on Amazon for less than $10, including shipping.
The Long Border and gardens at Great Dixter were the home of Lloyd, an English gardening icon. And after years of working along side Lloyd, Garrett was his choice to carry on his legacy as “An Adventurous Gardener,” the title of his presentation.
For more information and to obtain a brochure about the St. Clair Master Gardeners’ “Practical Knowledge for the Avid Gardener” symposium, which also features presentations by award-winning author David Culp, renowned plant collector and president of Terra Nova Nursery Dan Heims and topiary artist Pearl Fryar, contact Lisa Sharrow at (810) 329-3722 or email her at email@example.com.
Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and a Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Friday’s in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to Yardener.com and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnews.com/homestyle.