paper, 144 p., $21.95
Presented in color photographs, this is a guide to more than 100 different plants that have evolved over time to withstand very difficult growing conditions. These plants are truly "unkillable," surviving and even flourishing in sand, salt spray, clay, scorching sun, shade and even rocks. Before the author describes the individual plants in her plant directory, she explains how to analyze a garden site and identify the difficult spots lurking in each garden. She explains with clear instructions how gardeners can make improvements, such as amending the soil.
In the plant directory, plants are organized with easy-to-read symbols identifying the best locations for each plant. These symbols translate into descriptions of microclimates, soil conditions and heat zones. Practical tips include routine care and weed control for each kind of plant. Overall, Tough Plants is colorful and instructive in its examination of a select group of plants that can handle a variety of difficult situations.
— Elaine Juhl, Volunteer and Master Gardener, Chicago Botanic Garden