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Color for Adventurous Gardeners

Color for Adventurous Gardeners
Christopher Lloyd
Firefly Books
Publication Date: 

paper, 192 p., $19.95

Christopher Lloyd, in his urbane and witty style, has written the book on color, not just another book on related harmonies of the color wheel. His experience in mixing flowers is unrivaled, and the photographs he uses are drenched in deep color, producing not just a beautiful book, but a source of inspiration and innovation.

Color is one garden element that worries many gardeners, according to the author. The choice of color is so wide that many gardeners develop prejudices against certain colors in favor of others. The message Mr. Lloyd has for readers is that every color can be used successfully, under the right circumstances. His mandate is "Toss out the color wheel, and experiment to bring excitement to the garden. Rules are made to be broken."

Using that concept, each chapter features one color. "Nothing to Fear Red," "Sunlit Purple," "Enigmatic Green," "Brown Studies" and "Sophisticated Black" are included, among other chapters. Each page is color-coded, lest you forget for one second the color of your focus. At the conclusion of each section is a list of suggested blooms in the chapter's color. Most of the splendid photographs were taken at Mr. Lloyd's Great Dixter home near London.

If you are willing to experiment and throw out your color prejudices, the ideas in this book will blow through your mind, sweeping away old notions like a March wind brings April showers.

— Adele Kleine, Library Volunteer and Master Gardener, Chicago Botanic Garden; contributing writer,Chicagoland Gardening magazine