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Ground Cover: A Thousand Beautiful Plants for Difficult Places

Ground Cover: A Thousand Beautiful Plants for Difficult Places
John Cushnie
London: Kyle Cathie. distributed by Trafalgar Square (North Pomfret, Vt.)
Publication Date: 

cloth, 160 p., $29.95

John Cushnie stretches the definition of ground cover plants in this excellent source book to ideally include a "bold, dense mass of leaves completely covering the ground most of the year, and evergreens gain brownie points."

Not content with the usual low-growing, rapidly spreading ivy, pachysandra or vinca, the author describes useful applications of ground cover to special situations. The first section of the book is devoted to plants for steep banks, grass terraces, excessively wet or dry situations, shady or sunny areas, or banks of streams, in essence, just about anywhere low maintenance, the pertinent characteristic, is desirable. Soil analysis, preparation, weed removal, fertility, pruning and propagation are some of the topics also covered.

The major portion of the book is a comprehensive directory of ground cover plants, alphabetized by Latin names and divided by growth habit, such as vines, climbers, grass, ferns, conifers, heaths, herbs, fruits, alpines and more, described by appearance and hardiness zone. This English author has included many plants in his guide that are not hardy here. Regard this book as a way to become acquainted with plants outside of Zone 5, our hardiness zone, and as a good reference guide.

— Adele Kleine, Master Gardener at the Chicago Botanic Garden and contributing writer to Chicagoland Gardening magazine.