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The New Ornamental Garden

The New Ornamental Garden
Simon Rickard
CSIRO Publishing
Publication Date: 

paper, 268 pp., $35.95

Australian garden writer Simon Rickard brings to the reader’s attention the changing attitudes in his country toward gardening practices. Faced with prolonged drought and severe water restrictions, environmentally responsible, dedicated gardeners are now urged to rethink their garden schemes so that they are compatible to changes in climate, rather than directed by the demands of fashion. Rickard has hit upon a truth that will jar many garden tastemakers and ornamental plant growers around the world: “The law of supply and demand dictates that if nurseries are continuing to sell rampantly inappropriate plants then somebody must be buying them. The fact is that Australian garden tastes are still being driven by the British.” The purpose of this work is to educate the public on the topic of climate and how plants adapt to its demands. The enlightening text includes an extensive listing of suitable plants for drought areas. Writing as one gardener to another, the author recommends his choices for the top species. This attractively illustrated book contains a wealth of information about the workings of Mother Nature and deserves to be on the top shelf of gardeners around the world.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden