The Northern Gardener

The Northern Gardener

Perennials That Survive and Thrive

Book - 2012
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This can be challenging gardening, replete with hot, dry summers and freezing winters, acidic soils, moose, mice, bears and bugs. Rather than fighting nature by trying to raise plants unsuited for a northern climate, master gardener Barbara Rayment, who has grown--and in some cases killed--nearly all of the plants in this book, helps readers get maximum results with minimum effort by selecting the right plants for their conditions. There are literally thousands of beautiful, interesting and garden-worthy perennials perfectly suited to northern conditions. Rayment moves beyond zone ratings, categorizing plants by habitat type and offering pragmatic advice on topics like watering, soil and beneficial insects, to address common frustrations associated with cold-climate gardening. From Acantholimon to Xanthorrhoeaceae, this book includes hundreds of hardy perennials, including many native plants, accompanied by hundreds of beautiful colour photographs. While glossy gardening books from warmer climates abound, the perennials described here really do thrive in zones 2 to 4, making this an indispensable reference for novice and expert northern gardeners alike.
Publisher: Madeira Park, B.C. : Harbour Pub., c2012
ISBN: 9781550175783
Branch Call Number: 635 .0971 RAY
Characteristics: 188 p. ;,col. ill. ;,26 cm
Additional Contributors: Paton, Darwin 1963-


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Aug 26, 2014

“The Northern Gardener: Perennials that survive and thrive.” by Barbara Rayment 2012. Harbour Publishing.

Rayment is a woman after my own heart. She starts the book with the salvo “There are no rose-coloured glasses in my garden- it is survival of the fittest. Plants die, others struggle, and some do far too well. This is gardening in the real world, replete with pets, and pests, moose and mice, and a wide assortment of mostly mysterious bugs”

Here is a very practical Canadian gardening book where all the recommended plants are hardy to zone 3.

The first part of the book is devoted to what Rayment calls “habitat gardening” Not for her, spending precious time nurturing exotic plants far away from their home only to have them fail. She believes in the right plant in the right environment & then standing back & letting them do their own thing unattended. So there are plant lists for ‘the bog’ 'the forest floor’ ‘the prairie’ etc. The second part of the book is an A-Z of plants and subject, so ‘aphids’ are followed by ‘aquilegia’ and ’salt-tolerant perennials’ is followed by salvia.

This is a beautiful book with glorious photos but it is most valuable to me because I grew up gardening in a much more benign climate & have wasted my time trying to make things grow that just can’t cope with the soil, the untimely frosts, drought, hailstorms and above all, the short growing season. I shall just have to buy it, otherwise it can be ordered on line at or by phoning your local library.

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