The Explorer's Garden

Posted by 08.04. 2007 09:53:05 (10977 readers)

The Explorer's Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials

If, like so many other gardeners the world over, you're enamored of Dan Hinkley's Heronswood Nursery catalog, you'll love the Explorer's Garden. Heronswood is a wildly successful nursery in Kingston, Washington, that offers many of the most beautiful and unusual plants available anywhere. My guess is that once The Explorer's Garden is read through for pleasure, it will be used over and over again as a supplement to the catalog, as it thoroughly describes the plants Hinkley offers at Heronswood, and offers information on how best to grow them.

The Explorer's Garden is part sheer adventure, part the story of Hinkley's intense love and appreciation for the flora of Planet Earth. While fascinating for the botanist with its tales of plants growing in their native habitats at the far corners of the world, The Explorer's Garden also satisfies the gardener by emphasizing which plants are most garden-worthy. Out of the many masterworts (Astrantia) now available, Hinkley tells us that the cultivar known as "Margery Fish" or "Shaggy" is one of the best of the lot. He sorts through the virtues of the many hardy geraniums, distinguishing G. sylvaticum "Amy Doncaster" for its deep-blue upturned flowers with white eyes; he calls G. phaeum exceptional for its striking, purple-blotched foliage. This is just the kind of information gardeners need to know. We may grow plants better by understanding from whence they hail, but it is experienced guidance in choosing amongst the hosts of available plants that keeps us reading, notepad to hand.

And if you think that this book will help you to fill up your garden with the best perennials, just remember that Hinkley has two more books to follow in The Explorer's Garden series. So leave some room, on your bookshelf and in your garden, for trees and shrubs. --Valerie Easton

Book Description:
The sophisticated gardener is forever in search of distinctive new plants not commonly found in gardens. For these enthusiasts, Dan Hinkley's Heronswood Nursery near Seattle has become a mail-order mecca in recent years, the arrival of its fat catalog an eagerly awaited event. This book describes and illustrates the most interesting perennials Hinkley has encountered in his many travels around the world hunting plants in the wild. All are grown at his nursery.

Author: Daniel J. Hinkley,
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated 1999-08-01

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