Synopses & Reviews
Seedheads bring impact to late summer borders and linger to provide interest well into autumn and winter. They look dramatic set against a backdrop of fading flowers, associate well with grasses and native plants, and are key components of the naturalistic garden in which every phase of a plant is enjoyed from first shoot to final decay. After providing historical context, Noël Kingsbury explains how plants reproduce and participate in the garden's wider ecology, and explores seedheads' role in diverse gardens worldwide. At the heart of the book is a plant directory in which Kingsbury's hand-picked selection describes the particular characteristics of each plant's seedheads and grades them according to their value and persistence. Jo Whitworth's compelling photographs capture the individual character of each seedhead and open our eyes to the intricate shapes, tempting textures and dense monochromes of seedheads.
"This beautifully photographed book showcases the unusual textures and striking silhouettes of plants past their prime. ... If you aren't interested in the botany of seedheads, you'll find plenty of design ideas to keep you reading."
—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times, October 1, 2006 Seattle Times
"Garden books are often beautiful; they are often educational or useful. Less often they are all three. Kingsbury delivers the dramatic impact of nature's fantastic wombs."
—John Bagnasco, Garden Compass, September/October 2006 Garden Compass
"Noël Kingsbury and photographer Jo Whitworth capture the shapes, textures and, yes, drama of plants gone to seed. ... But just as important as the appreciation lesson is the book's plant directory, the only directory of plants chosen for their spectacular seedheads."
—Sharon Wootton, Olympia Olympian, September 30, 2006 The Olympia Olympian
Seedheads are key components of the naturalistic garden. After providing historical context, Noël Kingsbury explains how plants reproduce and participate in the garden's wider ecology, and explores seedheads' role in diverse gardens worldwide. Analysis of various seedheads' aesthetic merits is accompanied by cultivation advice and a plant directory. Jo Whitworth's compelling photographs capture the seedheads' unique qualities.
About the Author
Noel Kingsbury is a well-known designer, commentator, and writer on plants, gardens, landscape, and the environment. His doctorate in horticultural ecology from the University of Sheffield focused on the selection and management of ornamental perennials and he is still engaged in active research in this field. Noel is interested in combining natives and non-natives in ecological planting schemes and a passionate advocate for sustainable plant combinations that require minimal intervention from the gardener. He trials plants and gardens at his home on the border between England and Wales and travels widely.