Author(s): CONDER SUSAN
The popularity of variegated plants is no sudden craze. For centuies gardeners have been fascinated by distinctive and unusual plants and forms of plants. Examples in which the foliage, instead of being a uniform gree, is mottled, marbled, splashed or margined in lighter shades of green or in various shades of white, silver, cream, yellow or gold have been particularly prized. For the gardeners of the 16th and 17th centuries these "curiosities" were a welcome addition to a relatively limited range of ornamentals. The numerous introductions of the 19th and 20th centuries greatly increased the range of ornamentals available to gardeners without denting the popularity of variegated plants. Some of the most spectacular tender variegated plants suitable for growing in the home or in conservatories were introduced in this period. In recent years nurseries and garden centres have responded to the demand for good variegated plants, especially those that provide year-round colour, by offering an astonishing range of hardy and tender plants. This illustrated guide presents the distinct characteristics and beauties of some 200 variegated plants, highlighting each plant's cultural requirement. Variegated plant types, habitats, suggestions and gardening hints are all features of the book.