Author(s): Glyn Church
Foliage gives shape and texture as well as colour. It is the vital contrast needed to make a garden the vibrant place that it should be. It is possible to have a garden based entirely on leaves and foliage alone, but it would be difficult to make an attractive garden if all of the flowering plants had identical leaves. The leaves are often a backdrop for the flowers and although foliage sometimes masks them, the greenery usually helps to highlight them. Trees and Shrubs for Foliage is a compendium of beautiful trees and shrubs with photographs specifically chosen for the extraordinary array of leaves in every shape, size and colour available for gardens in every season.
New Zealanders Glyn Church and Pat Greenfield have collaborated to produce a lavishly illustrated, informative guide to woody plants. Focusing on over 100 genera, Glyn's vast knowledge, gleaned from his training in England and his own experience at his specialist nursery in New Zealand, shines through in his clearly-written text. Adding personal opinions and little known facts make the book an enjoyable read and the glorious photographs of Pat Greenfield highlight the special interests of these most useful backbones of every garden. There is a surprising variety of foliage within this group of plants from the glaucous Melianthus major, the glossy Fatsia japonica, the needle-like Abies and the prickly Ilex. Spotted leaves such as Aucuba japonica, the purple-leaved Cotinus coggygria and yellow Thuja occidentalis "Rheingold". And not forgetting the fiery hues produced in the autumn by so many, ensuring them a place in every garden. Although several recommendations are not regarded as hardy here, following Glyn's cultivation advice should ensure the best possible chance of survival in the UK - and the resultant beauty of the foliage should more than make up for the effort. Part of the "Woody Plant" series, this is another volume that all serious gardeners should not be without. - Lucy Watson