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Five-Plant Gardens: 52 Ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Showcase colorful blooms and striking foliage in conditions from full sun to full shade, with easy, budget-friendly garden plans and season-by-season care tips.
ebook, 250 pages
Published April 25th 2014 by Storey Publishing (first published March 1st 2014)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  91 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
A great resource for anyone starting with a clean-slate area. In the 52 ways there are a variety of sun and shade options, single-colourways, rainbows, fall and winter friendly, rain gardens, salty soil, and many more - pretty much something for every space and aesthetic!

The images of the plants themselves were beautifully done, but each of the 52 ways also includes an illustration of a mature garden and a planting plan - as well as a few alternative options for each plant. The description also
Written for novice gardeners, or those who are new to planning a garden, this book is an ideal introduction. It has easy-to-follow and informative instructions for both planting and garden maintenance, suitable for anyone but especially suited to beginners. The introduction explains why the five-plant idea, and that these are garden plans designed for minimal maintenance once the plants are established. The book is divided into two sections: full/partial sun and full/partial shade; each contains ...more
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diy, favorites, read-again
definitely a book for every gardener's library!
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty plants that come back year after year? Sign me up! But, can it really be that easy?

Ondra advises to start small ("Admire large gardens but plant small ones"), shop smart (begin with 5" pots- plants will grow and spread), and get in the zone (USDA Plant Hardiness). Her enthusiastic writing is energising and everything is kept simple. The "five plants", however, refers to five types of plants -- sometimes more than one of each kind is required.

The book is divided into two main parts: "Five-
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gardening
I love the idea...many perennials bed, all just using five plants (different hybrids.) However, let's say one of the plants is the astilbe. MY experience with astilbes re that they look great for about a week. I tried for years in varied light and soil sources to get them to stay secure, and I never could. Constantly lost them. You hit a point with a plant where you say, "It's not worth it" and you let it go. With that said, if three of the five the author has chosen, you've already rejected, yo ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very good handbook for planning flower beds. It shows diagrams for sunny, partly sunny, and shade gardens. It shows photos of each plant used. Then there is a paragraph on each plant used in that garden, with all the data about each individual plant.

It also shows a colored diagram of what each garden design will look like. The only thing extra I would have wished for would be an actual photo of each whole garden. The diagrams just seem to show what a real garden with real plants will actually
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book IMMEDIATELY went into my Amazon cart after I finished it. I can't believe they only want $3 for the kindle edition (although I am getting the print version).

This book provided 52 garden plans for a plant garden using 5 different plants for each garden. These weren't your run of the mill plants either. They include plans for shade areas, full sun areas, the 4 seasons. It was AMAZING. I simply couldn't believe how wonderful this book was.

I would say the only criticism I would have is t
Susan B
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
As a non-green-thumb, non-gardener, non-landscaper, I was thrilled to find this book. The simplicity of just five plants, along with the sample landscape suggestions is just what my husband and I need as we plan our backyard garden for next year. We had our front yardscape professionally done, but wanted to do the back ourselves to save mucho dollars. This book is going to be a HUGE help! (And we love the idea of perennials, which once planted, just keep coming back year after year!)
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nancy J. Ondra is a superstar in landscaping and I already have one of her books which is in my top ten. This one....not so much because I was not that impressed with the line drawings. I suspect that I needed to see the plants growing side by side for the book to really wow me. But nevertheless, some really good ideas that I may be using in the garden.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: house-and-yard
Clear and SIMPLE! Tells you what to plant, how to plant it, and how to maintain the garden. MANAGEABLE!
Best surprises: Use of native plants, bird seed garden, and one with plants that continue to look good through the winter even though they are DEAD! Now, how can you top that?!! :) Excellent.
T Crockett
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gardening
Well thought out and beautifully organized. I was trying to find shade happy perennials and this book was a big help. The images are wonderful. I would have liked more info on where the plants are native to.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: house-gardening
absolutely loved it. Should become a new classic in how to plan your garden. Shows ways to organize plants for shade and sun, and then divides them into colors, salty soil, slopes, anti-deer, suggestions on which colors to choose based on house color, alternate plants, etc. Wonderful!
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best simple garden planning book I've read. Great illustrations, easy plans for any area of your yard, clear ideas for every kind of garden you can think of and all with only five plants per area.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful, pretty, and inspiring in that five plants sounds very doable. I particularly like the design by color and sun format.
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I skimmed through it here and there for some ideas. I liked the different types of gardens she presented and the various plants used. Definitely will grab this when it comes time to plant again.
Laura Gilfillan
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting concept, but I wasn't very excited about the plans, and I know some of these plants, and have serious doubts about them staying in the neat mounds the author illustrates.
Jane Dugger
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very well laied out. A great idea generator.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, non-fiction
lots of really simple plans with suggestions for swap outs. I have a plan.
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Tam G
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Sep 29, 2014
Shawn Kacerski
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Sarah Schandle
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Jul 22, 2016
Ruth A. Hoard
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May 02, 2016
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I garden at Hayefield in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Now in its 16th year, Hayefield includes about two acres of managed meadow, one acre of pasture, and one acre of intensively planted garden and open shrubbery areas.

I earned a B.S. degree in Agronomy and Environmental Science from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, then worked as a Senior Associate Ed