The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting & Pruning Techniques

ISBN: 0881928038
ISBN 13: 9780881928037
By: Tracy DiSabato-Aust

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About this book

With more than 180,000 copies sold since its original publication, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden has proven itself to be one of the most useful tools a gardener can have. Now, in this expanded edition, there's even more to learn from and enjoy. This is the first, and still the most thorough, book to detail essential practices of perennial care such as deadheading, pinching, cutting back, thinning, disbudding, and deadleafing, all of which are thoroughly explained and illustrated. More than 200 new color photographs have been added to this revised edition, showing perennials in various border situations and providing images for each of the entries in the A-to-Z encyclopedia of important perennial species. In addition, there is a new 32-page journal section, in which you can enter details, notes, and observations about the requirements and performance of perennials in your own garden. Thousands of readers have commented that The Well-Tended Perennial Garden is one of the most useful and frequently consulted books in their gardening libraries. This new, expanded edition promises to be an even more effective ally in your quest to create a beautiful, healthy, well-maintained perennial garden.

Reader's Thoughts


This is a wonderful reference for anyone with a perennial garden. I have found it extremely helpful , and will have it close at hand all year long. Perfect for this semi-beginner, but very enthusiastic, gardener!

False Millennium

If you are serious about wanting to work with perennials, then this book should definitely be part of your home library. Not only does she give you a good guide to the plant, with it's Latin and common names, but also things it can be susceptible to like water conditions, heat conditions, cold conditions, spreading, etc. She also spends a lot of time going over deadheading and pruning, etc. and showing you how to perform these tasks.


Written with a friendly style but giving good basic advice. If you don't live in the same zone timing must be adapted but the overall sense of tending a garden remains the same wherever the garden grows.


Excellent reference book on the preparation of a perennial garden and the care for individual species of plants. Much of the text is devoted to a plant encyclopedia. Not a book to help necessarily with the design of a border or bed. As the author states, there are many other books which deal with that subject. I expect this book to be used extensively over the coming seasons.


I use this book more than any of my gardening books. It is practical and well-written.


Some lovely pictures, but the strength of the book is the referencing... when to prune, when not to prune, etc. I think I'll need to obtain my own copy.


This is a great book for gardeners because it helps you control some of the plants that just suddenly might start reseeding....or the plants that get too tall and flop over midseason. It tells you when and how to prune them so they look their best and may even rebloom.


Excellent reference for the perennial garden (how to prune plants you'd never think of shaping or pruning) - borrowed from the library but one I'll buy.

Angela Clark

Loads of great information in this book. This is a keeper. I have post-it tags coming out all over the place.


Excellent book on maintenance techniques for perennials. Very little in the way of design advice but I will look for that in another book. I took the time though to read through the encyclopedia of plants at the back and take notes on the ones I have in the backyard. Supplanted my normal reading for two weeks. To me that is high praise for a gardening tome.


This was recommended by several people as the "bible" of perennial gardening. It's great - very informative and clear.


One of my favorite gardening references. It gives specific advice for caring for, pruning and maintaining your perennials to get the most out of them.


This is a great book giving advice on how to tend perennials to extend bloom (pinching, cutting back early in the season) or to deadhead for rebloom, etc.It is more interesting than I am making it sound. I read it once, and now use it as a reference.

David Ward

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques) (Expanded Edition) by Traci DiSabato-Aust (Timber Press 2006) (635.932) is one of if not the very best book I've ever read about the design and daily care of perennial gardens. As an experienced amateur gardener, I believe that perennial gardening is equal parts art-form, back-breaking labor, and sorcery. The practical tips and advice on the regular care required of the gardener should be committed to memory and are worth the price of the book. This is an excellent excellent work and would be a favored gift of any serious gardener. My rating: 8/10, finished 1/25/14.


More of a gardening autobiography or an "I Love Me" book than helpful. The text and photos constantly refer to her own or clients' gardens.

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