Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Growing Bulbs in the Natural Garden: Innovative Techniques for Combining Bulbs and Perennials in Every Season


Growing Bulbs in the Natural Garden is a gardening theory and planning guide by Jacqueline van der Kloet. Due out 7th May 2024 from Hachette on their Timber Press imprint, it's 240 pages and will be available in hardcover format. Originally published in Dutch in 2022, this English language edition is updated and well translated and formatted.

The author is an experienced designer and well known gardening authority, and the book is full of dreamy pictures of flowering bulbs and perennials in gorgeous stately garden settings. All the (many!) photos are well labeled with species and varietal names; readers will want to keep a notebook at hand when leafing through the guide in order to jot down ideas, and they are legion. The information is well arranged, from the basics "what is a bulb, how to source and use them" through to very specific planning, design, and culture considerations. The author has also included a list of her favorite varieties to help inspire readers to adopt some of them in their own gardens. 

Many of the designs will be outside of *most* private home gardeners, they're mostly pictures to inspire, rather than to copy/recreate. That being said, the author is very generous with information and often inspired in combining unusual colors and forms together.

The style throughout is conversational, she talks at length about her own gardening journey and the places she's designed and developed as well as her own gardens (extensively). 

Four stars. This would be a good selection for public or school library, gardening groups, community gardens/allotments, and home use. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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