If you ever thought that succulents lacked appeal, one look at the sumptuous photographs by Saxon Holt in this new book will change your mind. Saxon is a master at capturing the drama—and the subtleties—of the plant world. His images, alone, make Hardy Succulents worth acquiring.
But the photographs are not the only reason for acquiring Gwen Kelaidis’s book, particularly if you live away from the benign, frost-free climates along the immediate West Coast. Gwen gardens in Denver, Colorado, and maintains a substantial collection of hardy succulents there. She has consulted with other growers throughout the country to assemble a list of succulents that can be considered dependable in almost any climate below the region of the northern boreal forests. Her book will be of particular value to Pacific Horticulture readers in the Pacific Northwest and in the interior of California, well up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
This is not, by any means, an encyclopedia of hardy succulents, but rather a discourse on their use in the garden, focusing on the best of the hardy genera for each purpose. With chapters devoted to the various garden uses for succulents, Gwen shows how succulents can be a feature in almost any part of a garden. Rock gardens, perennial borders, shady corners, and containers are all potential homes for the right succulents, and she provides a thoughtful review of the species that serve well in each situation. Her firsthand experience and gentle prose make for a helpful and easily read book, especially for the first-timer.
For those wishing a more thorough treatise on any one of the genera discussed in Hardy Succulents, a short bibliography offers other titles that will reveal even more about this fascinating group of plants. She also includes a resource guide to public gardens where hardy succulents can be seen, and a list of nurseries offering an extensive selection of succulents for the beginning gardener as well as for the serious collector.
Both Gwen and Saxon are to be commended for producing such an inspirational and educational new book.
Richard G Turner Jr, editor