University of Alaska PRESS

Book Detail

Book Cover

Cool Plants for Cold Climates

A Garden Designer's Perspective

by Adams, Brenda

256 p., 338 color plates, 8 x 10

Format: paper and electronic, click "Buy This Book" for pricing options

Price: $35.00

2017

A cold climate is no excuse for a dull, colorless garden. The key is knowing the right plants that will survive and thrive in even the chilliest environments. Who better to guide gardeners than an expert from the far north? Award-winning designer and Alaska gardener Brenda C. Adams has spent decades searching for exceptional plants that flourish in wintry climates. In Cool Plants for Cold Climates, she presents vivid and detailed portraits of the best and most beautiful of the bunch.

When Adams moved from the warm Southwest to Alaska, she found herself in a different gardening world, with few guides on how to approach this new ecosystem. Now, more than twenty-five years later, she shares the secrets gained from her years of gardening experiments as well as bountiful advice from friends and local nurseries.

She explains how to evaluate a plant, balancing its artistic attributes with its more utilitarian ones, as well as how to evaluate your space and soil. Adams then takes you into the nursery, offering guidance on how to pick the best of the best. Finally, she offers a detailed look at a wide variety of wonderful plants, highlighting those that offer overall beauty, as well as those that are especially easy to care for and hardy. With more than three hundred vivid pictures of both individual plants and full gardens, Adams proves that there is a bounty of plants, in a rainbow of colors, waiting to brighten up your space.

Cool Plants for Cold Climates is so much more than a plant encyclopedia—it is the sum of knowledge and wisdom (and wit) of a gardener who loves plants and refuses to be constrained by a short growing season. Adams deftly blends her designer’s perspective and gardening expertise into a wonderfully fresh primer for gardeners of all stripes.

—Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager, Chicago Botanic Garden

Well-named and beautifully illustrated. . . . Focused on the far north, this book fills a niche for the cold climate gardener with significantly fewer “how to” references than those who cultivate ornamental plants in warm regions. . . . Cool Plants for Cold Climates will be a welcome resource for people who spend winters by the fire side contemplating appealing plants to thrive in next season’s garden display.

Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research

Adams is an accomplished and award-winning garden designer whose easygoing prose and deep knowledge of what will grow and flourish in very cold climates are a gift to cold-climate gardeners everywhere. . . . There is plenty of eye candy, too. The pages are filled with gorgeous photos of these hard plants and lush gardens thriving in an often-challenging climate.

Country Gardens

An appealingly authentic and useful resource that makes the many months of arctic winter feel more tolerable given the garden planning that can be done.

—Choice

GWA Media Award, Silver Medal of Achievement

—Association for Garden Communicators



Brenda C. Adams is the designer for and founder of Gardens By Design, Alaska’s premier garden design firm, and the author of There’s a Moose in My Garden: Designing Gardens in Alaska and the Far North. She lives in Homer, Alaska.

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