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

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Five-Plant Gardens: 52 Ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants Cover Image
By Nancy J. Ondra, Rob Cardillo (Photographs by)

Staff Reviews

 A great relatively new book for ornamental garden design from our best gardening publisher.No doubt inspired by all of those 5 ingredient cookbooks, this acknowledges that in any garden, a very few plants are the real wokhorses .Affordable, non-fussy designs for zone 4-6 gardeners (e.g. Michigan and Ohio) that recognizes texture and contrast are what really makes a garden pop.

— From Carla's Picks


With literally hundreds of choices, it can be overwhelming to decide which perennials to plant in your garden. Nancy J. Ondra takes the stressful guesswork out of perennial garden planning by offering 52 vibrant designs, each made up of only five plants. Ondra tailors each simple design to a specific set of growing conditions, with plenty of tips to help your planting mature. Enjoy gardens full of sun-drenched blooming flowers and shade-loving greenery for years to come.  

About the Author

Nancy J. Ondra, author of Container Theme Gardens, is a garden writer and editor as well as the former owner and operator of a small rare-plant nursery. She is the author or co-author of a dozen gardening books, including Foliage (winner of the 2008 Book Award from the American Horticultural Society), The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer (winner of a 2006 Silver Award from the Garden Writers Association), Five-Plant Gardens, The Perennial Care Manual, Fallscaping, and Grasses. She currently gardens in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and blogs at

Rob Cardillo has been photographing gardens, plants, and the people who tend them for more than 20 years. Formerly the director of photography at Organic Gardening, he now works for major publishers, horticultural suppliers, and landscape designers throughout the United States. Visit him at

Praise For…

“Ondra cuts through the confusion that would otherwise attend the process of creating a border or bed, including tips for creating a garden for a particular season or color scheme. She helps the gardener with a simple key: planting a magic five plants for a variety of beds. … Her guidelines … reflect her skill as an accomplished horticulturist … Other highlights include the color photography of Rob Cardillo and a generous supply of design plans. The reader will benefit from this gardener’s eye and her sharing of knowledge. More to the point, the resulting garden will be so simple yet sophisticated that it will look easy.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781612120041
ISBN-10: 1612120040
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Pages: 184
Language: English