Colourful Gardens by Dennis Greville

We are so over green gardens, we are past claiming that gardening is primarily about foliage not flowers and equally we have moved on from good taste mono colour palates and static, unchanging gardens. I am with the author on his determination to celebrate seasonal colour and flowers.

Readers of the NZ Gardener magazine will know Dennis Greville as a regular contributor. He is very experienced and competent, both in writing and photography, and I am guessing that he really enjoyed doing this book because at times he treads a fine line between enthusiasm and a hint of purple prose. But an exuberant topic such as colour deserves a somewhat passionate text. The first forty pages give a useful theoretical background, the remaining chapters feature the colour palette and impact in the garden. There are many coloured photographs, on every page in fact and all captioned.

It is not a beginner’s book. Too much plant interest and too many photos of fairly sophisticated planting combinations for that. Hallelujah for an author and a publisher who are not scared to use proper plant names as well as giving the common reference. On an experience scale of 1 to 10 (1 being absolute beginners), this book sits appropriately in the mid level as being suitable for gardeners in that 3 to 6 level of ability and experience.

(Published by New Holland. ISBN 978 1 86966 269 1)