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American Plants for American Gardens

Edith A. Roberts and Elsa Rehmann Foreword by Darrel G. Morrison

Publication Year: 1996

Undeservedly out of print for decades, American Plants for American Gardens was one of the first popular books to promote the use of plant ecology and native plants in gardening and landscaping. Emphasizing the strong links between ecology and aesthetics, nature and design, the book demonstrates the basic, practical application of ecological principles to the selection of plant groups or "associations" that are inherently suited to a particular climate, soil, topography, and lighting. Specifically, American Plants for American Gardens focuses on the vegetation concentrated in the northeastern United States, but which extends from the Atlantic Ocean west to the Alleghenies and south to Georgia.

The plant community settings featured include the open field, hillside, wood and grove, streamside, ravine, pond, bog, and seaside. Plant lists and accompanying texts provide valuable information for the design and management of a wide range of project types: residential properties, school grounds, corporate office sites, roadways, and parks.

In his introduction, Darrel G. Morrison locates American Plants for American Gardens among a handful of influential early books advocating the protection and use of native plants--a major area of interest today among serious gardeners, landscape architects, nursery managers, and students of ecology, botany, and landscape design. Included is an appendix of plant name changes that have occurred since the book's original publication in 1929.

Ahead of their time in many ways, Edith A. Roberts and Elsa Rehmann can now speak to new generations of ecologically conscious Americans.

Published by: University of Georgia Press


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p. vii

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pp. xi-xxviii

I was first introduced to American Plants for American Gardens in 1963, while working as a fledgling landscape architect in the Washington, D.C., area. At that time, the book had been published more than three decades earlier, in 1929, and was authored by two faculty members at Vassar College: Dr. Edith Roberts, ...

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pp. 1-8

THE beauty and variety of plants native to America have ever been recognized and have made a deep impression upon the plant lover. Plant ecology, a comparatively new study of plants in relation to their environment, contributes toward a keener ...

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pp. 9-23

EACH uncultivated field or meadow is a natural garden covered over with many different kinds of flowers gathered together in lavish numbers. It is this wealth of plants that the farmer struggles against when he sows his grasslands. Because of them he ...

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pp. 24-34

THE dry sunny hillside is so rocky and exposed that only a few plants are able to adapt themselves to its rigorous conditions. Among them the red cedar, Juniperus virginiana, is the most prominent. They scatter over the hillside; they crown the knolls; they ...

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pp. 35-38

WHEREVER there are gray birches, Nature is in one of her lightest moods. These gray-white trees of slender form gather together in fairy-like groves. Their slim grace is accentuated by the way they often spring up in fives and sixes from a single root. When ...

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pp. 39-42

WHITE pines are lordly evergreens. Within the forest they have trunks of marvelous straightness that rise without side branches to a great height The infinite repetition of the vertical lines expresses their stateliness. On the edge of the woods, however, the ...

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pp. 43-56

OAK woods are found on uplands. They rise above the streams and ponds, surround the sunny fields, fringe the juniper slopes, and cover many a hillside. Sometimes, on the one hand, there are aged white pines left among them on the ridges, and on the other ...

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pp. 57-65

BEECHES, maples and hemlocks are found growing together in old and stately woods. The hemlocks are tall evergreen trees with seal brown trunks, drooping branches and short flat needles. The maples are sturdy round-topped trees. Their trunks are ...

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pp. 66-74

HEMLOCKS grow on the side of deep ravines. Their roots find foothold between big boulders. Their tall dark trunks tower beside great cliffs. Their soft branches throw shadows over fern-covered rocks. In the deep hollows water trickles over mossy ledges. All ...

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pp. 75-87

MANY kinds of trees, a great variety of shrubs and innumerable herbaceous plants grow along streams and rivers. The ever-present supply of water and the moisture-laden atmosphere give them an ideal environment. And, as the stream meanders between ...

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pp. 88-97

AQUATICS are plants that thrive in quiet water and full sunlight. Many kinds of native aquatics, water shields, water lilies and water crowfoots, arrowheads, pickered-weeds, arrow arums and water plantains, sweet flags, wild callas, bur-reeds, sedges, ...

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pp. 98-102

A TYPICAL bog is a perfect circle with the plants arranged according to a definite plan into a series of concentric zones. In the very middle there is often a pool of water which is surrounded by a broad band of sphagnum. This moss is springy and spongy and ...

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pp. 103-116

ALONG the North Atlantic coast with its far look to sea and with its great sweep of the sky, with its shelving rocks, undulating dunes and sandy flats, a small group of trees, shrubs and flowers grows with rugged vigor. ...


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pp. 117-132


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pp. 133-145

E-ISBN-13: 9780820340562
E-ISBN-10: 0820340561
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820318516
Print-ISBN-10: 0820318515

Page Count: 176
Publication Year: 1996

OCLC Number: 714811886
MUSE Marc Record: Download for American Plants for American Gardens

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Subject Headings

  • Landscape plants -- East (U.S.).
  • Native plant gardening -- East (U.S.).
  • Native plants for cultivation -- East (U.S.).
  • Landscape gardening -- East (U.S.).
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