I like to think of Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz’s new book as the stylist’s guide to plant combinations. That’s not a leap, as a combination of plants devised by Salwitz—who is known for couture plants—graced the cover of this year’s March issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Serving Seattle clientele through her company Le jardinet, Chapman’s container designs have been described as transformative.
Fine Foliage: Elegant Plant Combinations for Garden and Container does much more than celebrate gorgeous foliage specimens, which by now are enjoying the popularity once reserved for blooming plants. The book groups foliage plants (and the occasional bloomer) that have complementary and contrasting features–and can live together happily in the climate they were meant for.
If you are looking for groupings based on color, texture, light needs, zone or any other characteristic, Fine Foliage makes it easy to find what you need. More importantly, these combinations have been proven successful by the authors themselves, who have tried many mixes before narrowing to these ones.
Designers needing for inspiration will find it here, especially in the busiest seasons when time is of the essence. Sometimes a bright idea from a book has the power to crystalize a designer’s approach to a client’s garden, or at least launch a solid vision board. Fine Foliage is a reference of that type, and should be kept within arm’s reach during client meetings and office hours.