Cool Plants for Cold Climates

A Garden Designer's Perspective

Brenda C. Adams

Cool Plants for Cold Climates

Brenda C. Adams

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

256 pages | 338 color plates | 8 x 10
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9781602233256 Published July 2017
E-book $7.00 to $35.00 ISBN: 9781602233263 Published May 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 Adams has spent decades searching for exceptional plants that flourish in wintery 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, are especially easy to care for, and solidly 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.

Review Quotes
Richard Hawke, plant evaluation manager, Chicago Botanic Garden
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.”
Sheila Toomey | Alaska Master Gardeners Anchorage

“Adams’ new book is useful to cold climate gardeners everywhere -- across Canada and all those northern fl y-over states to New England, Northern Europe and, probably, Outer Mongolia. . . . What lifts this book above other decent advice books is the hundred or so pages of recommended plants with stunning photographs showing them in a variety of groupings illustrating how individual choices fit together. Maybe it‛s the four feet of snow piled in my yard, or the single-digit temperatures every night into late March, but Adams‛ practical advice about both familiar and unfamiliar plants—and the photo illustrations—had me redesigning my garden in my imagination, over and over.”

Julie Riley, horticulturist, University of Alaska Fairbanks
I love every page of Cool Plants for Cold Climates. Feasible and functional advice make this book an essential companion for every gardener. This is a gold-mine; offering nuggets of wisdom on selecting plants for their impact and dependability. It even offers pointers on shopping for perennials, trees, and shrubs.”
Patricia Holloway, professor emeritus, horticulture, University of Alaska Fairbanks
“Adams presents a garden as a theatrical event, and her scenes encourage gardeners to look beyond flower color to the dizzying array of plant attributes—texture, shape, motion, fragrance, hardiness, and more. Her palette of exceptional plants, practical advice backed by years of experience, and stunning photographs will be inspirational and educational to all northern gardeners."
Stephanie Cohen, author of The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer and Fallscaping
"Brenda Adams, author and designer, has done it again. This time she digs into Cool Plants for Cold Climates and gives you the real nitty gritty. As a successful designer she gives you great insights on what will grow in the harshest climates. She discusses everything from bulbs, perennials, to trees and other plants that can grow in this climate. The pictures will inspire you to try some new plants and tackle some new ideas. This book will be an invaluable resource for old and new gardeners because as an experienced gardener and designer she is one cool writer and fresh new voice!"
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