256 pages, 110 ideas, and words that clearly define the term “floral bliss”. I touched every page of this book, not once but more than once. Perhaps I am too embarrassed to share how many times. The book, Floratopia, is as awesome as its author, Jan Johnson.
Jan Johnsen gets it. A garden without flowers is like a cake without the proper ingredients. Flowers add so much to the garden and we incorporate them to our taste. Color and diversity are the flavorings in our gardens. Knowing where, when, and how to add colorful accents in the garden ofttimes escapes us. Jan encourages us to be adventurous, try what is proven to work, and experiment with something new.
Broken down into six chapters, this book is a confidence builder. Whether you have a pot on a balcony or simply want more color in the landscape, I recommend this book. Jan offers tips that are easy and fun. Advice on drainage in pots, pot repetition, and the color blue are tips that are of interest to me. I dare say I know I have a sincere love of blue in the garden. This color just pops, adds life, and draws the eye. My blue fish stand out in the semi-shade garden especially when accented by white shade plants such as begonias.
Blue, yellow, as well as purple, and lime green play an emotional role in the garden. Who knew? Did you know as unstructured as Cottage gardens are, they provide a tight-knit community of plants that thrive together? Information is essential for each of us to learn how to use color in the garden. Jan makes it a very simple process.
Useful tips such as caring for the garden in hot weather are useful. Other tips like caring for perennials, soil secrets for the prefect meadow and more, are on these pages. If I could share the bonus of having this book as a pre-season primer, it would be the plant lists. Imagine a plant list or two which includes perennials and annuals which are proven to work. Durable plants that can handle most conditions such as Shasta daisies, Geraniums, and even a native-like Joe Pye Weed. A few annuals mentioned are nasturtiums – beautiful as well as edible and a summer favorite, cosmos.
Jan Johnsen is a friend of the garden and to all who love the garden. Having a useful tool such as Floratopia is like having the perfect recipe book. Recipes for a garden that is alive with color. This book is an addition to my printed lessons on the garden from Jan Johnsen. Her books Heaven Is A Garden, Spirit of Stone, and Gardentopia are on my bookshelf. Each of these books helps me in my pursuit of acknowledging and embracing the beauty that surrounds me.by