the reviews are in!

“Ah, the agony of the impatient gardener. The old adage, first year they sleep, second year they creep, frustrates those who can’t wait for the third year before seeing their plants leaping in botanical euphoria. For those who want success and want it now, Green embraces those plants known as self-sowers, perennials and annuals that quite happily bloom where they’re planted and then move on to areas where they weren’t. Filling in garden gaps with volunteer plants is not only a cost-effective way of maximizing one’s garden budget. It also allows for surprising serendipity as new plant combinations brighten and enliven existing designs. But lest one think this willy-nilly approach is a “love ’em and leave ’em” proposition, Green cautions that there is a fine line between exuberance and invasiveness and encourages a judicious application of editorial control in weeding out any interlopers. Gorgeous photographs illustrate cunning design suggestions, while concise plant profiles give snapshots of VIP volunteers. Basic cultural techniques, handy references, and helpful resources augment this guide to enthusiastic gardening.”

–Carol Haggas, Booklist (starred)


“The fascination of Green’s first book is the sense that it brings into order a chaotic landscape half-seen but never attended to. Consider the tall Verbena bonariensis with its seemingly fragile, slender, 3-5ft. stalks, the delicate bundles of purple blossoms that crown them, the butterflies they attract. This book prompts appreciation of the plant, and imparts knowledge of how to control (“edit”) it. Plants that are self-starters tend to show up in gardens, highway medians, and all manner of other locales. Self-seeders come back again and again, which can be wonderful and terrible. The challenge for the gardener is keeping them in check. This book—generous with color photographs and helpful tips and tools—lends the right eye and the technical expertise to that end. The book equips the gardener to understand what, in her garden, she is looking at, and then, understanding, she can organize and tame it and see it again, as if for the very first time.”

Publishers Weekly


“It’s time to let our gardens do some work for us, for a change. Kristin Green’s PLANTIFUL (Timber Press, paper, $24.95) is exactly what many of us need. In spite of its rampant cuteness with section titles, this book is extremely useful. “Start small,” its subtitle urges, then “grow big with 150 plants that spread, self-sow and overwinter.” Here the common teasel “behaves beautifully, attracting bees.” Green’s Petasites japonicus rambles politely across a border, though in my beds it would be kind to characterize its growth as shambolic. It bears remembering that in the garden, as in life, what is nicely plentiful in one place might be considered invasive in another. So Green offers clear directions on plant division.”

Dominique Browning, New York Times Sunday Book Review, Summer Reading, May 2014