Beautiful gardens are generally thought to be true labors of love, often demanding hours of tedious routine maintenance. Planting requirements can be daunting, and finding the time to successfully cultivate a home garden is a tall order for most of us—constant watering, debris removal, and tiresome pruning are not at the top of our wish lists. Luckily, it doesn't have to be this way: a carefully selected plant variety can give you all the enjoyment and curb appeal of a gorgeous, painstakingly tended garden with none of the wrist pain.
Plant This Instead! tips you off to 75 lesser-known plant types that will thrive naturally in various microclimates, depending on where you live in the United States—featuring native and non-invasive plants, hardy alternatives to less sturdy species, new introductions, repeat bloomers, and other helpful varieties. Renowned garden designer and photographer Troy B. Marden offers clear-cut, side-by-side comparisons of these superior plant choices to the more common, fussier kinds. He incorporates original photography and identifies regionally appropriate selections, demonstrating which climates are friendly to which plants and ensuring that no matter your location, you'll be able to capitalize on his expert advice. Most importantly, Marden alerts you to some of gardening's most harmful misconceptions, explaining why you shouldn't copy professional landscapers and how placing a ten-dollar plant in the wrong place could cost you thousands of dollars. Planting a beautiful garden shouldn't be a chore—and with Plant This Instead!, it won't be.