The Well-Tended Perennial Garden

The Essential Guide to Planting and Pruning Techniques, Third Edition


By Tracy DiSabato-Aust

Formats and Prices




$50.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover (Revised) $40.00 $50.00 CAD
  2. ebook (Revised) $16.99 $21.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 22, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

“This practical guide is lush with clear, step-by-step advice.” —Real SimpleWhether you are a new gardener or a green thumb, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden is here to help you successfully plan, plant, and tend your garden. This hardworking guide includes thorough details on the essential practices of perennial care—included deadheading, pinching, and thinning—along with growing information for specific species and cultivars, on-trend garden design advice, a monthly planting and maintenance schedule, and details on native plants and gardening for wildlife. The Well-Tended Perennial Garden will be your ally in the quest for a beautiful, well-maintained garden.


We are thrilled to offer this information-packed, beautiful, and inspiring third edition of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden! In an effort to stay topical in the rapidly changing world of perennial gardening, we felt an update to the original edition from 1998 (that’s right—can you believe it?) and the expanded edition from 2006 was in order.

Exciting changes to this edition include more than 50 new plant encyclopedia entries, dozens of new cultivars, scores of new photographs and illustrations, updates to some of my original garden design projects, and visual stories of new design projects. If you have the previous two editions of Well-Tended Perennial Garden you will also appreciate the updated Perennials by Maintenance Needs, which has been expanded in this third edition.

New perennials are being introduced daily and it’s hard to keep up! Our goal isn’t to provide every new perennial or cultivar (these are well covered in other publications), but to address these new plants from a maintenance perspective, which is a viewpoint unique to this book. What are the care, and more specifically, pruning, needs of these plants? Which cultivars are more reliable, hardier, or long-lived performers? Which ones have I used for years that still pass the test of a great plant?

Working in the horticulture industry for 4 decades now, I’ve seen many changes. I have always used native plants in my designs, but the emphasis on their use is even greater today. Perennials are being incorporated into rain gardens, rooftop gardens, container gardens, and mixed gardens. They are joining trees, shrubs, bulbs, annuals, and vegetables in the garden, rather than being strictly relegated to traditional perennial beds. There is the desire to grow dynamic yet low maintenance plants that are deer resistant and drought tolerant, that don’t require frequent pruning or care to look their best. Many new, safe organic fertilizers and pest controls are readily available. We address these issues here.

Thankfully, many of the sound horticultural practices that were discussed in the book’s first edition still hold true today; you will find they remain in these pages, both in recommendations and in the examples of featured gardens.

Thank you for supporting this book and its mission all these years. Besides being one of the all-time bestselling and most-sustaining gardening publications available since it was first released, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden has been one of the most rewarding and cherished aspects of my career.
Today’s world is hectic and filled with technology. People rarely look up from their cell phones or digital devices. We desperately need to fuel our souls, and an excellent way to do so is by connecting with plants and the earth through gardening. May this refreshed, more-relevant-than-ever guide help you navigate a joyful perennial gardening journey.



  • “When it was first published, Tracy’s book took the gardening world by storm. Undoubtedly, this new version will become indispensable, too.” —Ruth Rogers Clausen, Essential Perennials

    “This book encourages large, lush garden beds after determining soil types, moisture conditions, sunlight and shade, wind direction, and existing vegetation and structures. . . . The maintenance needs and planting and maintenance schedule sections that follow offer guidance not often found in gardening literature. . . . This third revised edition is worthy of purchase for its 50 new plants, including some native species important to pollinators and for human enjoyment.” —Booklist

    “There is no denying the excitement that the new edition of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden stirs in the hearts of gardeners and readers. This is a beautiful book, but more importantly it contains tested and true advice for home gardeners, both experienced and novice. . . . the perennial enthusiasts among us will find it difficult to resist adding this alluring incarnation to their home libraries.” —NYBG's Plant Talk

    “Techniques for maintaining perennials are thoroughly described at a level of detail that is hard to find elsewhere. . . . Although beautifully illustrated and designed this is not a book that will end up sitting on the coffee table. It is one that professional and amateur gardeners will be constantly reaching for.” —Gardens Illustrated

    “DiSabato-Aust's extensive experience in horticulture informs the significant insights she presents in all parts of this edition, making this a valuable reference for any perennial plant gardener.” —Choice

    “From beginners to master gardeners, this book has tips for everyone. Filled with colourful photographs and a helpful encyclopedia, it is not only informative, but makes learning about gardening fun and exciting.” —The Week

    “An even more effective ally in your quest to create a beautiful, healthy, and well-maintained perennial garden.” —Michigan Gardener

    The Well-Tended Perennial Garden is a good read for those who love to garden and a great reference for plant maintenance in future years.” —Journal Star

    “As always, packed with down-to-earth advice on designing and maintaining beautiful perennial gardens.” —The American Gardener

    “A book that gardeners of all levels should have as part of their library.” —The Ozaukee Press

    “This is the updated and expanded third edition of this highly regarded book. . . . Covers everything you need to know to create and maintain your own perennial garden, from maintenance, care and pruning to reliable performers.” —The Oregonian

    “My go-to reference for learning which perennials to cut back and which ones to leave alone.” —Omaha World-Herald

    “Remains the best book on the topic.”New Jersey Herald

On Sale
Feb 22, 2017
Page Count
416 pages
Timber Press

Tracy DiSabato-Aust

Tracy DiSabato-Aust

About the Author

Tracy DiSabato-Aust has worked in the horticulture industry for over forty years earning international acclaim as one of America’s best-known and most knowledgeable garden writers, speakers, and designers. She has spoken internationally at venues like England’s Royal Horticultural Society Garden, The Royal Botanic Gardens, The English Gardening School, and the University of Oxford Botanical Gardens. DiSabato-Aust has been featured in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Garden Design, Real Simple, The New York Times, Telegraph, and the National Post. Her website is

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