Already known and appreciated for his books on borders and Sissinghurst, Tony Lord reveals yet another area of expertise here in Designing with Roses. A homage to "the queen of flowers", this is also a plea for an end to its misuse, with Tony demonstrating its versatility in borders or pots, on walls and fences, alone or in main or supporting roles. These sweeping concepts are then fleshed out with detailed information on shape, colour, scent, foliage, immunity levels, form and flowering times. He writes for a world-wide audience, taking into account local climates and native plants and his attention to detail continues beyond the plants themselves! When he looks at pergolas, for instance, he is informative about possible site, materials, proportions, and construction.
Well researched, flowing prose, interspersed with the author's own stunning photographs, this book will captivate readers of all levels of expertise, to whom Tony throws out a general challenge towards developing a practical aesthetic of roses which balances design with nature. Finally, the bibliography, international list of nurseries, explanation of zones and invaluable list of strain characteristics leave the reader full of inspiration and equipped with the tools for pursuing the dream. --Fiona Murphy