It is hoped that this book will serve as a ready reference to those who have no authoritative source of information, and whose limited opportunity and limited time for observation have not enabled them to become familiar with a wide range of materials, and to keep familiar with it. This information is not compiled for the purpose of taking the place of the services of a professional landscape architect, where the problem is of sufficient magnitude to justify his employment. This book will assist those who, having no available sources of reliable information at hand, are prone to accept the advice of "landscape quacks" and self-styled landscape architects with little training.
The question is often asked, "What plants can I use for a specific purpose?" This is asked by both professional landscape architects and by owners of properties. This book will place at the disposal of such persons a list of plants from which species and varieties may be selected advisedly.
The discussion does not by any means represent a complete study of this subject. It will take years of checking, verification, and criticism, before a compact compilation of this material can be put into final shape which will be valuable as a reference in all sections of the country, where plants other than tropical are used for landscape effects. The correct selection of plants for various purposes in landscape work is but a part of the success of landscape plantings. One should know not only the correct use of plants as indicated in these lists, but their landscape value from the standpoint of their adaptation to design and composition, as well as how to plant and to maintain them. For those unfamiliar with plant materials the information in this book should be supplemented with additional information which may be easily procured from descriptions in nursery catalogues, encyclopedias, and garden books.
The main idea behind this method of compiling information for the use of those interested in landscape plantings is that of providing a compact reference manual from which fundamental information can be easily obtained. In reality it is more in the form of a "landscape dictionary." The chapters which have been introduced into this volume are a series of summarized fundamental principles with reference to the respective chapter headings, and they are not in the form of many magazine articles, so compiled as to be interesting to many persons who really read the articles, not always because of the facts in them, but because of the camouflaged outlines.
In the compilation of the plant lists, and generally throughout the text of the book, an earnest effort has been made to conform to the recommendations of the American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature as adopted and published in the 1917 official code of standardized plant names. The two new rulings of this committee regarding botanical names also have been adopted. These rulings are that all botanical names except the generic name shall begin with a lower case letter and not with a capital letter; and second, that in the case of all specific names heretofore ending in a double "i" one of these "i's" shall be dropped. Thus Berberis Thunbergii will become Berberis thunbergi. Since this code fails to cover many horticultural varieties of plants it has sometimes seemed wiser to follow the nomenclature of Bailey's Standard Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, especially in the case of garden forms of plants. An effort has been made to find the most generally accepted viii Preface common name for each plant; or, where none was available, to invent a common name which would be descriptive of the plant and helpful in fixing its valuable characteristics in mind.