Shade for people, shade for houses, shade for plants, privacy, shelter from the wind, shelter for birds, purer air: Living trees provide all these practical benefits. Esthetically, trees stand as great works of curvilinear art, the main form containing the smaller artworks of flowers and seed structures, bark patterns, buds and leaves. In cities and suburbs, trees are an herbal remedy for visual ills: They cushion the hard, colliding geometry of architectural landscapes. In the country---they are the country.
This classic reference is now back in print. Long considered required reading for those with difficult low-light areas, it covers the basics from the ground up, leading the gardener through the creation of a shady retreat. Schenk's writing is casual, to the point, and often humorous. The sago palm, for example, "will put you in touch with paleobotany." Selected photographs and line drawings both illustrate and inspire.