Joann Gardner and Karen Bussolini, authors
Karen Bussolini, photographer
Timber Press

The beauty and drought-tolerance of familiar downy silvers such as lamb’s ears and artemisias have long made them favorites in the herb garden and perennial border. Elegant Silvers explores of the entire range of these distinctive fragrant, useful and deer-resistant plants.

Digging for Silver

“You’ll feel as if you struck the Mother Lode when you dig into this book. The authors have mined the story of silver-leafed plants through the past several centuries to bring you up to date on their many uses today. Karen Bussolini, a nationally known photographer of plants and gardens, traveled North America to capture glittering images of silver plants in a variety of settings. I found many nuggets of information on silver plants including full-disclosure discussions of where they grow well and where they may perform poorly.”

– Jim Wilson, Former host of The Victory Garden


Elegant Silvers is unfortunately out of print, but my slide talk, Designing with Elegant Silvers continues to delight and inform audiences throughout the country.

Check out my Schedule of Talks to see if I’ll speaking near you – or Book the talk for your group). If you buy a used copy and bring it to one of my talks, I’ll be happy to sign or inscribe it.


Media reviews

“This book is a gold mine and a cause for celebration: a well-researched guide to silvery plants that thrive in this region.”

—Lili Singer, Los Angeles Times

“Whether you decide to add a dash of quicksilver or the soothing perfume of an ancient herb, this in-depth guide to plants of uncommon beauty is certain to change the way you see and plant your garden.”

Herb Companion

“This in-depth guide to plants of uncommon beauty and versatility is certain to change the way you see and plant your garden.”

Michigan Gardener

“It is a volume to savor, to come back to time and again, to display and to treasure.”

—Kathleen Halloran, Herb Companion

“Karen’s love of silvers runs through the book in both words and photos.”

—Irene Virag, Newsday

“A book to think about and admire … as handsome as the many plants it describes.”

—Anne Farrow, Hartford Courant

“This will be the plant bible that saves your garden from the fires of hell … Text-rich and Latin-heavy, this is a perfect reference for serious gardeners and thirsty gardens.”

—Marianne Binetti, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Every aspect of plants with silver foliage is covered in this valuable new book.”

—Graham Rice, American Gardener

“A bible, if you will, of the increasingly popular plants with the metallic moniker.”

Metropolitan Home

“This book will open your eyes to the vast array of silver-foliaged plants … The photography is as useful as the words in helping the authors make their points and helping the reader to clearly understand the messages being conveyed. A must-have reference book for all serious gardeners.”

Karen’s talk, Designing with Elegant Silvers, has been a hit all over the country, especially in hot, dry or deer infested locales.