C.L. Fornari’s Books


Sand & Soil

Creating Beautiful Gardens on the Cape and Islands

With a climate in equal measure challenging and rewarding, the Cape and Islands of Massachusetts provide a bold canvas for any would-be tamers of this unique landscape. In these pages, C.L. Fornari offers expert advice with the warm and casual tone of a broadly knowledgeable and informed friend. The author of many acclaimed gardening books, quite a number of them focusing on the Cape’s specific landscape and growing conditions, C.L. had lived and gardened on the Cape for twenty-five years herself. Drawing on her own experience, she deftly disentangles the many idiosyncrasies and potential pitfalls of growing a healthy and beautiful garden, both there and on the surrounding islands of Martha s Vineyard and Nantucket. Complete with an index to help you navigate the parade of flowers, fungicides, and footstools, Sand & Soil is the perfect how-to survival guide to assuage your horticultural anxieties and bring forth beautiful blooms from the sandy soil of this legendary landscape.

The Cocktail Hour Garden

C.L.’s latest book is about creating a landscape where we can pause at the end of the day, put aside our digital devices, reconnect with nature and count our blessings. With or without an alcoholic beverage, the cocktail hour is a time to see plants being illuminated by the setting sun, watch hummingbirds come and go, smell the perfume of fragrant flowers and even pick herbs or fresh veggies to snack on. Be inspired to create a garden for the senses as you toast beauty and the wonders of the natural world.



Coffee for Roses

Word-of-mouth may be a great way to learn about some products, but word-of-mouth gardening tips can be a very bad idea. The age-old practice of passing along gardening tips and tricks is no guarantee you will get a good result…it might even do the opposite.  In her new book, garden expert C. L. Fornari looks at 71 common garden practices and uncovers the truth behind the lore.  Do marigolds keep the bugs out of the veggie patch? Will rusty nails turn hydrangeas blue? With humor and affection, she goes back in time to sort out the good, the bad and the just plain silly…and tells us why. Coffee for Roses combines gardening history and expert advice into one useful, time- and money-saving package. The author’s award-winning full color photography is throughout.



A Garden Wedding

A Garden Wedding provides the help you need to make your yard and garden into a magical environment for your event. From advance planning and planting to last-minute fix-ups and decorating, you’ll find a comprehensive plan and tips from an expert gardener who has “been there and done that.”



A Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard

This beautiful full-color book is the ultimate guide to the joys and special challenges of gardening on Martha’s Vineyard. Information-rich and visually gorgeous, this book offers stories of island gardeners and the growing conditions with which  they work. The book contains 225 gorgeous color photographs of Vineyard gardens, public and private, large and small. Tour this special island with C.L. in “A Garden Lover’s Martha’s Vineyard.”



A Garden Lover’s Cape Cod

With high winds, sandy soil, and a spring season that seems to stay cold forever, Cape Cod provides unique challenges to the creative gardener. So why do so many glorious gardens flourish here?  C. L. Fornari has the answers.

With 225 color photographs and a rich, informative text, Cape Cod’s own “Garden Lady” leads a tour from public parks to private properties. Along the way, she offers Cape Codders detailed advice on growing roses, hydrangeas, perennials, shrubs, vegetables, lavender, and so much more.

For the Cape gardener, Fornari’s analysis, advice, and gorgeous photography will be an inspiration. For anyone who loves Cape Cod, this book will be a delightful tour of places where the beauty of the land matches the splendor of the sea.



The Cape Cod Garden

The Cape Cod Garden is the first comprehensive source book for planting and maintaining beautiful gardens on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. In these sea-sculptured lands, gardening is largely determined by sandy soils, moist off-ocean air, cool springtime temperatures, and wind.

This book addresses the challenges posed by these lovely coastal landscapes and diverse growing conditions, providing hundreds of “how-to” tips for the gardener and home-landscaper. Practical information on choosing, planting, and maintenance of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and fruits and vegetables is included. Here too are the least toxic ways to deal with pests and diseases, and a complete listing of plants recommended for the area.

For beginners and experts alike, The Cape Cod Garden is an invaluable guide to the pleasures and challenges of gardening by the sea.


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