Once the subject of snobbery and derision, variegated plants are now among the more sought-after and collected treasures of garden connoisseurs. Whether marbled, dotted, splashed, or veined, variegated foliage never fails to catch the eye and to add excitement whatever the flowering season. Variegated Trees and Shrubs (which includes woody ground covers and vines as well) fills an important gap in the literature and provides valuable information on selections that provide long-lasting specimen and accent plantings for years of garden pleasure. Written under the sponsorship of the Netherlands' prestigious Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society, this book describes in detail nearly 800 variegated trees, shrubs, and vines available internationally from nurseries. Painstaking in the accuracy of its nomenclature --- variegated plants are notorious for being misnamed in commerce --- this volume also includes a scientific discussion of the reasons for variegation as well as an essay on how to design with variegated plants in any garden. More than 760 garden photographs have been assembled from the author's collection and from contributors around the world.
Ronald Houtman is currently secretary of the Trials Committee of the Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society (RBHS). He grew up in the world-famous nursery village Boskoop, and after his training as a nurseryman he worked for the Dutch firms P. G. Zwijnenburg and Firma C. Esveld. Apart from his work for the RBHS, Houtman serves as a private consultant, breeds new plants, writes and edits catalogs for nurseries, and writes descriptions for plant breeders' rights and patent applications. Houtman is a frequent lecturer and has written numerous articles in journals such as Dendroflora. He has a special interest in Stachyurus and Viburnum.