"Is it hardy?" is often the first question gardeners in temperate climates ask about a plant. And generally they mean, "Will it survive severe frosts?" Often plants are described as hardy (able to survive hard frosts), half-hardy (able to survive mild frosts) and tender (will be killed by any frost) and many plants are borderline hardy or half-hardy. In this book Fell concentrates on what he terms 'iron-clad' hardy plants: annuals and perennials, woody plants, herbs, fruit and vegetables that can survive severe winters, especially where the ground freezes, with an emphasis on those that are relatively easy to obtain and look after, and that are most likely to add the strongest visual interest in a garden setting.
Derek Fell is an award-winning writer and photographer, who has won more awards from the Garden Writers Association of America than any other person. He has written over 70 gardening books and calendars, his articles are published worldwide and he has a photo library of more than 150,000 garden images. He lives with his wife and three children at historic Cedaridge Farm, Pennsylvania, United States.