Full Bloom: Thoughts from an Opinionated Gardener

Rayford Clayton Reddell, Author, Sergio Baradat, Author
Rayford Clayton Reddell, Author, Sergio Baradat, Author Harmony $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-70337-3
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A California transplant, Louisiana-born Reddell never lost his Southern gift of gab. It's on resplendent display here in this splendid collection of chatty essays culled from his biweekly gardening column in the San Francisco Chronicle. By turns wry, opinionated, occasionally curmudgeonly (""after two years, bushes that don't make the grade should be pruned with a shovel"") and always informative, this eclectic assortment is a browser's delight. The selections are arranged by topic (""Gardening for Fragrance,"" ""Dining on the Garden,"" etc.) and temptingly titled--who can resist the lure of ""Roses from Hell"" or ""Gardenia--the Big Bertha of Fragrance""? A respected rosarian, Reddell (who penned The Rose Bible and grows roses commercially), refers often to his pet flower. But besides the substantial section devoted to ""Her Majesty, the Rose,"" he covers a lot of other ground here too, offering up suggestions on everything from staggering plantings (through their season) to extending the vase life of flowers. This one's a must for every gardener's nightstand. (Mar.)
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