The Flower Gardener's Bible

Nancy Hill, Author, Lewis Hill, Author, Nancy Hill, Joint Author Storey Publishing $27.5 (384p) ISBN 978-1-58017-462-6
The Hills recount a visit to a retired farm couple's garden where ""flowers were planted in neat cultivated rows, just like their vegetables."" Comprehensive formulas for vegetable gardening work, as did the Hills' The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (which has 135,000 in print), but the flower garden is perhaps too broad a subject for similar treatment. The Hills are skilled instructors in basic techniques-a strength they use well in Part I. Easy-to-read text, a welcoming magazine-like layout and step-by-step photographic guides provide a solid foundation in flower garden fundamentals. Part II, ""A Gallery of Gardens,"" is less helpful, with watercolors accompanying descriptions and plant lists for everything from a garden path to a rose garden. By trying to serve all needs and tastes, this section sometimes overloads rather than whets the imagination. In Part III, the Hills present ""species-by-species information"" on 261 perennials, annuals, bulbs, wildflowers, shrubs, vines and grasses. While overall the result is sometimes uneven, the handsome color photographs will invite browsing and offer gardeners a good, homey foundation. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/17/2003
Release date: 02/01/2003
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