The Plant Finder: The Right Plants for Every Garden

Tony Rodd, Consultant, Geoff Bryant, Consultant . Firefly $49.95 (992p) ISBN 978-1-55407-265-1

This massive tome is a sort of Petit Larousse for the plant world: over two inches thick, with profuse color illustrations and tiny print on glossy pages, it gives basic descriptions and growing conditions for more than 5,000 plants, with a focus on the temperate zones. After a short introduction that includes a global map of hardiness zones, the book is divided into 10 sections—trees and shrubs; annuals and perennials; bulbs, corm and tubers; grasses, sedges and bamboos; fruit and nuts trees and bushes; vegetables and herbs; climbers and creepers; cacti and succulents; orchids; and ferns, palms and cycads—all listed by genus. Each chapter begins with a description of the plant group, followed by a chart concisely outlining the physical characteristics and growing conditions needed for each plant. The rest of the chapter goes into more detail, with short sections on each genus and its species, often accompanied by small but sometimes dramatic color photographs: blossoms of yellow and red Hamamelis japonica (Japanese witch hazel) emerging from snow-draped branches; a wild meadow of the daisy Townsendia parryi (Parry's Townsendia), its purple and yellow blossoms brilliant against a backdrop of rock-bare Colorado hills. Sections are color coded for easy navigation, and beginning gardeners as well as plant fanatics may find this comprehensive volume an indispensable midwinter reference for yearly garden planning, as well as a useful outdoor planting companion come spring. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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