John Cushnie, Author, Sarah Cuttle, Photographer . Trafalgar Square $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-57076-236-9

Cushnie, a gardening editor of Homes Interior and Living magazine who runs a Northern Ireland landscape design firm, firmly believes that gardens, no matter their size, should have at least one tree to make them pleasurable and interesting. Lavishly illustrated with colorful and dramatic photos of trees, as well as species that provide shade, privacy, or food and shelter for wildlife, the author's 200-plus examples should whet the appetite of serious gardeners. Cushnie gives six concrete examples of trees that will thrive in various types of growing conditions like clay, acid and alkaline soil or in dry, sunny or windy areas. He also describes how to match a tree to the size of the garden. A red horse chestnut tree, for example, is appropriate for a large garden, while a crab apple would be better where space is limited. There is an expanded section on adding conifers, and on purchasing trees for their fragrance or ornamental bark. In addition to covering individual species (supplemented by a detailed directory), Cushnie gives instructions on tree maintenance, including directions concerning initial planting, transplanting, pruning, grafting and how to deal with common tree diseases. Although not for the complete novice, those who currently have trees or plan to add trees to their gardens will profit from reading this decorative and informative guide. Garden Book Club main selection. (July)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!