Saxifrages: A Definitive Guide to 2000 Species, Hybrids & Cultivars

Overview

The exquisite symmetry of the star-shaped blooms of saxifrages has captivated gardeners for centuries. Close observation of their fine markings, artful color combinations, and graceful presence makes it eminently clear why they attract such an enthusiastic following. Many saxifrages come from mountain habitats that make them well-suited to rock gardens, troughs, and containers, but the diverse genus includes a huge range of garden worthy plants that deserve to be better known and more widely grown. This book ...

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Overview

The exquisite symmetry of the star-shaped blooms of saxifrages has captivated gardeners for centuries. Close observation of their fine markings, artful color combinations, and graceful presence makes it eminently clear why they attract such an enthusiastic following. Many saxifrages come from mountain habitats that make them well-suited to rock gardens, troughs, and containers, but the diverse genus includes a huge range of garden worthy plants that deserve to be better known and more widely grown. This book brings together accounts of garden and wild saxifrages, their botany, history, cultivation and propagation. All sections of genus Saxifraga are described, first discursively for the general gardener and then from a botanical viewpoint. There are the dwarf cushion saxifrages whose perfect domes of foliage are studded with jewel-like flowers, the silver saxifrages whose distinctive rosettes and fountain sprays of white flowers associate well with ordinary garden plants, and the mossy saxifrages whose highly prized cultivars have enhanced gardens since the end of the nineteenth century. Malcolm McGregor's advice on using saxifrages in different parts of the garden and his list of the top 100 saxifrages will be invaluable to gardeners new to the genus and to experts who wish to diversify. This is the fascinating story of a true enthusiast's search for saxifrages in the wild, his techniques for successful cultivation, and his continuing quest for information. It will increase understanding of this plant, inspire everyone to grow more saxifrages in their gardens, and satisfy specialists and enthusiasts for decades to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
"In this single volume, the gardener has everything he/she might need to begin a lifelong adventure of growing and seeking these beautiful plants."
From the Publisher
“. . . this valuable book will appeal to many gardeners. Academic and special libraries with serious interest in botany and horticulture will need to add this important work to their collections. Also recommended for public libraries with significant horticultural collections.”

"In this single volume, the gardener has everything he/she might need to begin a lifelong adventure of growing and seeking these beautiful plants."

Library Journal

Noel Coward wrote a song about one kind of Saxifraga during the Blitz ("London Pride has been handed down to us./London Pride is a flower that's free./London Pride means our own dear town to us,/And our pride it for ever will be"), a kind that has survived the harsh microclimate of London for five centuries, in spite of the Great Fire of 1666, air pollution, the Blitz, and beyond. Saxifrages are indeed hardy and beautiful flowering plants. This heavily illustrated and well-written book should help them find their way into even more gardens. In four parts, with hundreds of color images, McGregor (editor, Scottish Rock Garden Club) describes the rich variety of Saxifraga found around the world from Spain, Italy, and New Jersey to the Himalayas and Alaska, verifying its resilience in a variety of difficult environments. Some 23 genera of saxifrages are found in North America alone. The opening section provides some context for this dizzy variety while the last section suggests some ways saxifrages might find their way into your garden. How can you not like a plant that blooms almost all year round, in almost every color (except blue)? In spite of its very British perspective, this valuable book will appeal to many gardeners. Academic and special libraries with serious interests in botany and horticulture will need to add this important work to their collections. Also recommended for public libraries with significant horticultural collections.
—Edward J. Valauskas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881928808
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm McGregor has been editor for the Scottish Rock Garden Club since 2000, and for many years he was editor of Saxifrage Magazine, the specialist publication of the Saxifrage Society. His publications on saxifages includes Saxifrages: The Complete Cultivars and Hybrids, which is the International register on saxifrage Cultivars, and Saxifrages from Scratch. Malcolm lectures regularly on alpine plants and rock gardening, and has traveled widely throughout the world.

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