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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