Now horticulturist at Chanticleer, a garden in Pennsylvania, Woods was born in England, where he trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and managed three major gardens. His knowledge of plants and of growing conditions on both sides of the Atlantic give this work both authority and practicality for American gardeners. The arrangement is alphabetical by genus, from Acaena to Zantedeschia , with 366 entries in all. Each genus is listed by Latin and common name and family and described by physical characteristics, and notes on cultivation, landscape use, and propagation, followed by paragraph-length descriptions of the major species and their forms. The latter range from one species (and one variety), as with Arundo (Giant Reed), to Aster , with 20 species and over 50 subspecies, color forms, and varieties. One or more small color photos are included with most genera, showing representative species or varieties. Hardiness is indicated by reference to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Map (1960). Written in clear, nontechnical language, this book is a browser's joy, suitable for both the novice and the sophisticated gardener. Although it is expensive, its layout, binding, paper, and photos are all of the highest quality. This book will find an appreciative audience in public libraries, given the continuing popularity of perennials. It is to be favored over Graham Stuart Thomas's authoritative but British-oriented Perennial Garden Plants (Sagapress, 1990).-- Richard Shotwell, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Mass.
YA-- Alphabetically arranged by botanical name, the half page devoted to each plant provides the requirements to cultivate and propagate, the landscape use, and a closeup colorful photograph. The writing is clear and easily understood by those who have some background in this area. A good selection for schools in which horticulture is taught.
This thoroughly illustrated (with color photographs), nontechnical reference begins with an introduction that offers commonsense advice on hardiness zones, soil and fertilizer, pests and diseases, insects, and maintenance. Alphabetized by genera (Acaena to Zantedeschia), the text itself provides for every plant the common name and family name, physical characteristics, landscape use, propagation, major species, and other related information. Includes an index of societies, a categorical index, and a general index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)