The Bottom Line
The American Hort. Societys A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants deserves to be in every gardeners library because it can pretty much answer any question you have on any plant you might be inclined to grow. Whether theres a question on hardiness, when to prune or propagate or how large to expect it to grow, you will find the answer here.
- Covers virtually every plant you may be inclined to grow
- Multiple varieties of each plant are shown in color photographs
- Gives growing, pruning and pest care instruction
- Plants are listed by Latin names and can be hard to find
- Doesn't always explain the distinction between 2 different plants with the same name
- It's so heavy the binding inevitably breaks
- Starts with basic botany for gardeners, which helps if you're not familiar with Latin nomenclature.
- Useful sections on leaf and flower shapes, which go a long way in helping to identify mystery plants.
- The chapter on Cultivation is rather general. Specific info giving by each plant is more useful.
- The section dividing plants into pruning groups greatly simplifies a confusing topic.
- "What zone?" "Will it mildew?" Even "Does it come in blue?" Will be answered.
Guide Review - Garden Book - A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
This is a serious gardening book. In order to cover 15,000+ plants you have to get down to business right away and that's just what the editors do. But don't be mislead by the term "encyclopedia". This is not a dry read and you will find yourself leafing through to other pages, each time you open the book to look for a particular question. The shear vastness of the number of plants covered is the first, but by no means the only impressive feature. This book doesn't just list plants, it details them.