Series: Landscaping with
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Oxmoor House; 1 edition (January 1, 2004)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #74,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #4 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Climate > Tropical #26 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Ornamental Plants #42 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Landscape
If you're like me, you prefer beautiful tropical landscape images over reading text about gardens. This book does an excellent job of that, particularly for the price. I regularly purchase books on tropical gardening, and what I don't want is another listing of plants, I can get that from the mail order catalogues. I like to see images of tropical environments that I can consider recreating, or views that show good tropical garden designs of actual plants (not drawn images). For the money, this book is well worth it.
While the photographs in this book are attractive and plentiful, I was disappointed at the lack of in-depth information. The book was more of a general overview of possibilities. This would be a good book for beginning gardeners or those who wish merely an introduction to the subject.It is possible that my expectations were set too high, as Ms. Brandies has authored two previous books that, in my opinion, no Florida gardener should be without - "The Florida Gardener's Book of Lists" and "Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens: How to Grow and Enjoy Florida Plants With Special Uses."
This book is one of the best books for planning and designing a tropical garden. If you live in USDA Zone 8 or higher you can make very good use of this book, though it also offers suggestions on how to achieve a tropical "effect" in colder zones as well. I grow many of the plants they suggest in my Pasadena, CA garden and have had great success with them.This book is especially useful in explaining the elements of a tropical landscape, contains a sampler of tropical plants for home gardens, and labels photographs fairly well (with the exception of one major gaffe - mislabeling a Strelizia reginae as a Banana - twice).Over all, this is a useful, well-written book for the home gardener.
My husband and I decided to re-landscape and have been searching all over for a goo reference book for tropical plants. This is even better than I expected. It gives tips on garden types; it has a map in the back that breaks the planting zones down to a miniscule level and will reference it through the book. The back half lists different varieties of tropical plants, where they grow best and tips on how to grow, protect, and overwinter them. It has been a huge help in our planning!
Aimed at the temperate climate gardener with a yen for the tropical look, this book provides basic instructions and suggested plant selections. To maximize the chances of success, seasonal guidelines are suggested, along with ways of creating tropical gardens inside, and in sheltered spaces. Typical of the Sunset books, there are ample attractive photographs. The added bonus for the garden planner is the number of effective combinations shown, and an array of landscape ideas as well. Special care and treatment of these plants in cold climates is discussed. Includes a list of garden zones with maps, and an index. For further information on a number of these plants, see: Ornamental Plants & Flowers of Tropical Mexico.
Glossy presentation helps appreciate landscaping with tropical and subtropical plants. Typical of Sunset publications. Good for the beginner with probably a few good hints for the more experienced. I appreciated the importance of proper soil preparation and the recipe for it. Classification of different types of plants, their visual effects, and suggestions about choices also very helpful. Listing of nurseries specializing in tropical plants especially useful. Use of these types of plants requires dedication on the part of the planter with regard to cost, time commitment and also ability to accept the risk of failure in cold climates. Success therefore is all the more rewarding.
From the other reviews I read, I was under the impression that this book would be a book focused primarily on design ideas for non-tropical zones, with lots of pictures of tropical gardens. However, I was very surprised to find that is not the case.Primarily the design information in the book was about basic principles of garden design, without much in the way of specifics: I counted only 2 practical garden plans with a specific layout for plants in the whole book, and one was a design for laying out your houseplants outside around a bench. Its padded with a lot of basic information (the ubiquitous color wheel, how to prepare soil for your garden, why water features are great in gardens, etc) without a lot of tropical specific information for design.The good side of the book is that it has lots of information on how to propagate and winterize exotic tropicals, which is great to have. If not for this, I would have been very disappointed in the book, however that alone makes the book worth considering. I will keep looking for a more practical guide for designing with tropical plants ( I am new to gardening, and I prefer concrete examples that I can build off of, like in Perennial Combinations by C. Colston Burrell), but I am glad to have the book for the information it does provide for propagation and winterizing.
This is not quite a book, as a special issue of Sunset Magazine. I don't live in a tropical zone, and there is some info about tropical-like plants that will grow in colder climates, but not enough to make this book useful. I can find more info on the Internet.
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