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Christopher Lloyd's Garden Flowers: Perennials, Bulbs, Grasses, Ferns

Christopher Lloyd knows perennials as well as anyone else alive. Now available in paperback, this book represents the fruit of Lloyd's lifetime study of perennials. Genus by genus, he sets down everything he has learned, thought, seen, tried, liked, or regretted about them, individually or in combination. He is formidably knowledgeable, iconoclastic, opinionated, and always entertaining. Here, meticulously recorded, are his expert opinions about numerous varieties of flowering garden plants, from Acanthus to Zigadenus, accompanied by spectacular photographs from Jonathan Buckley and others. Any gardener will find themselves opening this book time and again with pleasure and the frequent thought, "I MUST grow this one, too."

Paperback: 448 pages

Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (July 1, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0881927473

ISBN-13: 978-0881927474

Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,187,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #40 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Bulbs #177 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Perennials #656 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Plants > Flowers

The late Christopher Lloyd was one of the great garden writers, and my hands down favorite. He was a prolific writer and this plant encyclopedia is considered by some to be his best book, in a tie with his "The Well Tempered Garden".His definition of a perennial is a non-woody plant that survives year to year, and most often goes dormant at some point. Thus, he includes bulbs like tulips and daffodils as perennials, whereas most American writers would give them their own category. But since hardy bulbs are used in the garden in the same manner that herbaceous perennials are, his inclusion of them here make sense.The first few pages of the book are devoted not just to what perennials are, but why one would use them; what their weak spots are; how to use them with other plants (taking advantage of the spaces they create after blooming if they are summer dormant etc); how to properly plant a, er, plant; and maintenance such as division, support and deadheading.Then the book launches into the encyclopedia section, arranged alphabetically by genus.This is where we find what makes this book different from so many other plant encyclopedias. Like all the others, he gives us the size and growth habits of the various species within the genus. But then we get to learn how this particular plant performed for him, where exactly he tried it, if he ended up getting rid of it or treasures it, which popular plants he detests, how to get the best performance from the plant. He tells us all this in an informal, chatty style that makes one feel that they are walking through his garden with him, talking plants. And there are a lot of plants here, 375 pages of them, a lot of which I hadn't heard of.The weaknesses of the book?

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