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Trees and Shrubs for Fragrance, Trees and Shrubs for FoliageBOOK REVIEWS

Trees and Shrubs
for Fragrance

Glyn Church
Photographs by Pat Greenfield
David Bateman

Trees and Shrubs
for Foliage

Glyn Church
Photographs by Pat Greenfield
David Bateman

DON'T let a large format and glossy cover fool you into thinking these books are imported coffee-table lightweights. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The twin titles, from publisher Bateman's The Woody Plant series, along with their yet-to-be published companion Trees and Plants for Flowers, should be welcomed by Kiwi gardeners whether novice or veteran.

Taranaki horticulturist and nurseryman Glyn Church and photographer Pat Greenfield have come up with a rarity for the Kiwi gardener - genuine resource books with strong visual appeal.

To serve up different titles on each of the three "Fs" of trees and shrubs - fragrance, flowers and foliage - seems a tall order. But Church's breadth of knowledge ensures there's scant duplication between titles.

Trees and Shrubs for Fragrance, Trees and Shrubs for FoliageSure, some genera are covered in both books, but only if their characteristics are true to the book's theme. And when there is double-dipping by necessity, Church's lively style and Greenfield's keen eye give a fresh look at the plant from the title's slant.

The new gardener is well served by a no-nonsense approach to taxonomy outlined in a concise "how to use this book". Each book is also prefaced with a map of hardiness zones in Australia and New Zealand, referenced in each of the entries.

And if you encounter a tempting specimen here for the first time in the A-Z guides, there's a clear indication of its habit, with the plant's maximum height and width also given. Another perceptive touch is the interpretation of botanical names that footnote the plants.

Informative and entertaining, these books are a welcome addition to the gardening library. But be warned: wrap in plastic - not to ward off coffee stains but to protect their use as true outdoor references for enthusiasts.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 104, August 22-September 4, 2002, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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