The Gardener's Bible
Chief NZ consultant:
David Bateman Ltd
THIS is the gardening
blockbuster of the year - an encyclopaedia whose sheer volume relegates
other botanical reference books to the shade. Comprehensive and
pertinently illustrated, Flora contains information on more
than 20,000 of the world's plants.
Most of the entries
are for annuals, perennials, flowering shrubs and landscape trees,
but coverage also includes bulbs, corms, tubers, bamboos, bromeliads,
cacti, succulents, climbers, creepers, cycads, palms, ferns, grasses,
orchids, herbs, fruits and vegetables.
The introduction outlines
the differences of plant groups and hardiness zones, but the primary
arrangement is an A-Z by scientific name. Genera are introduced
with descriptions of their common physical characteristics, diversity,
ranges and cultivation requirements. Species entries note the synonyms,
common names, sun aspect, hardiness, spread and height of each plant.
Also described are the places of origin, flowering season and colour,
as well as horticultural uses.
are noted for gardeners and more than 10,000 colour photos illustrate
A complementary CD offers
alternative approaches to the text, particularly by plant groups
and uses. A "plant chooser" allows the user to select plants by
hardiness zones, flower colour, height, sun position and use. Other
features include links to web-sites and a spell-checker for botanical
A word of warning, the
single volume is a seriously heavy (as in weighty) book. For ease
of reference think about buying one of the two-volume works.
retail prices are $140 for the single volume; 2-volume set $150;
2-volume deluxe edition $195.
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH