Encyclopedia of Gardening
Edited by Christopher
Published by Dorling Kindersley
Distributed by Penguin
PEDIGREES don't come
much stronger than the Royal Horticultural Society and the bicentenary
edition of this classic is everything a gardener could want and
possibly more - in the best possible way, that is. For this is no
dusty tome to haul out as an occasional reference, but a giant "how-to"
handbook which will be of great practical use.
Brickell was with the RHS for almost 40 years, retiring from the
position of director general in 1993. He had a similar hand in the
impressive companion volume, the RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and
Flowers and is widely published as a horticulturist in his own
The work is split into
two parts: Creating the Garden and Maintaining the Garden.
The aim of the first part is to cover all aspects of planning, plant
cultivation and care. It opens with a comprehensive section on planning
and design, crammed with ideas on achieving an ideal garden to suit
a range of lifestyles. If, rather than starting from scratch, you
want to make over an existing garden, there are some great tips
on incorporating existing features in your project. The individual
chapters in this section focus on the main plant groups and areas
of the garden, ranging from ornamental trees and perennials. Each
chapter has in-depth, illustrated instructions.
The second section is
equally as comprehensive and focuses on garden equipment, landscaping
and so on.
There's also useful coverage
of issues like water conservation and organics. The illustrations
in the section on pest and diseases are a bonus and an aid for quick
identification and control.
The Royal Horticultural
Society was founded in 1894 with the aim of "the improvement of
the practice of horticulture". The RHS has lost none of its vigour
and insight, judging by this work. The keen gardener won't be able
to go past it.
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH