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Hot Plants for Cool ClimatesBOOK REVIEWS

Hot Plants for Cool Climates

Susan A Roth and Dennis Schrader
Timber Press
Distributed by Craig Potton
Reviewed by Robert Gordon

NORTHERN gardeners sometimes cast a jealous eye towards their southern counterparts, sighing that they just can't grow peonies, celmisias and the like. Sometimes, the boot is on the other foot, as southern cousins are dazzled by the tropicals and subtropicals that can flourish in climates like Auckland's. Hot Plants for Cool Climates is for gardeners who would like to have a go at flying in the face of nature and bring a bit of jungle to their patch.

The first section of the book concentrates on how to design and garden with tropicals and the second is an encyclopaedia of relevant species. Much of the first section of the book is taken up with garden style. The final two chapters are particularly useful, with in-depth discussion of suitable species to achieve the tropical (including our own wheki-ponga, Dicksonia antarctica) and tips on how to coax tender plants through frigid winters. This includes tips on picking micro-climates in your garden and the use of artificial heat sources.

While this is a book written for American readers, it doesn't take much imagination to transfer their latitudinal stretch to ours. Hot Plants for Cool Climates is heavily illustrated and apart from a minor irritation - an incongruous use of bold letters to start words in headings - easy to read and find your way around.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 191, 2006, Page 30

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

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