cloth, 544 pp., $39.99
Recognized as an expert on bulbs for her popular work The Tulip, Anna Pavord has taken up the challenge of covering a far wider range of flowers in this new directory. These are her favorite 600 bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes that magically brighten a garden with their bloom. Listing each species botanically and in alphabetical order, the author provides individual profiles of species and varieties. These contain photographs and narrative, relating each subject’s color and characteristic form, as well as how to grow and use each plant best in the garden or indoors. Information on the season of bloom, hardiness, height, and original habitat accompany the data. A map of U.S. hardiness zones provides information on how to check each plant’s tolerance of seasonal fluctuations in temperature. The author, an experienced bulb gardener, has included a section on how to grow bulbs and a seasonal calendar of bloom. Pavord warns the reader that this listing, certainly a helpful guide in coordinating colorful garden displays, is strictly based on a probable blooming period, subject to many variables. This volume is highly recommended for its gorgeous photographs and informative text, written in a fascinating literary style.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden