cloth, 160 p., $29.95
The author is an English nurseryman, whose lifelong experience in growing plants shows in this handsome book. There is a wealth of information here on asters, enough for any dedicated aster enthusiast, accompanied by 100 beautiful color photographs. Picton writes as a hands-on gardener, with details on the cultivation, propagation, pests and diseases of this beautiful plant. He also includes a great deal of botanical information on asters, with special emphasis on the history of the genus. A chapter is devoted to each of the major aster species: New York, New England, small-flowered asters, A. amellus, A. frikarti, A. laevis and others, describing 125 species in all. The chapters on the New York and New England asters are particularly thorough, describing and illustrating the many cultivars of these two species. While the book is written for the English gardener, the information is applicable for anyone wanting to grow these plants. And in fact, there is a special chapter written for the North American grower. Sources for these asters (North American as well as English) are included in the appendix.
— Jim Kemper