paper, 192 p., $24.95
This beautifully illustrated book, written by English nurseryman Adrian Bloom, could give any gardener a sudden conifer craving. The photos (also by Adrian Bloom and his son Richard Bloom) capture so many magical details of these plants — the fresh tender green of new growth, the surprising raspberry pink of spruce cones, crystalline frost rimming each needle on a silvery morning — that it's hard to resist sharing Mr. Bloom's enthusiasm.
Mr. Bloom's own garden at Foggy Bottom is a six-acre extravaganza of grasses, heathers, conifers, shrubs and perennials that span the seasons with a patchwork of color, texture and form. His family's business, Blooms of Bressingham, is known worldwide for its plant introductions. Mr. Bloom may be familiar to many as an international correspondent for PBS's The Victory Garden and his other television and magazine features.
For those who may never have thought seriously about incorporating conifers into their gardens, this book is an eye-opener. It not only gives the reader a wealth of technical information on growing, maintaining and selecting conifers, but also discusses design and plant combinations, then lavishly illustrates his ideas with stunning photos.
Adrian Bloom gives solid, detailed and pragmatic advice on growth rates, hardiness zones and cultural requirements for a sizeable gallery of what he considers "some of the best conifers." There is also an excellent section on pruning to maintain size and habit, as well as a section on moving established plants.
This is a clear, comprehensive and engaging guide to these versatile and beautiful plants — one capable of attracting many new converts to conifers.
— Lorrie Burrows, Master Gardener and Volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden