cloth, 354 p., $40
At first glance, this book might appear to be nothing more than another encyclopedia of plants. But start reading, and you'll discover that it is far from another tome ready to gather dust on your shelf. The quality of writing lists this work well above the usual reference book. For anyone interested in the natural world, author William Cullina has managed to turn what would ordinarily be a straightforward description of trees, shrubs and vines into something more.
Mr. Cullina brings his personal experiences as a horticulturist into his writings, and does it with a writer's flair. There are almost 1,000 entries here, and they are not only invariably interesting, but also provide important information about plant culture, use and propagation. Color photographs add to the book's attractiveness, but the text in Native Trees, Shrubs and Vines is what sets it apart and makes it invaluable.
The author is the propagator and nursery manager for the Garden in the Woods, the headquarters of the New England Wild Flower Society. Not surprisingly, he includes an impressive section at the back of the book on the propagation of woody plants.
— Jim Kemper