Science and the Garden: The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice

Science and the Garden: The Scientific Basis of Horticultural Practice
Author: 
David S. Ingram, Daphne Vince-Prue and Peter J. Gregory (editors)
Publisher: 
Blackwell Science for the Royal Horticultural Society
Publication Date: 
2002
ISBN: 
0-632-05308-9

paper, 304 p., $32.99

Published for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Science and the Garden has the ambitious, overarching goal of explaining the science-based "whys" behind the practices of horticulture. With a target audience of students of horticulture (specifically, those preparing for the RHS general examination, but also students pursuing certificate or horticulture degrees) as well as gardeners, growers and scientists, this is no easy task. However, with a cadre of RHS-associated scientists and horticulturists writing and editing the text, this book couldn't help but provide useful insights into the interface of science and horticulture.

Packed into 304 pages, organized into 12 chapters and complete with a number of illustrations (some of which are in color), this book presents a wealth of information in a relatively easy-to-manage format. Each chapter contains a number of helpful features, including a bulleted list of topics on the front page, content that is highly organized by topic and a final section listing textbooks for further reading. These chapters and their topics are made more navigable by an extensive glossary and index.

This book is unique in that it comprehensively covers subjects that are normally dealt with in separate publications. Within the pages of Science and the Garden, the authors take the reader on a journey through diverse subjects such as photosynthesis, plant taxonomy and nomenclature, soil structure, plant genetics, plant hormones, and integrated pest management. Throughout this book, the authors frame their discussion of these subjects in a way that sheds light on how science influences what is taking place in one's own garden.

Compromises obviously had to be made in the creation of this book and, as a result, scientists may find it lacking in the area of references and depth while beginning students or gardeners may find it a bit overwhelming. However, this book successfully fills the niche that it was intended for and, while not a "stand-alone" guide to either science or horticulture in the garden, it would be a valuable addition to the libraries of students of horticulture and other interested individuals.

— Andrea Tietmeyer, Institute for Plant Conservation, Chicago Botanic Garden

Volume: 
5
Number: 
4