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American Horticultural Society Southeast Smart Garden Regional Guide

American Horticultural Society Southeast Smart Garden Regional Guide
Rita Pelczar and William E. Barrick
DK Publishing
Publication Date: 

paper, 400 p., $30.00

Rita Pelczar and William Barrick encourage gardeners to make intelligent decisions in their selections of plants and tools to carry out gardening interests. Continuing with this theme, the authors recommend that individual gardeners must assess personal abilities, interests, lifestyle, and garden site conditions prior to planning and selecting garden plants.

A large portion of the book is devoted to a catalog of plants that grow well in the region. More than 2,500 full-color photographs illustrate the best plants for specific conditions. The section on gardening techniques addresses plant selection, planting, pruning, and propagation. Line drawings and photographs take the reader carefully through each practice. The appendices include the addresses of government resources and other useful horticultural organizations in addition to an index to listed plants.

Even though this is certainly a classic, the weakness in the book is its dependence on colorful flowers to attract readers. Although the individual plant profiles incorporate a coding system that assists in plant selection, the authors do not include a code for plant habit and foliage texture types. Only occasionally is a plant's form described or photographed.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden