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The Gardener's Guide to Growing Orchids

The Gardener's Guide to Growing Orchids
Wilma and Brian Rittershausen
Portland, Ore.: Timber Press,
Publication Date: 

cloth, 159 p., $29.95

As the world's largest family of flowering plants as well as the most complex, it's not surprising that orchids should be the subject of so many recent books. But this is one of the best, most beautifully photographed, with a well-written text of interest to both the professional and amateur orchid grower. Whether raising orchids in a greenhouse or on a windowsill, you will find this book offers plenty of information for the orchid enthusiast, covering cultivation, propagation, pests and diseases, as well as general all-around maintenance. In an attempt to take some of the mystery out of growing this seemingly exotic creature, the authors make the case for trying some less demanding varieties, such as the Phalaenopsis or thePaphiopedilum, in a home. There is also a nice chapter on exhibiting orchids, which should interest the more knowledgeable growers. What really makes this book unique is a very extensive listing of new hybrid varieties, many of them accompanied by color photographs, which, not surprisingly, are absolutely gorgeous.

— Jim Kemper