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Learn to Garden

Learn to Garden
Guy Barter (editor)
DK Publishing
Publication Date: 

cloth, 272 p., $30.00

It is always interesting to compare British and American viewpoints and gardening techniques. This comprehensive, extensively illustrated manual on basic gardening, prepared by British gardening experts, is certainly packed full of information for the novice gardener. Topics range from how plants work, soil composition, and garden planning, to propagation and garden maintenance. Rather than listing garden terminology in the appendix, the editors have placed the glossary in the introduction in order to familiarize the neophyte with gardening lingo.

Readers familiar with comparable American texts will note that the organization of the contents is reflective of British gardening priorities: planning a flower garden precedes the discussion of woody plants, and there is an extensive discussion of pruning and hedge renovation. The sections on woody plant selection and care were disappointing: there is no mention of plant hardiness, and the instructions for planting trees and tree care differ significantly from recommended American practices. Despite these drawbacks, the book is informative and deserves careful perusal by all serious gardeners.

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