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Winter Gardening.

Winter Gardening
Steven Bradley
Alexandria, Va.: Time-Life Books
Publication Date: 

paper, 199 p., $19.95

It would be hard to find a more beautiful book than this one or, to my mind, a more misleading one. The confusion begins with the title, Winter Gardening, for I kept wondering as I leafed through this book, "What kind of winter is this?" Certainly not the one I recognized, in this book with chapters on fruits of the season, perennials, bulbs and vines, all lush with color photographs. A winter like this most of us in the United States will never see. I suspect that what this book is describing is an English winter, and yet the author (and editors and publisher) has carefully avoided using any English place names, completing the ruse with a zonal map at the end of the book for the U.S. and Canada. Still, in the chapter on wildlife, there is a picture of an English robin. Not cricket! Reading the acknowledgments, I finally came to the conclusion that the book was written for an English audience, then edited later for the North American market. As a book on winter gardening in England, this is an absolutely gorgeous book. But as a book pretending to describe an American winter, it is a total loss. Beautiful, yes. But after a typical Chicago winter, I can't relate to it.

— Jim Kemper