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AHS Great Plant Guide Paperback – February 12, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Your handbook for savvy plant shopping. (Atlanta Journal/Constitution) Before you leave for your next flower show, pack this guide to take along. You'll use it continually throughout the growing season. (BookPage)

About the Author

The American Horticultural Society (AHS) educates and inspires people of all ages to become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners by advancing the art and science of horticulture.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; Rev&Updtd edition (February 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789471442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789471444
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I am so glad I found this -- many of the plant books I have looked at recently were published in the early 1990's -- this edition of the Great Plant Guide has been revised and updated for 2000. The book begins with the fundamentals, how to shop for and choose healthy plants that are appropriate for your garden, how to prepare the soil for them and then how to plant them. Next are descriptions and growing requirements for 3000 plants, each with a color photograph and a special "cultivation" section. I was especially impressed with the last section of the book which lists plants by 57 different categories: flowers for hanging baskets, plants for autumn color, container plants, variegated trees and shrubs, flowers for drying, plants for acidic soil, plants to attract bees and butterflies, plants for coastal gardens, plants with scented foliage, trees for small gardens, etc. I found this section extremely interesting and useful.
There are many houseplants listed here, in particular plants that are grown outdoors in the warmer zones and in containers in the cooler zones, eg, Norfolk Island Pine, but the primary focus of the book is on outdoor plants. A number of plant "families" receive several pages of discussion such as dahlias, scented geraniums and fuchsias, etc, the largest of which covers roses (ie, floribundas, climbing, hybrid tea, rambling and miniature).
I should point out that this is not an expensive coffee table book with large, lavish pictures of beautiful plants. It is, however, chockfull of information -- a very informative book at a very affordable price. Amazon says this is a paperback book which isn't quite accurate; the cover is actually composed of two pieces of thin cardboard, the outside of which is glossy -- my point being that it is sturdier than the average 670 page paperback.
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My mum put this book in my easter basket this year. I wanted a smaller plant guide to take with me when I buy plants. I got so much use out of it, keeping it in my bag usually. It's the perfect book for that purpose, bringing along to nurseries and the like. It is very convenient and gives just the basic facts you need to know about a plant, whether it is suitable for your climate zone, or what size it can grow to. It even included flowering shrubs and trees. Also showed many different cultivars of particular plants. There are some plants that I did not find in this book, but most plants that are not in the book, you won't find at a nursery anyway. You should have a bigger plant encyclopedia if you're really interested in this, but even owning a fullsize one (like I do), you will still get tons of use out of this bringing it along when buying plants or going to plant shows. Unfortunately I lost my book... left it at the nursery, but I am certainly going to buy another one. I highly recommend, just hang on to yours... also I would like to thank my mum for her thoughtfulness, and apologise for my carelessness.
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`Great Plants Guide' by the American Horticultural Society is a slightly overweight `pocket sized' guide to buying and raising outdoor garden plants. Regardless of the subject, I am always just a bit suspicious of `pocket guides' to very broad subjects. And, as this book brags about covering 3000 recommended plants, this is pretty broad.

I looked up each flowering plant I have in my garden and was just a bit disturbed to see that three major perennials popular in the northeastern United States are missing from this book! I could find no articles on pansies, petunias, or marigolds, although my other favorites, dahlias, chrysanthemums, and day lillies (hemerocallis). The great families of tulips, daffodills, and hyacinths are also well represented.

What was even more annoying is that in the lists of types of plants by use in the back of the book, petunias are mentioned favorably as a good species for hanging baskets. While one gets the sense that the book is weighted heavily towards perennials, we do find a smallish section devoted to Impatiens.

As this book is published by DK (Dorling Kindersley) which has several other larger format titles in conjunction with the American Horticultural Society, I strongly suggest that this book was digested from a larger book to give the appearance of working as a fielf guide.

What seems odd, however, is the presence in this volume of material specifically meant to be read in March in the comfort of your easy chair, as you look over plant catalogues and plan you award winning flower beds for the coming spring. That is, it is material on techniques which have no role in you strolls down the aisles of your favorite nursery, as you look for a perennial to fill in that hole at the northeastern corner of your house.
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