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119 Reviews
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Referance
This book is the ultimate reference guide for the home gardener. The pictures and detailed information is staggering. There are also sections for creating your own garden with some very good drawings. Maps show the temperature zones and planting times. The only downside(which is minor) is the plants are listed by their botanical name and not the common name. There is a...
Published on December 25, 1999 by J.H.

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
This is an excellent book only if you know the name of your plants. If you are looking to find out what the name of a specific plant is, the book is just way to huge to go through page by page to find out its name.
Published on September 8, 2005 by Barbara J. Asmuth


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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Referance, December 25, 1999
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
This book is the ultimate reference guide for the home gardener. The pictures and detailed information is staggering. There are also sections for creating your own garden with some very good drawings. Maps show the temperature zones and planting times. The only downside(which is minor) is the plants are listed by their botanical name and not the common name. There is a section in the back that cross-referances them so you won't be totally lost. This minor inconvienance may not affect more advanced gardeners. The lack of an index also is a short-coming. Over all though, this book has the most comprehensive information in one volume. Highly recommended.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make this the very first gardening book you buy!, October 17, 1999
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
This is the book that makes my gardening dreams possible, it is never far from my side. I guess I would call it a reference book because it is packed with information, but don't let that scare you away. There are a staggering 15,000 plants described with 6,000 photographs. Each plant's cultural needs, botanical name, hardiness and method of cultivation are mentioned however briefly. The book is well organized and easy to use. It isn't hard to find a 4-5 ft shrub that blooms pink in summer, or whatever your garden needs are. This book is also beautiful; I look at it for fun all winter long...sweet dreams til summer's sunbeams find you.
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74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your coffee table garden plant reference for years to come!, March 2, 2000
By 
slowolf (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
This is the new garden plant reference book for the home or professional gardener. Although it is set up by Family/Genus/Species/Variety, there is a handy common name index in the back of the book. Extensive varietal color photos make this book a must for the flower enthusiast. There is also an excellent reference on plant terminology in the front of the book. Since I live in the western US, my plant reference book of choice has always been the Sunset Western Garden Book. This book has since taken it's place as my preferred, but the Western Garden Book does have some plants that are not listed in this book. However, there are many times more plants not listed in the Western Garden Book that are found in this book. Highly Recommended!
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for identifying plants, April 19, 2000
By 
Lisa Huffman (Westmoreland, TN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
I identified alot of plants I had & didn't know what they were. It was hard to put this book down once I started reading through it. I find something new every time I look at it. I wish they had put the common names with the latin name of each plant. The common names are cross referenced in the back & you have to flip back & forth trying to match the names.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Hoeing, October 3, 2001
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
Many people have praised this book already. I will not be redundant but will describe what are to me the book's most valuable features: its design, comprehension and convenience.
This book is designed with sophistication. Its layout is fun to the eye and is easy-to-read due to its simple and consistent organization and clear uses of typography. Its photography is first-rate, descriptive and true-to-life with none of the false saturated colors of some plant catalogues.
"A-Z" is that-comprehensive. The plant listings are preceded by brief but helpful sections, totaling 45 pages, on botany, cultivation [under glass or in the garden with useful information on pruning, plant hardiness, propagation, etc] and ornamental plant groups [cacti, ferns, aquatic and rock plants, etc.] This book is truly encyclopedic and as thorough as it can be in 1095 pages- there are 26 pages and 310 photos of roses alone-with no hype or unusable information.
This book is convenient, despite its weight. After purchasing this and its companion volume, the "AHS Encyclopedia of Gardening," I gave away about four linear feet of other gardening and horticultural books. This volume, though, is the one that stays by the door to the garden all summer and by my bed all winter.
"A-Z"'s high standards authenticate the authority of the American Horticultural Society, reflect its editors' concern for quality and gives voice to its contributors' erudition and expertise. You can virtually garden with this book without leaving your armchair.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Guide to Plants, May 13, 2004
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
This enormous reference book is exactly what an avid gardener needs - with entries covering perennials, annuals, woodland plants, trees, shrubs, and just about any other plants available both commercially and naturally. The individual entries contain information about cultivars, propagation, problem pests and diseases, as well as a concise description of the plant's appearance and growth requirements. Most, though not all, include a small photograph of at least one specimen. Plants are listed by their botanical names; if you do not know the genus, you'll have to look up the common name first in the index.
This volume also contains a visual glossary (inside the front cover), and excellent sections on general botany, the garden environment, and propagation techniques. The only drawback to this otherwise excellent encyclopedia is the near-impossibility of identifying unknown plants. The entries are not listed (or cross-listed) by type, requiring the gardener to page through nearly one thousand pages of pictures to identify, say, a particular woodland plant. And forget leaf identification since most photographs are taken from a distance to capture the whole of a species.
This would make an excellent gift for any gardener. It is hefty and comprehensive. Especially for those interested in non-mainstream plants, this book is a must-have.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for all gardeners!, March 27, 1999
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This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
Of all the gardening books on the market, this is THE one to have. It lists all (I can't find any that were not listed) plants available to American Gardeners. It even has plants that are not available from nurseries (such as native or endangered plants). Plants are listed alphabetically by genus but there is a common name cross-index in the back.
This book contains none of the hype found in catalogs or information from nurseries. Details about hardiness zones (USDA and heat), growth habits, origin, planting and propogating instructions, care, pests and diseases are all listed. Wonderful color pictures for most plants.
Well worth the price!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Reference Book For Serious Gardeners, April 19, 2001
By 
"isomorphix" (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
Reading over the other reviews, most were very satisfied with this book and only a few found fault with it. Casual gardeners won't need anything this extensive, but for the experienced gardener and even the novice gardener who wants to learn more, this is the book to have. It's laid out in a very easy to follow style, making one able to identify plants seen in neighbourhood gardens and parks, and then to find out what their cultural requirements are.
If a desired plant is seen in a gardening magazine, or a plant and seed catalogue, this book enable you to check whether it would be suitable for your home garden. Saves the trouble of buying plants, only to find that they were suitable for your garden.
Also, if the home gardener would like to find a plant to fill a certain spot, blooming at a certain time of the year, and in specific colours, the format of the book makes it simple to pick out your ideal plant! Each category under the Ornamental Plant Groups (Trees, Shrubs, Climbers, Perennials, etc), are broken down into four seasons when the plant shows its best colours, and the flower colours are separated into groups. It's extremely easy to use.
I've been gardening for almost 30 years & have an extensive gardening and plant library. I agree with the reviewer, Tom Krischan, and this would be the first plant book I would save in a fire too.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite garden plant book., January 26, 1999
By 
Tom Krischan (Big Bend, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
I own nearly 100 garden plant books, if my home caught fire and I could only save one book - this would be it. I buy nursery plants through mail order and I look for new and unusual plants to add to my garden. Everytime I look up a plant in this encyclopedia I find it, along with growing details, comments about species or varieties, and a color photograph. Very comprehensive, very complete, and great information.
The only downside is that this 1100 page book is so heavy it takes two hands to lift it out from the bookshelf (I guess that's a small price to pay for completeness). If you can measure information by weight, than this book is a bargin!
Every serious gardener must have this book. The next time you come across a plant name that you don't know, you will be very pleased that you own this encyclopedia.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable reference., May 10, 1999
By A Customer
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This review is from: The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (Hardcover)
This book contains a wealth of information not easily obtained elsewhere. If not for the poor index, I would probably rate it the best plant book I own. The Common Name index is somewhat limited and there is no index for synonyms of the genus names nor one for family names, making it difficult at many times to find that one plant you are searching for. Other than these few caveats, I would not hesitate to recommend the book to any serious gardener as long as they have other sources in which to go at those times when it is difficult to discover the `proper' Genus name that the book uses.
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The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants by Christopher Brickell (Hardcover - September 1, 1997)
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