Author Pavord (The Tulip, 1999) has produced a charming, handsome book, the product of a lifetime of keeping notes on her passion, filled with practical advice on the purchase and care of bulbs. The approximately 600 entries include detailed descriptions of the blooms, some comparisons with related cultivars, plant size, hardiness, native areas, and bloom season. Selected species with interesting histories (e.g., hyacinths, tulips, lilies, narcissus) are treated to longer entries. The entries are accompanied by photographs of individual blossoms. These are interspersed with lush two-page-spread images of gardens, masses of blooms, and single spectacular blooms. Pavord’s writing style is delightfully conversational while providing important technical information for the gardener. In addition to an introduction about the history, origins, and nature of bulbs, there are a section on how to grow bulbs, a bibliography of outstanding specialist books, and an index. There is one large flaw. The USDA hardiness-zones chart for the 48 contiguous United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico on the front endpapers has temperatures ranging up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and 246 degrees Celsius. Somehow 200 degrees was added to the correct temperatures for most of the zones. Purchasers can easily correct the chart, however. This would be an excellent addition to all libraries having horticulture or gardening collections. --Linda Loos Scarth
About the Author
Anna Pavord writes for several magazines in the UK and she has authored eight books, including the internationally acclaimed bestseller, The Tulip.