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Garden Bulbs for the South 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0881928136
ISBN-10: 0881928135
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ogden's book concerns what he calls "the historic, neglected, and little-known" warm-climate bulbs that grow well in the South. There are 133 genera listed in the appendix, with notes on their species, origins, and culture. Ogden opens with a chapter on rain lilies and continues with chapters on bulbs that bloom in the fall (Guernsey and oxblood lilies, lycoris, cyclamens, alliums, etc.), on winter blooms (paper-whites, Roman hyacinths, blue starflowers, etc.), on jonquils and daffodils, on bulbs that bloom in the spring (trout lilies, tulips, grape hyacinths, etc.), on irises, gladiolus, and shellflowers, on crinums and spider lilies, on so-called summer glories, and on cannas, arums, and gingers. The book is a treasure, packed with information and 200 color photographs. George Cohen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"An essential gardening book—but not only for the South...And where many authors merely repeat what has already been written, Ogden's closely observed pecularities of his subject make it outstanding horticultural literature." Jerry Flintoff, American Gardener


"Written in the style of the late, great Southern garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence, this updated second edition is a must for all Texas bulb enthusiasts. There is none better." Greg Grant, Dallas Morning News


"This is a must-have reference for warm climate gardeners who want to enjoy the annual phenomenon of bulbs." John Bagnasco, Garden Compass July/August 2007


“Author Scott Ogden weaves a welcoming web of personal observations, common sense, historical references, lore, and inspiration.”

Ornamental Outlook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 396 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated; 2 edition (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881928135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881928136
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From Sarah B. Duke Gardens' Flora newsletter:
"Ogden is a plantsman familiar with all the bulbous (and cormous and tuberous) plants that can be grown out-of-doors in the South. He imparts his erudition lightly and with a flair uncommon in garden books today.
This book is worth buying for its 30-page chapter on Crinum and Spider lilies alone, a subject never treated properly in the usual books on bulbs because these beauties can't be grown in the North... The author also discusses myriad species of Gladiolus, Hippeastrum, Iris, Lycoris, Trillium, and Zephyranthes, as well as numerous genera with only a single cultivated representative, such as Ipheion. In addition, there are nearly 200 colored photographs, most of them smaller than a playing card, that vary from fair to excellent."

Very useful to a new gardener: in addition to telling me about bulbs I'd never heard of (and then immediately noticed in all the older gardens nearby), Ogden makes variety-specific recommendation about which daffodils (not King Alfred!), tulips (very few), muscari, etc., are going to thrive i.e. multiply rather than fade away. Some bulbs need colder winters than they will find in my part of Eastern NC. I've already saved the price of the book by not buying flowers that won't be happy in my yard!
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Format: Hardcover
Garden Bulbs for the South is simply a great book. The vast majority of books on bulbs deal extensively with Tulips, Grape Hyacinths, Daffodils and other cold climate bulbs and only give cursory information about warm climate bulbs and the information often pertains to container gardening. Every northerner moving South is tempted to try growing cold climate bulbs. Reading this book is both a delight and a time and money saver. It will also assist you in trying a lot of bulbs that you might otherwise overlook. It has been one of the most read books in my gardening library.
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Format: Hardcover
My copy of Mr. Ogden's book is already dog-eared from use. Any gardener in the South who is interested in adding perennial bulbs to the garden must read this book. The information on every type of bulb, tuber or corm, including those of wild Southern heritage, is generous, well written and easy to understand. Garden Bulbs for the South is useful not only as a gardening reference but as a field classification manual when trying to identify that lily blooming at the old farmhouse down the road. After reading the chapter on rain lilies, I was finally able to determine what that tiny little lily growing wild in my front yard really is. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover
Author Scott Ogden, a freelance garden writer and photographer, lives in New Braunfels, Texas, near San Antonio. That's considerably farther south than where I garden in Charlotte, NC, but nonetheless, I believe the book provides a helpful resource for "historic, neglected and little-known bulbs whose beauties belong rightly and traditionally to the South" (2). Ogden contends--and I am in full agreement--that for the "average home dirt dauber there are more rewarding activities" than planting, digging, refrigerating and re-planting bulbs. Says Ogden, "The effort and expense invested in temporary bulb displays might as readily be employed on something new, exotic, or extraordinary--even on flowers that like the South" (2). Ogden provides us with a list of more than 200 warm-climate bulbs. Now, that's worth a closer look!

Following discourse on the traits and differences between true bulbs, tubers, corms, rhizomes and tuberous roots, Ogden organizes this resourceful book into nine sections, featuring: Rain Lily Day; Petite Afrique: Winter Blooms; Jonquils and Kin; Spring Treasures; Irises, Gladioli, and Shellflowers; Crinums and Spider Lilies; Summer Glories; and lastly, Cannas, Arums, and Gingers. Next, in the Appendix, Ogden distinguishes between Southern bulb culture, Mediterranean beds and hog wallows. The author knows and respects clay soil, a bane of Piedmont gardening. (See also his book, Gardening Success with Difficult Soils.) Finally, after providing a review of garden bulbs for the South where full botanical names are provided, as well as family designations and cultivars, Ogden closes the book with a resource list where bulbs may be ordered and purchased.

Ogden's remarkable color pictures abound, providing grand illustrations to the printed text.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far the absolute best book for those who garden in the steamy south! I have the first edition and snapped up the 2nd as soon as it came out. I definitely recommend this book. Scott Ogden blends history and horticultural requirements into something that is far more than just a good read!
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Scott Ogden has written the only book I'm aware of that's specific to the Southern garden. He takes a season by season approach, explaining in some detail what bulbs bloom and thrive in the South, and also which to avoid. Since many nurseries offer bulbs not appropriate to the climate I live in, if Ogden hasn't approved the species, I don't buy it. Ogden usually suggests alternatives to the plant that would work in the South, and this is invaluable for the Southern gardener. Within the southern region, he also distinguishes between upper South, middle South, and Gulf Coast climates, giving further direction regarding the fitness of a particular bulb to your part of the South.

There are some curious omissions in Ogden's book. He doesn't mention Chionodoxa, Scilla siberica, Eranthis, Fritillaria, or Pushkinia, all commonly cited in gardening books. Since the book is organized by bloom seasons, I would like to have seen a list of plants being covered at the start of each chapter. And it also would have been useful to create an appendix table noting which bulbs would not succeed in the South, and which ones might grow only if dug up and stored each winter.

Those are minor negatives though (and perhaps will be incorporated into a third edition) and in no way diminish the great value of this book. If you are a gardener in the southern U.S. and are interested in bulbs, you cannot be without "Garden Bulbs for the South."
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