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Penstemons Hardcover – September 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0881924299 ISBN-10: 0881924296

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881924296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881924299
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

... for anyone interested in Penstemonthe most complete, one-stop source of information on penstemon gardening that is currently available. -- Dale T. Lindgren, Rock Garden Quarterly, Winter 2000

... of great value to any student of the genus, botanical or horticultural, and essential for any botanical or horticultural library. -- Choice, April 2000

A fascinating treatise of major topics offering the gardener ready help in growing what... is an easily grown beauty. -- Jan Hale Barbo, The New Mexican, April 2, 2000

Nold's enthusiasm for penstemons is so strong that the reader will be tempted to try these plants... -- Joanne Carpender, National Council of State Garden Clubs, March 2000

Nolds dual perspectives, botany and horticulture, have merged into a beautifully written book about a genus he clearly loves, Penstemon. -- Judy Mielke, The American Gardener, March 2000

Usefully illustrated with wonderful botanical watercolours and with photographs which show the plants in their natural (and often unlikely) conditions. -- Gardens Illustrated, August/September 2000

Book Description

Particularly beloved by rock gardeners, penstemons belong in every garden. The author provides useful cultural information based on practical experience.

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David W. Pittelli on December 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is of great merit for some potential readers, but is not useful for the majority of gardeners, for a number of reasons:

1) The bulk of the book is textual and technical species descriptions, useful only for botanists and those aiming to collect from the wild.

2) The photos are a very limited selection compared to the above and they are inconveniently placed in two "plates" sections in the middle of the book (an understandable decision as it keeps production costs down).

3) The species descriptions and especially the photos are very heavily focused on the Western semi-desert, mountainous and scree-living species. That may reflect the reality of the Penstemon's origins, but I think many, if not most potential purchasers of a book on Penstemons would be interested in more coverage of plants useful in a conventional garden scheme. But such plants and their cultural requirements take up maybe 5% of this book.

In short, if you are a Western-highland gardener looking for species xeriscape plants, this book will prove useful. If you are a botanist, or if you aim to collect, breed and hybridize Penstemons, then this book is of even greater value. But if you want to add Penstemons to a more conventional garden scheme, then it is close to useless.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By NancyR on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
VERY heavy on the botany and botanical terms; not enough practical advice on growing each of the mentioned species in a garden setting. This is really something of a botanist's guide to penstemons, NOT necessarily a gardening guide, and definitely NOT for beginners. Unfortunately, the book also can't really be used as a field guide either since it doesn't contain enough photos or illustrations to help with identification of penstemons (at least for non-botanists).
While the photos and paintings that are included are beautiful, I really wanted to see photos of all or most of the species mentioned because I expected to use this as an aide in identifying penstemons. More photos, especially of common species that I would have expected to be included, would have greatly enhanced this book. And making the book less botanist-oriented would probably have helped with its popularity and usefulness to the general gardening public.
This book DOES describe each of the different species (in mostly technical botanical terms) and sometimes gives an overall idea of where they grow in nature (and occasionally, how to grow them in the garden). But the descriptions are not meant for the average person and are not very helpful when trying to identify specific plants.
There still is no one good book for the average person that describes each species, gives growing tips, and offers enough photos/illustrations for identifying penstemons...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By book worm on September 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Take a look at the TImber Press website (publisher). This is a print on demand book that doesn't have the color plates that the reviewers refer to. Shame on Amazon for not alerting the customers that this is B/W (Like the Aquilegia book, also B/W although the reviewers and the blurb refer to the wonderful photos and paintings.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JJD1971 on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because my boss has a copy of it. However, he must have an older copy because this contained NO color photographs. It is difficult enough to identify penstemons with color photos, but it is almost impossible without. This wouldn't help in the identification process at all.
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Packed with color photos and botanical illustrations is this intriguing guide to penstemons, outlining a wide range of species both common and rare. Enjoy a range of choices which can be used in both dry and marshy gardens across the country, concluded by a mail order source guide.
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