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The New Encyclopedia of Hostas Hardcover – January 23, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

The New Encyclopedia of Hostas + Timber Press Pocket Guide to Hostas (Timber Press Pocket Guides) + The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Small, Very Small, and Mini Varieties
Price for all three: $65.97

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; Rev Upd edition (January 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881929603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881929607
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Offers deep but readable education about the genus, with pictures to drool over.”

About the Author

Michael Shadrack is a member of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society and the American Hosta Society. His interest in photography has led to a library of nearly 3200 hosta images, many of which have been published in books, magazines, and catalogs. He regularly lectures on hostas in Europe and North America.


Diana Grenfell, a co-founder of the British Hosta and Hemerocallis Society, is the author of The Color Encyclopedia of Hostas, The Gardener's Guide to Growing Hostas and The Gardener's Guide to Growing Daylilies. She operates the well-known nursery, Apple Court, at Lymington in Hampshire with her husband, Roger Grounds, author of The Plantfinder's Guide to Ornamental Grasses.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
I love hostas and would recommend this book to all avid gardeners.
Shirley Withrow
The book has individual, detailed descriptions and high quality color photos of many many hostas.
peony gardener
This book has taught me everything I've needed to know to make some amazing hosta beds.
godschild

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Melissa K on February 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been collecting hostas for about 3 years and have about 260 different varieties and over 300 hostas total. I'm a relatively new collector, but I do love my hosta books!
I looked thru this book over the weekend.... I'll admit, it was more pic viewing than reading, but here are my opinions:

Since this is a updated release of her old book, I will compare it to the previous book.
The pics of newer cultivars are indeed nice. Yes, there are lots of repeats from the old Grenfell encyclopedia, but I didn't seem to mind.

One thing that did bother me is that if she was referencing a sport of a plant, she'd put the pic with the parent's listing, even if it didn't fall into the heading of the chapter. I found this to be distracting.

She and Shadrack (the co-author/photographer, who will be speaking at the 2010 National Convention) have clearly done a lot of their research in the states this round.... I think that's great! There was even a pic of Rhino Hide.... and that was just registered in what, 2007?

Is it crucial to your hosta book library? Well, for me, yes! I really like the newer cultivars and would like to have pics at my fingertips without having to have the internet. I often have at least one reference book in the car or my bag when I go hosta shopping. This one, I feel, is the best choice between the old Grenfell, the small Grenfell and the Zilis Hostapedia. I believe this is a good value at Amazon's price with free shipping. I do not think it is worth listed retail price.

If you are just getting into hosta collecting, I'd choose this book before Zilis since it does have a pic of each plant profiled, though all plants are not profiled. With Zilis, it's the opposite....
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By peony gardener on February 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great book to all who feel overwhelmed by the vast selection of hostas on the market today.
The book has individual, detailed descriptions and high quality color photos of many many hostas.

The hostas are grouped by leaf color: green hostas, blue hostas, gold hostas,
variegated-margin hostas and medio-variegated hostas.
Each color-group makes a chapter in the book, and is of great help in organizing ones hosta-dreams.

The text is superb, covering specific information for each cultivar: color and shape of its leaves and flowers,
its growth-rate: slow or fast. The plant shape: open habit or a dense mound, its natural disease resistance,
the hosta's origin and more.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. Fasy on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best reference I have found on hostas - the varieties, planting information, updated with HVX information. Recommended for any gardener who intends to grow a large variety of hostas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda L Blake on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another outstanding book from Grenfell and Shadrack. Beautiful photography and informative text. A must for hosta enthusiasts and gardeners alike. A. Blake, Tasmania, Australia.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alexis, an Amazon addict on September 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book seems to be missing some fairly common types of hostas and there aren't pictures for each cultivar mentioned. It's disappointing, frankly. Granted, there is a reason it is much cheaper than the Hostapedia (which lists for about $80), but still....if it lists a particular plant, it would be nice to have a picture to go along with it. Also, if you have a picture of the plant, an explanation would be appreciated. The sport "Orange Marmalade" is a case of picture with no information.

The hostas it does include have a fairly complete explanation of them. I think the website [...] and some other resources will be more useful for identification purposes. This is a nice coffee table book with a good bit of information.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By marsha on July 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. A very complete listing of hosta plus lots of good information on raising and caring for hostas.
As a beginner with hosta it is very easy to understand the info and has great pictures on nice glossy paper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a superb, comprehensive volume covering all aspects of hosta cultivation. It starts with an informative section on hostas in their native Far Eastern habitat, and how they were originally introduced into the West in the mid 1800s. There is an extensive section on the cultivation of hostas, including conditions, type of soil they prefer etc. and frequent pests. Of course slugs and snails are the worst culprits - it was news to me that there are 25 different sorts of slugs, but happily only 5 of these will be after your hostas as the rest are carnivores!

Following these chapters there is the most interesting part of the book from my viewpoint which is a detailed discussion on a wide variety of hostas. There are so many around - about 7500 varieties at the last count! - that it would be impossible to describe them all in one volume. However, 380 odd pages are devoted to this and the authors do include a wide and representative selection including the most popular. I could not think of any which I would expect to be included which were not here.

The descriptions are very good as they include not only detailed descriptions including size and cultivation notes, but also when and who they were introduced by. There were some surpises here as, for instance, H Fire Island which has been a very popular hosta in the last couple of years with its outstanding red stalks, was introduced as long ago as 1998 and obviously took some while to gain a following. As there are so many hostas included, they are conveniently split into chapters, eg hostas with green leaves, hostas with chartreuse and so on. There is also a welcome section on miniature and very small hostas which are now very popular.

Finally there are lists of sources of hostas, hosta societies and other resources if you want to take your study of hostas further. So really a book for an enthusiast (as you may have gathered I am an enthusiastic fan of hostas) but really a must have volume.
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