Friday, October 14th, 2011...12:00 am

Review: New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques


I love to visit our local library to see what books are new in horticulture, gardening, landscaping, plants, insects, etc. During my last visit I found a book that I think readers of TheGardenLady will really find valuable. Put out by the American Horticultural Society, it is the “New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques” which calls itself  “The Indispensable Illustrated Practical Guide.” This book contains both photos, they say there are over 1000, and wonderful color illustrations that are very clearly drawn for understanding. The book tries to cover planting techniques for all Temperature Hardiness Zones.

Of course this book is not all inclusive, no single book can be. That is why every year more and more books are written about plants or landscaping or gardening. There seem to be more and more new plants each year, and more ideas or changes in landscaping or new techniques developed that gardeners want to learn about. But at 4 1/2 lbs, this book packs a lot of basic information. Some books are quite classic in that they give information that is always useful, always timely even many years after the publication. This “New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques” is one such book. It gives clear, explicit information about so many of the How to Do things with plants or in a garden. For example, do you want to reduce your lawn but aren’t quite sure what to plant in its place? There is a chapter devoted to this topic of lawn alternatives. Are you curious about the pests enjoying your fruit before you do? There is a chapter on Common Problems. Do you want to trim your shrub roses or wisteria? Check this book our of your library just to see how to prune with their clear illustrations. It explains things about your garden in a concise, simple and clear way with those wonderful illustrations.

The American Horticultural Society says one of their missions is to provide useful and accurate gardening information. Check out their website.   So though the New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques may not be all inclusive, it is pretty close to it and whatever information is given in it is up to the minute. If you want more specialized information, you can look at some of the book AHS publishes or books that they have rewarded as exceptional. And you can always become a member of AHS and benefit from their magazine and other gardening/horticultural opportunities they provide.

Most of the reviews that I have read about this book have been very impressive, though I have seen a few critical reviews. One can always find fault with books, but with this book the faults are so minor. For example, TheGardenLady would love to see a larger Temperature Hardiness Zone Map, a fold out perhaps, so that one can see the delineation of the color changes a little more clearly. And though I like the simplicity of the illustrations, some seem totally unnecessary, such as some on harvesting. And I think the illustration of the frog and toad is misleading, since most of the toads I see are smaller than the frogs I see. But I think these are trivial criticisms because I think the illustrations on pruning are fantastic.

Be Sociable, Share!

Related Content:

Leave a Reply