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Dave's Garden Book Review: A Pocket Guide to Plants & Gardening

By Melody Rose (melodyMay 5, 2012
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Gardeners love books, as the number of titles devoted to the subject attest. We hope this spotlight on some of our members' favorites is a nice change of pace for your Saturday morning.

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A Pocket Guide to Plants and Gardening 

by: Elizabeth McCorquodale

ImageThis little pocket guide is a great basic introduction to the world of plants and botany. It is designed to help the novice understand the fundamentals of how plants grow, reproduce and how they are classified.


While it is written with the beginner in mind, seasoned gardeners will also find useful information. Detailed illustrations and clear explanations offer readers a view of what happens inside the stem of a plant and even the chemistry of why leaves turn colors in the fall.


This is a compact little book of only 125 pages; however, Elizabeth Mccorquodale manages to pack a huge amount of understandable information between the covers.

Some of the highlights I especially appreciated, were maps of the climate zones for North America, Europe and Australia, a clear key with leaf shapes defined and a brief history of Carl Linnaeus and how the binomial system works. There is also an interesting timeline of garden history, starting in 3000 B.C. and ending in 1994 with the first genetically altered food to go on sale to the public. As an interesting note, in 1716, Thomas Fairchild successfully crossed one species with another. He insisted it was an accidental cross, because he could have been ex-communicated for ‘meddling with creation.'

ImageWhile this is a British publication, the information is applicable to gardeners around the world. The basics of dividing, layering, grafting and taking cuttings are universal. The descriptions and clear illustrations should help anyone wanting to learn these techniques. Composting, worm farming and sustainable alternatives to peat harvesting are also topics that gardeners worldwide should be aware.
I was impressed at the amount of information and the manner in which it was presented. I consider myself an experienced gardener and am quite familiar with the topics in this book, but it is offered in such a clear, readable manner that I enjoyed the entire publication. It would make an excellent gift for the new home owner, or an interested teen.

Black Dog Publishing is offering Dave's Garden members a 40% discount if they would like to purchase this book. Just send your request to jess@blackdogonline.com and put 'Daves Garden Offer' in the subject line.

Find this book and other titles in the Garden Bookworm.


  About Melody Rose  
Melody RoseI come from a long line of Kentuckians who love the Good Earth. I love to learn about every living thing, and love to share what I've learned. Photography is one of my passions, and all of the images in my articles are my own, except where credited.

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