After seeing Felder Rushing at a garden symposium I started reading all his books. He's a hundred miles strait across I-20 from me and right on the money with his tough plant choices. A very funny relatable guy that carries through in his writing.
The back of the book states: "If Felder Rushing can't kill it, you know it's a tough plant" and "a fun and user-friendly guide for Southern gardeners". I don't know about the first statement, but after purchasing this book, I consider the second one to be very true. Mr. Rushing himself says this about his book, "This book is about unkillable plants. Its aim is to increase the number of people who garden--without a lot of 'bells and whistles' science--by highlighting what decades of experience have shown to be the toughest surviviors of the South."
The contents of this book prove true to the author's stated intentions. Long experience is often the very best teacher. For those who want all the Latin and botanical names, he does provide genus and some species names. But if you want a lot of other Latin names and terms, plant science, and botanical jargon, this isn't the book for you. It's mostly English, simple, straight-forward, and entertaining. However, in the back of the book, Mr. Rushing doesn't neglect to define in his own humorous style some terms he uses that may not be understood by all gardeners. For example, he denotes a "dilettante" as "a gardener who dabbles in a little of everything, and knows more about some things that most folks don't really care about." I think the majority of us who take our gardening seriously can chuckle about the illusion to the feeling of no one understands me in that definition.
There are lots of recommendations of plants that are best for beginner gardeners and also lists of plants the author terms "Kinda Tricky". This book is a good read, entertaining, full of useful information (for those in the South especially), and very well illustrated.
I heard Felder Rushing speak, and went out and immediately bought all his books (on Alibris) I didn't already have. This is one! I have to use this book in conjunction with A Garden Book for Houston and other gardener's advice because many of the plants he discusses do not do well here on the Texas Gulf Coast. I love the personal and humorous touches this author uses.
A great book for a Florida newbie gardener who is still struggling with recognizing the plants at the garden center. A good basic reference for establishing a good Southern garden. Cultural information is somewhat sketchy, as are other characteristics like toxicity, etc. Still, a great book, and my first "go-to" book for questions about what and where to plant. Felder is a hoot!