I think I've read it 3 or 4 times now, and I come away with something different each time. Author explains, very eloquently, how annuals are not for dummies or beginners, but for the expert. Indeed, some of the species he highlights can be challenging, even for the seasoned gardener. When he informs you of some interesting tidbit about a particular flower or the intriguing scent of one, you know he's talking from experience. Great stories of his grandma's garden and his first fond experiences as a "budding" gardener. Makes me want to make my whole garden exclusively annuals!
I was delighted to see that many of the plants featured in this wonderful book were already familiar to me - "Yippee - I'm a Connoisseur!"
Seriously though, very well written & very interesting & one I refer to time & time again. Full germination & growing info. is extremely accurate in my experience.
The photos are beautiful, clear, informative & very artistically presented. (Though one or two are mislabelled, which may have been corrected in later editions - I have the original version as first published by Horticulture magazine.)
My only grouch is that it is not longer. I wish that I had this kind of info on 10 times the plants covered here!
This is one of those relatively rare treasures in gardening literature that retains high interest levels as the years go by.
To be a great gardener is one thing. But to be a great garden writer at the same time is altogether a different story- and far more difficult. Annuals for Connoisseurs has it all: timeless horticultural literacy, immensely interesting plant lore, and excellent technical advice. It's not easy for most gardeners to keep their minds open to new ways of looking at and working with well-known or common annual plants. And at the other end of the planting spectrum, trying something quite different for a change can seem too risky to bother with. But Wayne Winterrowd has a genuis for communicating the elusive and delightfully deepened awareness which allows us to look at many annuals with a fresh eye- as if for the first time. Both the garden and the gardener will be all the better for it.