Friday, June 8, 2012

Dirr's Encyclopledia of Trees & Shrubs -- Book Review

Michael A Dirr's books have always been the horticultural industry manual of choice.  All the good horticultural schools have them in their library.  Many of the schools include this book as a course required text book.  Each new edition is always better than the last.  I keep them all as reference books because each covers different plant material and the ever changing varieties.

Oh did I forget the 893 pages jammed packed of the best colour true photographs.  There are on average 3-5 photographs per page.  You do the math!!

The information is informative and critical with that being said no plant in this book does not have it's value or presents in a garden under- or overstated. If you want a perfect example of this, read what Michael says about Paulowna tomentosa (pg 558) if that does not convince you, read what he says about one of my favourite plants in my garden, Hedera colchica 'Dentata variegata' (pg 339)

One of the sections you will use the most is the section on selecting plants for specific characteristics or purposes.  In this section you will find plants for planting in groves, shade, salt, wet soils, dry soils winter interest and many more like flower colour.

You can leave Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs out as a coffee table book but if you do, not not invite more friends than you have copies of this book.  They will be mesmerized.  You will not get must conversation out of them and it will be mostly Oh's, Ah's and I want that one!

The last thing they will say as they leave is can I borrow your book. Be strong! say NO, make them buy their own , or you may never see it again!  If you do see it again, it will come back to you Well Loved!

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