This is a good guide for propagating flowers and ferns native to
north-eastern North America. It includes help for garden plans as well
as some specialized sections on collecting seed, storing seed,
germinating, raising carnivorous plants and propagating ferns from
spores. Some of the plants in the book are more suited to the southern
U.S., but most of the information is useful. This book also includes
suggestions for those wanting to grow plants in large numbers for
commercial production or site restoration.
A good practical guide with great pictures, excellent suggestions for combinations of plants and an broad range of native perennials for the garden or naturalized area. AN introduction gives examples of various habitats and gives suggestions for site preparation. A section at the end gives some design suggestions for garden plans.
For many this is the ?bible? for growing shrubs and trees. The
information is encyclopaedic, accurate and easy to use. Dirr?s writing
style is entertaining and his experience with woody plant material is
vast. The volume is a bit weighty at over 1000 pages, but paperback
editions are available and the information on identification, landscape
use and propagation is invaluable. While the 5th edition is well worth
acquiring, the 6th edition promises major revisions and expanded
material on species and cultivars.
Although the plants covered in this volume are from across North
America, much of Cullina?s propagation work was with the New England
Flower Society and so his germination and growing techniques are suited
to Eastern North America. While advocating for conservation and the
understanding of natural habitats, the book is squarely aimed at the
practical gardener with advice on soils, habitat, planting combinations
and most importantly, germination and propagation techniques.
Beautiful colour photos accompany the text. Cullina?s prose is
sometimes a bit flowery, but his observations and advice are sound and
built from long experience. The book covers 153 genera with multiple
species discussed from each. Most can be grown in Ontario.
Similar in style and format to Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and
Propagating Native Flowers of North America, this book is also very
useful for the gardener who wants to extend his or her knowledge of
native plant material. It includes a timely discussion about
preservation of biodiversity and the implications of climate change.
The section on ferns includes clubmoss (Lycopodium) and horsetail
(Equisetum) while the section on grasses also embraces sedges and
rushes. There are many beautiful pictures of excellent quality, but
not every species is illustrated. The profiles do a good job of
introducing a genus (e.g., 112 grasses from 40 genera are described).
The book closes with specialized propagation advice for collecting and
growing spores, establishing moss beds and caring for young plants.
Scattered throughout the book are helpful, short discussions of issues
such as the ethics of wild collecting, the use of local plant material,
ways of establishing a native grass lawn, polyploidy in ferns, and
reproductive biology within each category. The author?s love of plants
and fascination with native flora are obvious and inspiring.
This book is much more than another "how-to? book for
growing plants from seed. Henry Kock,
who worked as an interpretive horticulturalist at the University of Guelph?s
Arboretum, spends the first quarter of the book discussing plant identification
in the wild, the value of understanding forest ecology and the importance to
gardeners of the variation within a species (and its seed) over geographical
regions. He then details general methods
for collecting, cleaning, storing and planting seeds from trees and shrubs of
the Great Lake region. Caring for seedlings for the years until they
are established is also addressed, a feature often missing from germination
guides. Completing this section is an
essay, "Restoring the Landscape?, that tackles climate change, ways to think
about exotic/invasive species, and a plea for conserving genetic
diversity. Beginner and experienced gardeners alike will be informed, challenged and inspired.