PROPAGATION GUIDES

Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers (by Harry R. Phillips) The University of North Carolina Press, 1985.
 
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 Gardener's Encyclopedia of Wildflowers
(by C. Colston Burrell) Emmaus PA: Rodale Press, 1997.

  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.








Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
(by Michael A. Dirr) Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing, 1998 (5th ed.)  2009 (6th ed.)

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.


Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propagating Native Flowers of North America (by William Cullina) New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
 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.




Native Ferns, Moss and Grasses (by William Cullina) New York; Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

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.



Growing Trees from Seed (by Henry Kock with Paul Aird, John Ambrose and Gerald Waldron).  Richmond Hill: Firefly Books, 2008.

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.