Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Everything Under One Cover

Edythe Falconer, Ottawa-Carleton

The Ultimate Practical Guide to Pruning and Training – Richard Bird – Hermes House - 2005
The author has put together the most comprehensive reference on pruning that I’ve ever encountered in many years of gardening. I acquired this publication by accident. I was in a Lee Valley store this spring looking for a book on Grasses. Bird’s book was on special at an irresistible price so I came home with two great books instead of one. I will soon donate most if not all of my “old” pruning books to our swap table and/or our spring plant sale in 2014.

In a mere 256 pages Bird covers ornamental trees, ornamental shrubs, topiary, hedges, ornamental climbers and wall shrubs, roses, perennials and annuals, fruit trees, climbing fruits and soft fruits. Added features include a directory of ornamental plants and an extensive glossary. There is something here for both the generalist and the specialist. Especially helpful is the wealth of informative colour photos and diagrams. There are many other pluses. Bird serves his reader well with suggestions for support structures for plants and their relevance to styles of pruning. He provides diagrams for building some of his favoured structures. He comments frequently on levels of difficulty in maintaining specific plants. He includes the Latin names of many of the plants he uses to illustrate his techniques and he even goes so far as to suggest many creative yet sensible, doable design ideas. All of this is delivered in a pleasant friendly style that makes for comfortable learning and reading.

I found this book by accident. I’m recommending that you consider getting it by intent. Although I now do a lot of my research on line I still value greatly references of this calibre! Do check it out.

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