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World's Greatest Gardening Gifts

Posted - Dec. 1, 2001 at 6:13 a.m.



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Coming up with the “World’s Greatest Gardening Gifts for Christmas” would seem like an easy task. After all there are thousands different trees, shrubs or perennial but of course the fact that it is winter makes them unlikely candidates to put under the tree. Seeds in all their varieties are other possibilities but most local nurseries will not have those for sale until spring planting weather comes closer. Houseplants are possibilities but not all gardeners are converted to the joys of indoor growing. The last complication is that some of the most avid gardeners seem to have everything they could ever want or need to do with gardening. Finding anything for them that is not a trinket or a dust collector seems very remote. Since winter is upon us, the best possibilities are inside gifts. Books are always one of my favorites so I will share a few titles over the next few weeks that I think most gardeners would enjoy. My own personal favorite for ornamental plants has to be a monumental publication done by the American Horticultural Society. This publication titled A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants is a comprehensive work of exciting proportions. Editors in Chief Christopher Brickell and Judith D.Zuk draw on the expertise of more than fifty international experts to help with this volume. The book starts out with abelia as the first encyclopedic entry and ends with zygopetalum as the last, with a wealth of information in between. It covers more than 15,000 ornamental plants and is illustrated by nearly 6,000 color photographs. The descriptions are well done and the photography is carefully selected to illustrate and show vital plant information. This is not a book for the faint of mind or of body. It has almost 1100 pages and weighs in at several pounds. Perusing the book give an appreciation for the vast number of plants that are utilized in the garden. My copy that is a treasured gift from dear friends will have a prominent place in my library for years to come. P.S. In case you are wondering about the zygotealum, the last entry in the plant encyclopedia, it is a caper bean that is an epiphytic orchid from South America. Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticulturist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office

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