October 19, 2012

A little light reading for my favorite plant nerds


Perennials
A Photographic Guide…

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc.
Published: 2000
Price: Varies widely




Sometimes I'm amazed at the price ranges for books published many years ago. Why would people spend $141.70 USD on a book when they can get it for $0.01 USD, plus shipping?

Especially when it's a helpful reference book about perennials. Such is the case through several online booksellers for the book, “Perennials: A Photographic Guide to More Than 1,000 Plants By Type, Size, Season of Interest, and Color.” It’s a long title, but an apt description for a very helpful and enjoyable guidebook. I see that several DK updates are available, as well.

Personally, I wouldn’t pay $141.70 for it, but $0.01, plus shipping for a hardcover book is a steal, even if it is used. And last I checked, 14 new copies were available online for $1.19.

But enough about the pricing. This is one of my go-to books when I want to identify a plant, check out the zone, or read about its native habitat or preferred growing conditions. The book is organized by large, medium, and small perennials; and further segmented by color within each section.


That pattern is broken a bit when numerous cultivars are described, like the section on Daylilies.

Front and back sections describe mixed planting suggestions, propagation techniques, and routine care. The index is organized by Latin names, which is good practice for me. The book is available through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, among others.

Sometimes I page through this book (along with several other plant guides) on a cold, snowy weekend (or any other day, really) just for fun. Understandable, right?
I’m linking in to Holley’s Garden Book Review meme at Roses and Other Gardening Joys.

Thanks for hosting, Holley.

25 comments:

  1. Looks like a very useful book. I use a two-volume series by Jelitto, but it doesn't have photos.

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    1. Carolyn: I would love to hear about all your favorite guidebooks! I tend to gravitate toward plant books with color photos--it gets me all excited about the possibilities! But I have several with simple written descriptions, too.

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  2. Looks very useful, I just love to grow perennials. Usually I rely on catalogues and trial and error, but it wouldn't be bad to have an organized systematic book. Thanks for the review, PP.

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    1. Catalogues are favorite resources for me, too! I'm already looking forward to next spring's offerings! I forgot to mention: The print on this book is large enough to make it easy to find info at a quick glance. I think I'll dive into it again right now...

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  3. Sounds like a great read, I have a A to Z that I love.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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    1. One can never have too many (or enough) A to Z plant books!

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  4. Yes, the time for reading is coming... It's getting colder and more wet here, in the northwest...

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    1. Here, too, Tatyana. But we're having a bit of a mild stretch, so I have no excuse to avoid getting out in the garden to rake piles and piles of Oak leaves. Argh.

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  5. I haven't come across that book and I have quite a few. You know how it is with gardening books. I want them all. LOL

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    1. Whenever I go to a book sale, book store, or fundraiser, I go straight to the garden books. I keep telling people to give me garden books as gifts--but I never get enough. ;-)

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  6. Beth I also have this book and love it. I think I bought it at a discount or it was a gift...I love finding those bargains too!!

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    1. Donna: Yet another thing we have in common. :) I forget where I got mine--a long time ago! It's so pretty, I've tried to keep it in good condition. But it's also well-used. Many times I've been able to pinpoint a particular cultivar by checking this book and others like it.

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  7. I love those books that become your "go-to" kind of book. Useful. Plants broken down by size and color are what most gardeners need (at least that's what I need), so I appreciate you bringing this book to my attention. I could use more perennials in my garden, and there are so many to choose from, a book like this would be very helpful. I am always amazed at how wide the price difference can be on used books! Thanks for joining in!

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    1. Yeah, I didn't talk much about the introductory pages. They include quite a few examples of foliage, structure, and color combinations that are very helpful. I really appreciate information on native habitats and growing conditions, too. Thanks, again, for hosting the meme!

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  8. I like the color images along with the descriptions. I just purchased a tree book and a bird ID book, both by David Allen Sibley, that has all illustrations, yet are very good. Photos are most useful I think.

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    1. Thanks for the tip on the Sibley books. I'm always searching for more. My dad is amazing at IDing birds by their songs and their appearances. For some reason, I have more luck with plants. Photos are always useful for this visual learner. ;-)

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  9. Sounds like a great reference book! My own garden book library has overflowed my bookshelves onto table tops and into stacks on the floor. I spend many cold winter days, as well as other days throughout the year, examining them.

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    1. I know what you mean. I have stacks, too. It's always hard to pick which ones to review, because they're all so helpful. Not looking forward to the cold, but at least we'll have our books!

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  10. This looks like a handy reference for any gardener. I have a book by Nan Ondra on caring for perennials that has become my go-to resource when I have questions. In the wintertime, my coffee table is overflowing with all the gardening books I've checked out of the library!

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    1. I will look it up! Thanks, Rose! I just keep asking for gardening books as gifts, and I occasionally buy them for myself, if the price is right.

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  11. Wow! Really interesting! I'd love to get one about Italian flora!

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    1. I'm sure there must be plenty of them with an Italian theme. I will search--because I'll need a good reference for my next trip to Italy!

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  12. I'm a very visual person so books with lots of photos are always helpful. This one looks like a keeper. :o)

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    1. Me, too. I think I'm going to put several DK books on my Christmas wish-list this year. ;-)

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  13. Me too! thank you for posting about this, I want it!

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