The Adventurous Gardener provides a brilliant gardener's take on any number of practical, as well as aesthetic, judgments. The first 11 chapters concern maintenance and propagation, such as "Unusual Ways with Rose Cuttings," "Maintaining Mature Hedging," and "Some Reactions to Cutting Back" (which covers the results of radical pruning on scores of genuses of shrubs and trees).
The next 8 chapters cover trees and shrubs, Lloyd's experience and opinions of hundreds of species and cultivars, and the best ways, culturally and aesthetically, to use them in the garden. The rest of the book covers a variety of herbaceous plants, design concepts, the theories of Gertrude Jekyll, "Planning a Border," you name it. Of course, the book, at 250 pages, is not comprehensive. For that matter, Lloyd's "The Well-Tempered Garden" is in a sense basically the same book, except that there is very little overlap. Each is a series of essays which stands on its own. (Similarly, the estate of the late Henry Mitchell has 3 such books out, made up of his newspaper gardening columns; but Mitchell's columns are shorter, more about literary style than detail, and his 3 books overlap each other considerably.)
This book's greatest weakness: it only has 18 low-resolution black & white photos. These are in the book's center, and do little to illustrate the text. So in order to follow many of the chapters, which concern specific varieties of, say, crabapple trees, or concern combinations of plants, you will have to have the "A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants" or a similar reference at hand. That said, this keeps the book small and dirt cheap. I suppose I could, for lack of hundreds of glossy color photos, rate the book less than the perfect 5 stars, but I can't see criticizing a book for not being what it is not, especially when it is so good at being what it is.