This is the book that makes my gardening dreams possible, it is never far from my side. I guess I would call it a reference book because it is packed with information, but don't let that scare you away. There are a staggering 15,000 plants described with 6,000 photographs. Each plant's cultural needs, botanical name, hardiness and method of cultivation are mentioned however briefly. The book is well organized and easy to use. It isn't hard to find a 4-5 ft shrub that blooms pink in summer, or whatever your garden needs are. This book is also beautiful; I look at it for fun all winter long...sweet dreams til summer's sunbeams find you.