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Botany for Gardeners [Paperback]

Brian Capon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Botany for Gardeners Botany for Gardeners 4.8 out of 5 stars (23)
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Book Description

15 Jan 2005
A bestseller since its debut in 1990, this indispensable and handy reference has now been expanded and updated to include an appendix on plant taxonomy and a comprehensive index. Two dozen new photos and illustrations make this new edition even richer with information. Its convenient paperback format makes it easy to carry and access, whether you are in or out of the garden. This title presents an essential overview of the science behind plants for beginning and advanced gardeners alike.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; Rev Ed edition (15 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881926558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881926552
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In this magical little volume Capon covers the entire breadth of botanical science in concise, clear terms that anyone can understand and enjoy, but he doesn't make the mistake of talking down to the reader. [This review refers to the first edition] San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles 19910501 With its many color photographs, its discursive style, and its comprehensive glossary, Botany for Gardeners is a joy to read. [This review refers to the first edition] HortIdeas 19900901 A book such as this should be in every workshop, potting shed and mess room. [This review refers to the first edition] American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta Newsletter 19901101 Capon's writing is interesting and engaging. He makes botany sound as interesting as it really is. To those who think that plants don't do anything, he says: 'Throughout every moment of a plant's life, activities of inconceivable complexity take place beneath a deceptive facade of effortlessness and tranquillity.' [This review refers to the first edition] -- Stanley Rice Academic Library Book Review 19950201 If you ever wanted to know why a plant reacts the way it does, this book is for you. [This review refers to the first edition] American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter 19990901 Those who enjoy and are fascinated by plants and gardening, would enjoy them even more with the help of this book. [This review refers to the first edition] Northeastern Naturalist 19980901 Written for those who would like to do more than simply 'get by' with intuitive knowledge about plants. [This review refers to the first edition] Northeastern Naturalist 19980901 Gives the basics in a layperson's language, and it's not the size of a typical scientific tome, which in my book recommends it highly. [This review refers to the first edition] -- Dulcy Mahar Oregonian 20021121 This is a reference that should be on the desk of everyone interested in plants. [This review refers to the first edition] -- Ann Milovsoroff Pappus 20030128 This self-styled 'introduction and guide' for gardeners is a fascinating look at how plants grow. Well-written with diagrams to illustrate concepts, the book should be on the list for every serious gardener who has always wanted to know a little bit more about how things work. [This review refers to the first edition] Ontario Gardener 20020211 I highly recommend this book ... Learning new things would be such a pleasure if we had more such books. [This review refers to the first edition] -- Barbara Joe Hoshizaki Fiddlehead Forum 20030307 This is a book that you will want to keep in your horticultural library for future reference. -- George Graine Virginia Master Gardeners Association Report 20050221 A combination of crisp, friendly writing and detailed, understandable illustrations (both line drawings and photographs) yields a great book that will be a welcome addition to the reference shelf. -- Kim Long Bloomsbury Review 20050315 [This] is an instructional, scientific text written specifically in everyday language for gardeners, horticulturists, and lay people. Wisconsin Bookwatch 20050301 This book unwraps the mystery of the how and why of botany at a level we can understand. Virginia Master Gardeners Association Report 20050412 [Capon] tells it like it is, reminding the reader along the way what remains a mystery even to trained botanists. This book will give you answers to many of your questions - and answers to questions you did not know you had. -- Peter Kendall American Rhododendron Society Journal 20060101 Botany for Gardeners is a handy reference book for all questions relating to the growth of plants and the processes of seed germination, growth, photosynthesis, development of roots and shoots, reproduction, and adaptation. -- Rosemary Read Social Gardener 20060401 Not just for gardeners, this book is highly recommended for all who are curious about the world around them. -- Marilyn K. Alaimo Chicago Botanic Garden 20060301 A fascinating book for the curious gardener. -- Ellen Barcel Setauket Times Beacon Record 20091203

About the Author

Brian Capon, a native of Cheshire, England, was educated in England, Canada, and the United States, receiving a Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Chicago. For thirty years he was Professor of Botany at California State University, Los Angeles, where he taught courses ranging from undergraduate general botany to advanced subjects for graduate students. He retired in 1991 as Professor Emeritus. His other book, Plant Survival: Adapting to a Hostile World, was published by Timber Press in 1994, and he occasionally writes on various topics. He is an accomplished landscape and still life painter, enjoys photography, and has traveled extensively throughout the world. Gardening, cooking, and attending plays and opera are among his many pleasures.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Reading about botany bores me (which is strange for someone who loves growing plants for a living), but I LOVE this book. When I was studying for the RHS Advanced Certificate in Horticulture (a Level 3 qualification) it provided just the right level of detail, well explained. Some great, simple diagrams clarify heavy subjects and the few pictures taken through microscopes are fascinating. There's no waffle, just facts.

If, like me when I started, you have very little knowledge of botany, you may find that 'Principles of Horticulture' by Adams, Bamford & Early is a better starting point. I used to read a chapter in PoH for the basics and then turn to Capon for a more satifactory level of detail.
Capon became the "Bible" of our botany class and we referred to it constantly as we struggled to understand and retain the botanical knowledge we needed.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book 18 July 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am still amazed with how well written and pleasurable to read this book is. Botany can be quite complicated at times, and I will not say that this book hasn't had at least one or two topics that didn't interest me at first (such as genetics), but once you start reading it you really feel hungry to read more.

It is written in a way that almost feels like reading a novel. I am going to read it again as I found that writing notes were distracting me away from the pleasure of reading the book itself. It also makes me wonder why when I was at schoool they didn't teach us all those interesting things the book so easily and magnificently tours us about. Wow, I have learnt so much!

In a nutshell, it feels like you are a reading a BBC cum National Geographic documentary book. Nevertheless the only downside of the book is the diagramation and the coordination of space between pictures and text, not the content's fault and should definitely not decrease even a 0,0001 star from its stellar 5 star rating.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable reference book 4 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this as a reference book for an RHS course I have been taking. I thought it would be very dry and dull - but worthy. Actually it is very readable and informative. It is an excellent reference for the botany of plants.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable 18 Mar 2009
By Chez
This is a very readable book with helpful and plentiful photos and diagrams. It is no so scientific as to be intimidating but still covers most of the basics. I would however have liked a more thorough section on plant classication which is why I only give it a 4.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 11 Aug 2009
I can only echo the other reviews for this book. I too bought this book to help with study for an RHS course and found it to be a very readable book. The author has a knack for putting across the botanical concepts discussed in an understandable and interesting format. The photographs and illustrations are also excellent and to the point.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brian Capron - Botany for Gardeners 8 Mar 2010
An insightful and informative read that is somewhat addictive. Contains a perfect balance between botanical science and its practical implications in the garden. The author has clearly gone to great efforts to ensure that this book is both interesting and enlightening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful short introduction 19 Sep 2009
This short book is such fun to read and so informative that I really cannot recommend it highly enough.
The book assumes very little previous knowledge and covers key concepts in a fundamental way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Plants
Really enjoyed this book was easy to read with plenty of photos and diagrams to explain the subject, will be one that will be kept on my shelf for future reference. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Clear Guide to Botany
This is a very clear and easily understood guide to the various aspects of botany which help the curious gardener understand what's going on in his garden.
Published on 11 Dec 2010 by camelot
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
fantastic introduction to botany. It is an easy read without being patronising. Would reccommend to anyone interested in botany/gardening.
Published on 6 Jun 2010 by hostelgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference for basic Botany
Excellent diagrams and photos really help the gardener understand botany in a clear way. I found this book very useful - just the right depth of knowlege I need and very readable. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2010 by mr_fin
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! A book that makes complicated - simple!
This has to be the best book I have ordered in years!
I am currently studying horticulture and find it difficult to absorb the text (I am doing a correspondence course). Read more
Published on 20 Jan 2010 by Nadwo
5.0 out of 5 stars Botany for Gardeners
This book was recommended to me by my tutor to assist with my studies for RHS 2. I find the written information and the excellent descriptive photographs and drawings it contains... Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2009 by C. Dixon-gladstone
4.0 out of 5 stars Botany from the basics
A user friendly easy to read book. Small enough to carry around and read on the train or even in the bath !!
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by J. Michell
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