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Cassell's Directory of Scented Plants [Paperback]

David Squire , Lucy Huntington

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11 April 2002 Cassell's directory of
Plants with fragrant flowers or aromatic foliage have an enormous attraction, and scent is an important part of any garden. This book explores the wealth of wonderful fragrant plants and shows to how to grow and use them to create different effects, filling your garden with fragrance all year round. A quick, authoritative reference on all aspects of planning, planting and maintaining a garden, including advice on habitats and soil types, co-ordinating colour and foliage, identifying and dealing with pests.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting Started with Fragrant Gardens 22 Oct 2002
By V.J. Billings - Published on
Scent in the garden is like the watermark on fine piece of linen stationary: almost imperceptible. Yet the same piece of linen without the faint watermark is noticeably less impressive, blah, boring. Scent is a quality that enhances the emotional experience of the garden but is usually just below the surface of conscious observation. Take the fragrance of the earth and the bounty of scented flowers away, though, and our garden of pleasure becomes noticeably less memorable.
How to get started is often the hardest part of a new gardening venture. Scented Plants by David Squire is the perfect way to start planting for fragrance. Laid out in short chapters that cover many aspects of scented plants, this book provides just enough information for the beginner to truly get involved in aromatic gardening.
The first chapter explains scent and the different ways plants perfume the air. It also provides suggestions for plants that will provide scent throughout the seasons as well as into the evening. The water color graphics of these seasonal gardens will spark your imagination and you will find yourself situating these layouts amongst your own landscape.
The second chapter covers the mechanics of creating the scented garden. How to plant, prune and care for the garden of your fragrant dreams. There are suggestions for everything from doorways to water gardens. Need a fragrant trellis cover or windowsill box filler? How about filling that old wheelbarrow with an ocean of perfume? You can even choose plants to add to your existing gardens, whether they be cottage gardens, wild gardens or formal gardens.
The last chapter is a quickie encyclopedia with full color photos and the particular growing requirements of more than 250 plants.
Just one caveat. We did find one reference to use of a chemical pesticide. There are better ways to fight pests. We suggest The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control.
All in all this is a great book for anyone interested in putting in airs!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice guide, but far too brief 2 Sep 2004
By M. Smith - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely little book full of 250 scented plants to enhance gardens and patios. The book opens with garden planning information (types of scent, seasonal gardens, evening frangrance, etc.). The second section gives brief guides to creating various types of scented gardens, from buying scented plants to creating a rose garden. The third section is a directory of scented plants by type: annuals, bulbs and corms, climbers and wall shrubs, etc. There is also a very brief glossary and index.

While the information is useful, nothing is covered in any real detail. The design guides are only brief inspiration guides that don't really give enough information to make them easily applicable to one's own garden. Since I'm an experienced gardener, I didn't find the maintenance and care sections especially informative, although newer gardeners may find new information here. I was also surprised by a number of omissions, including gardenias, camellias, and tuberoses -- all arguably some of the most fragrant plants I know (but maybe I have the latin name wrong -- see note later about the index).

The reason I bought the book, however, was for the plant directory. I have to say I was very disappointed. Having the plants listed by type is very useful, but gardeners will certainly need another reference book to choose and care for these plants effectively. Each entry includes latin name, common name, and family, plus three or four sentences describing the plant. The entries also have a picture of the plant in bloom, and a series of icons showing leaf type, light preference, speed of growth, and other information.

I personally found the pictures to be far too small to get a sense for how the plant might look. The icons were also of limited utility, since they don't give any real detail. Let me give an example:

The entry for wisteria shows icons for bright sun, medium difficulty, 6m height by 5m width, fast growth, and late spring bloom. All useful information, obviously. HOWEVER, nowhere does it explain the importance of root-pruning for bloom, the sometimes lengthy time to bloom (years in some cases), the overall growth habit (sprawling), and the fact that this is one of the most invasive plants one can buy. Because this is a British publication, the guide does not mention anywhere the zone hardiness -- so no way to tell if that lovely mock orange tree will survive New England winters or Mississipi summers. A gardener would need a better plant reference for this essential information. The index is also listed by latin name only, so if you don't know that Jasmine is Trachelospermum and honeysuckle is Lonicera, you'll have to search page by page.

I suppose this is a good book of lists for fragrant plants. Since a more detailed guide would be needed for success, however, most of the information in this book would become redundant. Better to buy a more comprehensive guide that also lists which plants have fragrance, and go from there.
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