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Hardy Bamboos: Taming the Dragon [Hardcover]

Paul Whittaker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 20.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 April 2005
Bamboos are extraordinary in their ability to transform a garden, adapt to inhospitable surroundings, survive with little care and, most of all, surprise and delight the people who view them. Too long the exclusive pleasure of those with tropical and subtropical gardens, this hand-picked selection allows gardeners in cooler climes to experience the wonder and infinite variety of these magical plants. Besieged by winter wet, summer drought and bitter, drying winds, Paul Whittaker's garden has been a rigorous testing ground. In the first part of the book his compelling anecdotes, experiences and case histories illuminate how bamboos perform in different places, draw attention to their idiosyncratic nature, and highlight their geographical origins. A further section describes the bamboo's unique physical structure and growing habits. These fascinating insights give you the knowledge you need to choose the right bamboo for your site and grow it successfully. At the heart of the book are detailed plant descriptions that join with striking photographs and evocative illustrations to highlight each plant's characteristics. Using bamboos to best effect in the garden, propagation, aftercare and their resilience to pests and diseases complete the guidance for gardeners. The distillation of years of hands-on growing experience, this is the ultimate bamboo reference book for cool-climate gardeners. Enthusiasts will delight in the variety of new possibilities for their collection and gardeners everywhere will be captivated by the charm bamboos bring to countless different garden situations.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; illustrated edition edition (15 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088192685X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881926859
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 18.9 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


To convey the visual opulence of Hardy Bamboos by means of language is challenging indeed. Suffice it so say that if you never read a single word of this book, if you never cultivate even one bamboo plant, if you only turn the pages and look at these pictures, you will be very glad you did. --Josephine Bridges, Asian Reporter

For anyone thinking of growing bamboos in the garden, and for the more established fans, this book is the definitive guide. --Gardens Monthly

Well-written and beautifully illustrated; perhaps the best book on hardy bamboos yet published. --Jon Ardle, The Garden

About the Author

Hailing from Lancashire, Paul Whittaker has worked in horticulture for almost thirty years as a nurseryman, landscaper, and consultant. He now runs his own nursery, PW Plants, that specializes in ornamental grasses and his main love, temperate bamboos. A regular exhibitor at Royal Horticultural Society shows, he has won many gold medals for his legendary foliage displays. Dedicated to the promotion and understanding of temperate bamboos, Paul Whittaker contributes articles to gardening magazines, lectures widely, and holds workshops and events at his nursery and garden. As a member of the RHS woody plant committee, he works tirelessly to increase general horticultural knowledge and also judges exhibits at the major horticultural shows in the U.K. Paul lives in Norfolk, England with his wife, Diana, three teenage offspring, and two labradors.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardy Bamboos 7 Sep 2005
This is a brilliant book. What all bamboo enthusiasts have been waiting for. It cuts through the bs and gives all the information you need without going into too much scientific detail. What's more, it's all based on practical experience. It also confirmed for me what I had suspected for some time - that these plants can sometimes appear to have a mind of their own and defy all the rules.
Can't recommend it enough.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 4 Nov 2005
This book provides a brilliant grounding in the growing of this interesting group of plants for novices but there is still plenty of information for the more experienced grower. Whittaker's love for bamboos is infectious and comes across well in the text, with well grounded advice comming from years of hands on experience of growing them in the UK climate. Thoroughly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate reading for an exotic garden 24 Dec 2012
By Jim
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My Son-in-Law's passion is gardening with an Eastern flavour and this book, being on his wish list, should provide him with interesting reading and inspiration for next year's plants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything a good gardening book should be 1 Sep 2010
By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER
Hardy Bamboos is most valuable addition to any gardener's library. Paul Whittaker considers first the nature of Bamboos and their various natural habitat. The bulk of the book though is given over to detailed descriptions of the individual plants. It concludes with comments on cultivation, propagation, pests and diseases, and an interesting section entitled Myths, Legends and the Four Seasons. Among other useful inclusions are a glossary and bibliography.

The author writes from knowledgeably from personal experience, and applies a down to earth common sense approach to his subject. One of the first things that struck me was that he puts no limits or restrictions on growing bamboos. I found this particularly interesting as having a garden on chalk I had often been told that there were many bamboos that I could not grow on chalk, the author dispels this myth, and many others too. The advice on cultivation is very practical, and Paul Whittaker clearly is not one to pamper his plants, and I have to agree with that.

While I am not fan of pruning plants if it is not necessary or can be avoided, I would have liked to have seen a little more information on the subject, if only to say "don't prune". But that aside it is hard to find fault with Hardy Bamboos, it is everything a good gardening book should be, informative, instructive, encouraging, well illustrated and positively opinionated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 30 Aug 2010
Fantastic book, well worth a read. Definitely a must for any bamboo enthusiast. Very nice personal accounts/experiences which make the reading even more enjoyable. Practical advice and tips.
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