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4.7 out of 5 stars
RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2010
Firstly I'm reviewing the 2006 edition.

Two-thirds glossy paper with lots of photographs, with expanded sections on common families, and the remaining 1/3 plain given over to the Plant Dictionary and glossary. Well laid-out introductory sections with good explanations and lots of beautiful colour photography, making identification and comparison easy. Sections include:
Preface
How to use the book
Plant names and origins
Colour in the garden
Plant Selector
Plant Catalogue
Plant Dictionary including common names
Glossary

The Plant Catalogue is divided into the following sections:
Trees
Shrubs
Roses
Climbers
Perennials
Annuals & Biennials
Rock plants
Bulbs
Water plants
Cacti and other succulents.

Each section includes easy-to-understand explanations about classification and identification, etc. The Plant Dictionary is a complete listing of more than 8000 plants suitable for growing in temperate gardens worldwide. It includes full descriptions of the characteristics and cultivation of over 4000 plants not already covered in the Plant Catalogue. The 2010 edition includes an additional "how to" section covering aspects of cultivation, pruning and care, etc.

One of my all-time favourite books and an essential addition to the home library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2014
I bought this book after my first season as a qualified gardener to further my knowledge of plants/trees/shrubs. The book was everything I expected it to be.
The pictures are very clear ,and the information given about them is easy to understand, and easy to absorb. I got this book in Early January and it's now early February, and my knowledge has increased greatly, not only from identifying plants/trees/shrubs, but how to care for plants/trees/shrubs, and which conditions they grow best in, and when they will bloom.
I can not in all honesty, think of anything about this book to dislike.
I would recommend this book, to anyone who wants to know what plants/trees/shrubs look good in their garden, or who is interested in gardening as a career.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2013
Very useful gardening book when looking for plants for particular sites and soil types. Preferred the much earlier addition
which I had from Readers Digest many years ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2014
A lovely hard-back book and would expect to pay more for this large tome! Full colour photos and descriptions in latin and 'common' known names. I'm still looking through this and know I shall keep dipping in and out of this book for many years to come! Gives info on best places to grow/maintain chosen plants, watering, feed, weeding, pruning etc. All aspects of flowers, trees, shrubs, climbers, grasses and. many, many more besides! Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2011
I just love this book! Being a poor student, and seeing this book in bookshops at £35.00, found it a considered purchase, however could not believe the price on Amazon! Another plus! This book has great photographs and information on most plants and flowers you may be looking for. The book is split into the various plant types - conifers/perennials/annuals etc which is a great help when looking for specific plants for specific areas. It really does have great illustration, good information on the plants and a fantastic reference guide and a great plant dictionary at the back. There is also some usefull information at the start of the book and some good gardening tips. The only negative I have heard - from an Englishman - is that it tells you plants are frost hardy though some plants may not survive our new harsher winters north of the border!! I find it difficult to survive them myself!

If you're considering buying this book, don't consider, go for it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2014
This is a marvellous book. Or should I say bible .
It will last me long years, I mean long years of joy.

Especially in winter when I can not go into the garden
I shall be very happy with this book, and dream about spring
what I will be doing in the garden.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2014
Ideal for all levels of gardener as the descriptions and photographs are lovely. Great for a quick reference guide if you see a plant you'd like but are not sure if it's suitable for your garden.

Big, heavy book and I managed to buy it from Amazon at £16.75, so it made a perfect gift as it is so substantial it looked liked I'd spent much more!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2013
This is a beast of a book, and there's tonnes of pictures but unfortunately it rarely helps me with anything I am querying. It's arranged in colours according to seasons of interest so I suppose you might flick through it as a coffee table book, or use it to (vaguely) identify plants you've seen out and about.
The trouble is there are so many varieties you can't get a specific answer and I don't always find it that easy to find things. Recently I was trying to identify the holly bushes in my garden - I've given up. It could tell me it was holly but only some varieties were pictured ( naturally or the book would be bigger than a house) so I came to a dead end. Another time I was looking up fire thorn to aid recognition from other similar shrubs but because they have different berry colours they are all on different pages. When I use this most is to get a general idea of a plant to which I only have the name; I.e if I have read about it but don't know what it is. Then I will get one or maybe varieties of it to give me a general idea. I am perhaps being a bit unfair on the book, since it can't be everything and still be a book. It's nice to own it and use as a reference, I suppose like a dictionary: on a rare occasion you might've really need it, but it is easy enough to use the rhs website too. You could also use it at planning stage in the garden, or to hunt down a particular variety of a plant, having seen its picture in the book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2010
I have had The Gardeners' Encyclopedia of PLants and Flowers which was published in 1990 and decided to buy a more up-to-date edition. I bought this one and I was not disappointed. It identifies everything I could think of in the garden and is an excellent reference book for all types of plants and flowers. I can't recommend it enough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2011
Wonderful book but the 'feature panel pages' grouping photograph and key characteristics of a type of plant, don't tell you where to find more info on the featured plant, It should come with a page number or something. Otherwise very useful book.
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