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Timber Press Pocket Guide to Bulbs   by John E. Bryan. Timber Press, 2005.  Softcover: $19.95



As your garden matures and the shrubs expand and the perennials spread, there is still always room for some more bulbs.  And it seems that you can never have too many.  Their seasons of bloom extend from spring through winter. There are varieties for sun and shade, for wet and dry.  So which to choose?

This reference book from Timber press should make the shopping easier and will perhaps introduce you to some bulbs you were unaware of.  There are excellent sections on the many varieties of iris, daffodils and lilies.  The iris family alone provides great diversity, from the tiny, ephemeral I. reticulata that prefers very well-drained, gritty soil, to the robust and aggressive I. pseudacorus that prefers standing water. This guide sorts them out and provides guidance to growing conditions preferred.

When I am reading a reference of this sort, I would just as soon know right away if the lush bloomer pictured in the photograph will only grow in Zone 10.  This information can be difficult to locate in some listings, as it is often buried in the text.

Want to know the difference between snowdrops (Leucojum) and snowdrops  (Galanthus)?  This would be the place to look.  

700 species, cultivars, and hybrids are included in this reference, illustrated with 300 photographs.


Reviewed by Karin E. Guzy