Books can help gardeners

The Associated Press
Friday March 16, 2001

Gardening books preview your horticultural treasures: 

• The ancient Egyptians treasured flowers because they symbolized life in that desert region, notes Malcolm Hillier in “Flowers: The Book of Floral Design.” 

Flower arrangements have evolved in life and art through history and to the present, when your own creative versions join the tradition – from the single flower on a cafe table to a complex design for a parade float. Hillier lays out the fundamentals and offers some intriguing ideas, including one arrangement that features a series of different blooms encapsulated under water in tumblers. 

• People in northerly climates have particular challenges to keep their gardens in good health. “Growing Shrubs and Small Trees in Cold Climates.” by Nancy Rose, Don Selinger and John Whitman, is full of practical advice on choosing, planting and maintaining the “bones” of northern gardens. 

• Growing annuals is a relatively inexpensive, quick-return way to creative gardening. “Annuals with Style” (Taunton Press, $29.95 hardcover), by Mike Ruggiero and Tom Christopher, offers ideas and inspiration for interesting ways to grow and display these flowers and plants. 

• The garden can be defined with something as simple as a picket fence or as complex as a classic arcaded trellis, pond or terrace. Some of the possibilities are included in “Smith & Hawken Garden Structures,” by Linda Joan Smith. 

• Some of the best landscaping and garden design advice appearing in Fine Gardening magazine has been compiled in a new series of practical paperbacks by the magazine’s publisher, Taunton Press. The first four titles in the Fine Gardening Design Guides series are “Creating Beds and Borders,” “Landscaping Your Home,” “Designing With Plants,” and “Exploring Garden Style.” Barbara Ashmun, Doug Ruhren, Sydney Eddison, Keeyla Meadows, Erica Glasener and Ken Twombly are among the experts whose bylines are included.