Synopses & Reviews
Annuals are experiencing a resurgence as today's gardeners demand a wider variety of options. No longer confined to monotone bedding plants, dozens of "unusual" annuals are now available at garden centers in colors and forms far removed from the classic annual bed of pink petunias or red geraniums.
In the tradition of his classic Herbaceous Perennial Plants, Allan M. Armitage has compiled descriptions and assessments of 245 genera of true annuals as well as plants that behave like annuals in USDA zones 1-7. Focusing on identifying the plants, successful culture, and their primary garden attributes, Armitage discusses 279 species in detail and summarizes the distinguishing features of hundreds of cultivars, many of which he has tested himself. Classics like begonias and pelargoniums are juxtaposed with newcomers from Australia, and all are subject to Armitage's critical eye. Color photos and line drawings illustrate the text, and he suggests additional reading in books, articles, and Web sites for many of the covered genera.
Armitage bases his descriptions on extensive personal experience. His frank and conversational style keeps potentially dry details fresh, and each entry is liberally sprinkled with strong and sometimes amusing opinions. Useful lists in the appendix are further evidence of his expertise, as he compiles biennials, half-hardy perennials, winter annuals, shade-tolerant plants, fragrant plants, climbing plants, and everlastings. These lists extend the volume's application beyond a necessary tool for horticulturists and nurserymen to a practical guide for the dedicated home gardener.
A practical guide for the dedicated home gardener with descriptions and assessments of 245 genera of true annuals as well as plants that behave like annuals in USDA zones 1-7.
About the Author
Widely regarded as one of the world's foremost horticulturists, Allan M. Armitage is a professor at the University of Georgia, Athens, where he teaches, conducts research on new garden plants, and runs the University of Georgia Horticulture Gardens. He travels widely as a lecturer and consultant, and is the recipient of numerous awards from nursery trade groups and horticultural organizations, including the Medal of Honor from the Garden Club of America and the National Educator Award from the American Horticultural Society. He is the author of nine other books, as well as six CDs and two Internet courses for gardeners. Armitage was honored with a Quill and Trowel award from the Garden Writers Association of America, and Greenhouse Grower magazine named him one of the ten most influential people or organizations — ever — in the floriculture industry for "encouraging growers to expand their markets with new annuals, cut flowers, and perennials."