Review Timber Press Guide to Succulents of the World

There a few things as beautiful to a serious gardener as a good book written by an acknowledged expert in his field. And this is where Timber Press does such an outstanding job of getting this material into print with Fred Dotort’s “Timber Press Guide to Succulents of the World”.

If it sounds as if I fell in love with this book, you’d be right but it comes with a serious warning. The pictures are superb, the text complete and interesting about all the plants, there’s no stone left unturned here but it is not the kind of book you want to read unless you want to fall in love with serious learning about this plant’s vast dimensions. It is also not the kind of book you want to read if your normal fare in garden writing stops at the Dummies series of beginner books. This one is for those who want to learn and who want to become better gardeners, spending the time to do so. It will challenge you and amaze you at the vast range of succulent plants (some 2000 species).

With something for everyone, the author not only presents wonderful habitat information but also details some of the needs of succulents for pot culture. This of course means that some of those amazing, but tender, plants may indeed belong in every gardener’s collection. Not only that but brief descriptions of propagation techniques offers hope to all of us in expanding our collections.

The only thing this class of plants has in common is a unique way of storing water in its leaves and stems rather than roots such as other drought resistant plants. After that, this worldwide denizen varies in its ability to tolerate cold, moisture or humidity and heat. And the key to growing them involves understanding their specific native habitat so you can replicate that in your garden – or not as it turns out for many species for my northern humidity and rainfall – which can be as deadly to some species as cold. And this is where the book shines in that every one of these habitats and plants are linked up in the book so you understand what it is you have to provide to keep your treasure alive and thriving.

This review is going to be fairly short, there’s little point going on about the writing (which is aimed at the literate) or photography (often plants in their native habitat and wonderful) or the serious depth of information presented (enough to get me really interested in reading every word)

This is one of those books that belongs on the shelf of every plantsman or would-be. My only regret is my review copy is an ebook and now I, like all of you, am going to have to head to my favorite bookstore to order a copy. I want this book on my shelf for browsing and reference (and to make a plant want-list) 😉
And that my friends is the best compliment I can give to any book.

You can get your copy of the book here at Amazon

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