by Anna Pavord
Mitchell Beazley/Octopus Books USA (November 1, 2009)
List Price: $39.99
When my doorbell rang and Fed Ex handed me a hefty padded envelope, little did I know what a treasure was contained within. It was a book. A thick, beautiful tome that made me sit right down with it as soon as I got it out of the envelope.
Bulb is written by Anna Pavord, British author of the bestselling Tulip. Released on November 1st here in the U.S., Bulb features 600 of Pavord's favorite bulbs - "more than enough to sustain a gardener through a lifetime of growing them, " she tells us.
The book is beautiful. It has a cloth spine and the photo of the 'Prinses Irene' tulip on the front cover is embossed, with title and author in gilt. The pages inside are of heavy quality paper, which enhances the beautiful photography by Andrew Lawson. A nice touch is the attached green satin ribbon for marking your spot. But the best part is the content.
A concise introduction tells us the history and origin of bulbs, then we get a bit of a botany lesson before moving on to the bulbs themselves. Each bulb is listed alphabetically by botanical name (Acis to Zigadenus) and in many instances, several cultivars are also pictured. Each entry gives essential information about the bulbs (light, how deep to plant and spacing, hardiness zone, bloom period) as well as their native origin. Companion plantings are sometimes suggested.
Finally, the book concludes with a section called "How to grow bulbs," followed by a planting guide, which consists of lists such as "Bulbs for naturalizing in grass" and "Bulbs for containers." Another handy appendix lists "Bulbs by season," which is helpful when planning companion bloomers. The inside covers contain a U.S.D.A. Hardiness Zone map in the front and an AHS Heat Zone map in the back.
No one book could possibly contain this kind of information on every bulb, but if you want a resource for the ones you're most likely to buy or grow as well as some rare and species varieties, Bulb is "The One."
Andrew Lawson is an award-winning photographer, whose pictures have been reproduced extensively in books and magazines worldwide. Andrew's photos are informed by a deep knowledge of the subject of gardening. He had provided pictures for numerous books, including those written by Rosemary Verey, Penelope Hobhouse, Roy Strong, and HRH The Prince of Wales.
The product or merchandise being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for testing and reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine, with no suggestions whatsoever by the manufacturer or distributor. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.