Book Review: Jodi DeLong’s Plants for Atlantic Gardens

Every once in a while I come across a gardening reference book that reads like a delicious novel, filled with fabulous conversational writing, sage advice, and enlivened wit leafy villains, thugs and heroes. What delightful book is this?

It is Jodi DeLong’s recently released book, [amazon_link id=”1551097982″ target=”_blank” ]Plants for Atlantic Gardens: Handsome and Hard-Working Shrubs, Trees and Perennials[/amazon_link], released by Nimbus Publishing! A fabulous collection of plant profiles….

Many of Jodi’s plant choices had me either nodding along with agreement or had me shouting, “I’ve got to get that plant!” Jodi’s extensive in-depth gardening experience and horticultural expertise shines on every page….speaking with an authentic plant lover’s voice. If you really luuuuuve blue flowers, Jodi’s book has a great selection.

Jodi’s pragmatic no—nonsense approach to plants and gardens also resonated with me… “Remember that plants are living beings, and even when you give them the best of care, they can sicken and die rather arbitrarily.” Say how it really is Jodi. Way to go.

Sage advice is usually served with side dishes of wit and humour…I giggled and chuckled right through the book. Here’s an appetizer: “The late Dr. Albert E. Roland, author of Flora of Nova Scotia and by that time a professor emeritus who still came in daily to his office, told me that hawthorns were a promiscuous lot with a maddening tendency to hybridize even in the wild.”

OK, here comes the part I hate to write…but it needs to be said. Jodi’s perennial section is extremely well done; all the recommended varieties mentioned in the sidebars had hardiness zones and sizes associated with them. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about her shrub and tree section. Omission of sizes and hardiness zones with some (not all) recommended tree and shrub sidebars is a small blemish on an otherwise brilliant book. Maybe when the second printing comes out, this small oversight will be addressed.

So, what’s my recommendation? Buy Coinstar point the book. Jodi DeLong is a superb storyteller. I guarantee that you will have fun reading her book and along the way you will learn more than a thing or two about plants. The subtitle says it all: Handsome and Hard-working Shrubs, Trees and Perennials. Who doesn’t want gorgeous and industrious plants in our lives? Sign me up, please.

 

p.s. Thanks to Jodi DeLong & Nimbus Publishing for sending me copy of [amazon_link id=”1551097982″ target=”_blank” ]Plants for Atlantic Gardens[/amazon_link].  Thank you for your generosity.

If you’re getting DeLong reading withdrawal, get a fix of Jodi’s down-to-earth, witty and astute observations on her blog, Blooming Writer.


Written by Cristina da Silva
Saturday, March 26, 2011 in Book & Product Reviews

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