Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening: A Gardener’s Guide to Growing Flowers, from Today’s Favorites to Unusual Varieties

Cool Springs: Quarto. Mar. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780760366271. $30. GARDENING
Horticulturalist and plant collector Mattus (Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening) brings a fresh approach to cultivating nearly 100 flowers. Many old favorites, such as iris and zinnias, are featured, plus less common or challenging blooms, including primroses and sweet peas. Colorful photos display each flower and the gardening techniques under discussion. Mattus promotes a twofold movement that returns to the craft of reproducing and growing flowers by using older methods, and that reintroduces heirloom varieties into the mainstream. The first section details how to sow seeds, and outlines his preferred techniques to establish young plants and bulbs. The annuals, perennials, and biennial blooms under discussion are organized by seasons. A list of resources identifies nurseries that supply many of the showcased blooms, including the more unusual varieties. Explanations of propagation and correct growth management practices are clear. Mattus imparts an encouraging and enthusiastic approach to the text.
VERDICT This work would be useful to a wide range of gardeners, from beginners to experienced, and interest historically minded growers.
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