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Gardening with Conifers [Paperback]

Adrian Bloom , Richard Bloom
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 19 2007

A complete and highly acclaimed reference.

"Magnificently highlighted by more than 250 striking color photographs."
-Booklist

"I strongly recommend Adrian and Richard Bloom's book to anyone looking for a useful guide to planting and using conifers in their garden."
-American Gardener

This is the complete guide to coniferous trees and shrubs that are available to the North American gardener. Stunning color photographs show conifers used in a variety of environments, from small gardens to magnificent estates.

Gardening with Conifers reveals the unexpected magic that conifers can bring to every garden and the many roles they can play in creating structure and balance for year-round visual interest and color. Comprehensive in scope and lavishly illustrated, the book includes a directory of more than 600 conifers and offers expert advice on:

  • Size and growth rates
  • Site and soil preferences
  • Planting, maintenance and propagation
  • Pruning, pests and diseases
  • Dwarf conifers and ground covers
  • Conifers in containers, and more.

Gardeners everywhere will find this to be a valuable and inspiring reference.


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Product Details


Product Description

From Booklist

It would seem that in the realm of garden literature, relatively few books are devoted to conifer gardening; a shame, since few plants rival their variety and versatility. Whether used as companions for other garden plants, massed as privacy screens, or positioned alone for dramatic accent, conifers impart a rich and lustrous element, turning any garden into a veritable tapestry of color and texture. Bloom, a conifer expert with some 35 years experience to his credit, covers virtually every aspect of conifer use and culture in a format accessible to horticulture students and home gardeners alike. In a comprehensive encyclopedia listing more than 600 of the best garden conifers, Bloom concisely analyzes unique features, and offers care tips and critical data on growth dimensions, an important factor in determining proper design and landscape usage. Magnificently highlighted by more than 250 striking color photographs taken by Bloom's son, Richard, including vivid and fascinating close-ups, conifers are showcased in their full glory as richly textured, brilliantly colored, and subtly structured plants deserving of a spot in every garden. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The photos in this book prove that evergreens don't have to be green or boring. (Marianne Binetti Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2002-10-03)

Useful information on combining conifers with other plants in the garden and using them as topidary, as well as ... illustrated descriptions of some of the best conifers make this a valuable addition to a gardening library. (Grand Magazine (Kitchener) 2007-04-01)

A comprehensive guide to the coniferous trees and shrubs available to North American gardeners. (Michigan Gardener 2007-05-00)

Adrian Bloom is well known for extraordinary knowledge and use of conifers in the landscape ... The photography is awe-inspiring and shows what can be done with careful planning. (Joanne S. Carpender National Gardeners Magazine 2002-05-01)

A labor of obsessive love on the part of Adrian Bloom ... It offers useful advice on the care and propagation of this wide family of evergreens. (National Post 2002-06-08)

Competently written, sensibly organized, and exquisitely photographed book. (Carol Bishop Miller Horticulture, Gardening at its Best 2002-09-01)

Every serious garden book collection should include Gardening with Conifers by Adrian Bloom. The author's fully shared expertise is superbly depicted with hundreds of mesmerizing full-color photos. (Oedipus King California Garden 2002-09-00)

I strongly recommend Adrian and Richard Bloom's book to anyone looking for a useful guide to planting and using conifers in their garden. (Bill Thomas American Gardener 2002-10-15)

This is a beautiful, detail-rich guide to the uses of conifers in horticulture, produced by a renowned expert on the subject. (Carol Noll American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35 2004-01-00)

One of the very few gardening books devoted to conifers in the garden, and it proves quite inspiring. (AHA Quarterly (American Herb Association) 2003-09-00)

After reading [this book] you will be enthusiastic about using these surprisingly versatile plants. (Kay Hofmeister Lexington Herald-Leader 2003-02-08)

Manage[s] the delicate task of encouraging gardeners without stupefying them, though it's hard to avoid the feeling that it would take two or three lifetimes to grow all the conifers you want. (Verlyn Klinkenborg New York Times Book Review 2002-06-02)

Covers virtually every aspect of conifer use and culture in a format accessible to horticultural students and home gardeners alike ... Magnificently highlighted by more than 250 striking color photographs ... Conifers are showcased in their full glory as richly textured, brilliantly colored, and subtly structured plants deserving of a spot in every garden. (Carol Haggas Booklist 2002-04-15)

A first-rate introduction to 650 of the best cultivars .. a work of quality deserving a place in the library of any serious gardener. (Steve Whysall Southam Newspapers 2002-04-22)

Describes [conifers] color, 10-year height and width, ultimate size, hardiness and more. Use the 250 color photos to help picture conifers in your landscape and Bloom's expert cultural information to grow them successfully. (Gardening How-To Magazine 2002-06-15)

A fine introductory primer to evergreens... the lovely photographs are sure to educate and inspire you. (Susan Banks Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2003-12-13)

This book is well-written, a pleasure to read and easy to follow.... An excellent addition to any gardener's library. (Ian Munt The Sudbury Star 2007-02-06)

This inspirational, popular book has been reprinted again to met the demands of an admiring public... Gorgeous photographs... capture the full beauty of these evergreens. (The National Gardener (National Garden Clubs of th 2007-03-00)

This is an excellent book filled with breathtaking photos taken by the author and his son, Richard. It's so inspiring, it almost makes me want to dig up my hostas and daylilies entirely and plant conifers. But by using the many suggestions given for plant combinations, I could simply add conifers instead.... Introductory chapters deal with the history, naming and growth habits of conifers. A wonderful series of photos depicting a single fir cone's development throughout the year was an eye-opener. Using conifers as specimen plants and in mixed plantings in landscapes is described in detail, and good ideas that will easily translate into the home garden, including growing conifers in containers, are shown. Almost half the book is devoted to plant descriptions that include the height and spread at 10 years, along with the "ultimate" height.... The final section is on caring for your conifers, offering advice on planting, pruning, propagation and pest control. (Trevor Cole Canadian Gardening 2010-01-00)

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the beginner or the collector March 7 2002
Format:Hardcover
I'm an experienced gardener without much experience with conifers, but this book is perfect for my needs. First, the photography is excellent. Almost every one of the 182 pages of text includes excellent color photography. There is an nice balance of close-up, step-by-step instructions, with great landscape shots. All of the photos appear to be the original works of Adrian and Richard Bloom, most all including genus, species, and cultivar PLUS age of speciman in photograph (which could not be done without being in the garden). This may be the most "labor intensive" gardening book on any subject I have ever examined. For the collector, there is thorough alphabetical listing by genus forming the heart of the book (over 80 pages). If you're not an experienced conifer grower, you could begin to act like one after immersing yourself in the deep experiences shared by the authors here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars must have April 8 2009
Format:Paperback
This book offers very informative information on conifers in ones landscape from color, form and texture.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point May 19 2002
Format:Paperback
Simply put, this book is to the point and easy to use. Perfect to start with if someone was interested in planting one or several rhododendrens.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the beginner or the collector March 7 2002
By Conservative Gardener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm an experienced gardener without much experience with conifers, but this book is perfect for my needs. First, the photography is excellent. Almost every one of the 182 pages of text includes excellent color photography. There is an nice balance of close-up, step-by-step instructions, with great landscape shots. All of the photos appear to be the original works of Adrian and Richard Bloom, most all including genus, species, and cultivar PLUS age of speciman in photograph (which could not be done without being in the garden). This may be the most "labor intensive" gardening book on any subject I have ever examined. For the collector, there is thorough alphabetical listing by genus forming the heart of the book (over 80 pages). If you're not an experienced conifer grower, you could begin to act like one after immersing yourself in the deep experiences shared by the authors here.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE Conifer book for this landscape designer Feb. 4 2006
By Gen of North Coast Gardening - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I do landscape design and landscape maintenance professionally, and this is the number one book I reach for when I have a question about conifers, or simply need some inspiration for how to use one in a garden. This book combines gorgeous pictures of the individual plants and of their use in the garden, with incredibly thorough text.

The first part of the book includes brief but interesting information about the benefits using conifers in the garden, how conifers grow, and the origins and naming of garden conifers. Then he moves on to discuss, in greater depth, the different attributes you find in a lot of the more interesting conifers, like the differences and beauty of their cones, buds and new growth, bark, foliage colors, and the interesting forms and sizes available, to help you know what to look for and help you appreciate the truly unique attributes of garden conifers.

Then he moves on to my favorite part and a large portion of the book, Using Conifers in the Garden. The entire book is filled with gorgeous color photos suggesting plants to use in combination with conifers of every type, but this section outdoes itself with the amazing color photographs of the author's giant estate and the small vignettes he puts together using grasses, heathers, rhodies, and flowering perennials to accent conifers. This is incredibly inspiring and shows the huge number of ways you can combine conifers with other plants.

The written portions are amazing in this and the other sections as well. He discusses the different ways to use conifers in a garden to achieve different goals, ways of pruning and caring for your conifers to get different effects (Bonsai and Japanese gardening is discussed), conifers as container plants, hedges, windbreaks and screens, petite conifers for small gardens, and conifers as ground covers.

Last of all, he includes a directory of more than 600 outstanding conifers, including color photos on every page. Bloom knows his conifers well, and gives accurate and time-tested information on growth rates, habits, pest issues or problems, conditions needed, etc. His favorites merit glowing descriptions and praise, and his favorites have often ended up my favorites too, once I have had a chance to grow them.

The writing is simple to understand and would be accessable to a beginning to intermediate gardener, yet is absolutely depthy enough for the professional, and is a resource that once you get ahold of, you will not want to give up. It is great as an encyclopedic reference on garden conifers, and great for inspiration, instruction, and design advice.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous, inspiring, practical, demystifying Aug. 29 2005
By Amy E. Menzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has gorgeous photographs of conifers of all sizes in many configurations, nicely complemented with other perennials and shrubs, and shown in different seasons, climates, and light conditions. He explains how conifers work (which seemed a bit mysterious to me-- growth, cones, etc.), provides useful information on pruning, propagation, growth rates, and his son's beautiful photographs help you picture the overall habit of the plants in relation to others you might want to grow. He encourages gardeners to experiment with varieties even if they need to be moved or removed entirely in 10 or 20 or 30 years. And then there is the 85 page guide to some of the best conifers, which provides more gorgeous photos and brief descriptions of habit, growth rates, etc. This book really helps make conifers seem like a much more usable design element in planning my garden, and makes me more comfortable with experimenting with them. While I wish there were more photos and/or plans of moderate-sized suburban-type lots that would help disseminate this beauty to the masses, this is a wonderful book as is and a tremendous value too.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book April 5 2007
By M. Ludwig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book has lots of beautiful photographs which depict conifers in their mature size and shape. The book is inspiring but has an incomplete plant list. The author lists the most common varieties. A common problem with plant book is that it is hard to keep up with the new stock. I bought four new conifers this year that were not listed in the book. I would have liked to have seen some advise or planting designs on which conifers work well together. Overall it is a very inspirational book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos and descriptions April 8 2006
By Jim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is recommended by the American Conifer Society. It is useful for both the beginner and more experienced conifer gardener. It is well organized and clearly written. A handy reference tool for those planning a garden or if you just want to check out a plant you saw in a garden or nursery. A must get for gardeners who take the hobby seriously. Besides a comprehensive list of plants, it goes into related topics such as how to use conifers in the garden, how to prune them, etc.
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