Miracle Gro Perennials
Miracle Gro Perennials is a great book for either the novice gardener or the old hand. This small spiral bound book is packed full of information that any gardener needs. The book is set up in an orderly fashion, with easy to follow advice and in most cases, great pictures.
Miracle Gro Perennials has two sections, plant basics and a selection guide. The basics are all about soil prep, planting and watering. There's also a problem solving and a troubleshooting section. Even an old hand at gardening can use this as a refresher course. It is very basic but that's good. You just need the facts in a book like this.
The plant selection guide is helpful for those of us who are flower challenged. There are thirty six different perennials with info on how to care for them, what to do about pests and pictures of each. Each flower has a feature section which tells you how tall and wide the plants can be expected to grow, a small bit about the flowers and how they look, another blurb about where to grow them, a section on which cultivars are available. There are also areas telling you how to plant and care for each flower.
I will say, the pictures are hit or miss in this book. Some of them are terrific and some, not so much so. I bought the book in part to take care of an inherited garden which I had no clue to what half of the flowers were and sometimes, the flowers in the photos were hard to identify. There might be more than one type of flower in the photo and I wasn't always able to tell which flower in the photo was named in the caption.
Besides the photos, this is a good book to have. For one thing, it's waterproof, which means you can take it out to the garden and not worry about it getting ruined. There are spaces for notes but you have to write them in permanent marker for them to stick.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is either just starting a garden of perennials or someone who has a garden in progress. The information is helpful and easy to understand. I was quite surprised that every page didn't include an ad for Miracle Gro fertilizers and the like. Even the text doesn't advertise the product which was not expected.
I really think this was well worth the ten dollars and have been using the book for three years to guide me in my gardening. The notes section is probably my favorite as I've kept track of how often I've divided certain perennials and when I fertilized them. Overall, this is a great book to give as a gift or to buy for yourself.