312 pages, 180 color photos, 9 line drawings
Bamboos are among the most fascinating of plants. Their unusual life cycle, tremendous power of growth, and extraordinary diversity of size and form give them a special significance in gardens. And gardens of all sizes can accommodate these elegant plants, which are cold-resistant and surprisingly easy to grow. Yet even today, with bamboos enjoying a well-deserved return to popularity, their horticultural potential remains largely untapped. Some bamboos make impressive specimens for the border, others form a fast-growing hedge or screen, and short forms provide a leafy groundcover. David Crompton explains the characteristics that set bamboos apart, and everything that is needed to grow them successfully. The core of the book is a gardener's guide to nearly two hundred ornamental bamboos to grow and enjoy, supplemented by lists of bamboos for specific purposes.
Crompton paints fascinating portraits of these ancient plants, their growth patterns, and botanical characteristics. Along with plenty of practical advice, Crompton presents ornamental examples of bamboos in various settings ranging from lush ground-covering species ... to stunning cultivars, begging to be sited as choice specimens. ... Beautiful photography enhances Crompton's informative compendium. -- Alice Joyce Booklist 20061001 David Compton is an engaging writer and an admirable photographer, and it's clear he's found his inspiration in bamboo. -- Josephine Bridges Asian Reporter 20061212 A good book. -- George Weigel Harrisburg Patriot-News 20080204 I would recommend this book for those who have thought about planting bamboo because they like the exotic look, but have been put off by the invasive reputation of the plant. The book gives so many alternatives and is a good read as well. -- Taffy Turner Washington Gardener 20080901
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David Crompton, interested in plants for as long as he can remember, abandoned a career in finance in the City of London to devote himself to his nursery, Drysdale Garden Exotics, in Hampshire. There, he benefits from a maritime cool-temperate climate favoring a rich variety of bamboos and various other exotic-looking plants. In his garden he holds the National Collection of bamboos in the United Kingdom, a living reference library of species and cultivars, dedicated to their uses in the garden and their conservation.