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The Fundamentals of Horticulture: Theory and Practice

Supports the newly restructured RHS syllabus, as well as other horticultural qualifications
Introduces the principles underlying the practical applications of horticulture, opening up the excitement of plant growing and garden development without readers having to wade through complex information
Full colour images, application boxes and practical case studies throughout the book engage students by making the theory relevant to real-world applications

By: Chris Bird (Editor)

473 pages, 304 colour illustrations, 65 tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Apr 2014 | #206857 | ISBN-13: 9780521707398
Availability: Usually dispatched within 48 hours
NHBS Price: £32.99 $40/€37 approx

About this book

Essential reading for all studying horticulture and keen gardeners. This clear introduction to the principles underlying the practical applications of horticulture opens up the excitement of growing plants and garden development without readers wading through complex information. Written by a team of highly motivated and experienced horticultural tutors, the text supports the newly restructured RHS Level 2 qualifications with related Level 3 topics in boxes and signposting to Level 4 topics, together with other horticultural qualifications at these levels. Full colour images tied closely to the text and practical case study boxes inspire readers by making topics relevant to their own horticultural experiences. A comprehensive glossary helps build confidence in the use of classical horticulture language as well as new developing terms, and end-of-chapter questions encourage readers to apply what they have learnt. Extensive online supporting material includes mind maps showing the relationship of topics and aiding students in revision.

"It is fantastic to have one ultimate reference text that students can refer to at all levels and that covers both the science behind growing plants and the application of science in plant management, propagation and production. This is an up-to-date look at developments in the horticultural industry and growing techniques in harmony with traditional approaches to horticultural techniques and practices. Extremely thorough but easy to read, superbly illustrated and the revision questions at the end of each chapter are invaluable for those students who want to check their own learning and go further with their studies. The case studies are extremely useful and relevant to modern teaching and learning methods. I will definitely be recommending this as the new bible for my students at all levels."
– Caroline Wright, Nottingham Trent University

"An exceptionally useful informative and most importantly up-to-date text for students of horticulture at all levels. Well written with clear illustrations allowing clear understanding of topics. Formatted in the way a good text book should with clear structure and logical progression through subjects. A good range of case studies, revision questions and the glossaries allows for structured independent and student centred learning. The linkage to course syllabus allows both student and tutor alike to use this work as a key reference text for all learning from experiential through to revision."
– John Guy, Northumberland College

"This book will no doubt be a great addition to horticultural teaching resources."
The Horticulturist

"[...] [this] book and its associated website can be recommended not only to horticulture students but also to a wider readership, since they provide a near-comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of their subject."
– John Edmondson, New Journal of Botany


List of contributors

Part I. The Foundations:
1. Plant Diversity Mike Thomas-Buffin and Tim Upson
2. Plant Structure Kelvin Mason
3. Light Daphne Vince-Prue
4. Water and its importance for plants Daphne Vince-Prue
5. Climate, weather and seasonal effects Daphne Vince-Prue
6. Soils and plant nutrients Chris Bird
7. Flowers, fruits, and seeds Kelvin Mason

Part II. The Adjustments:
8. Propagating plants vegetatively Daphne Vince-Prue and Rosie Yeomans
9. Gardening for science Aaron Mills
10. Shaping plants Daphne Vince-Prue and Chris Bird
11. Protected cultivation Chris Allen

Part III. The Applications:
12. Gardening for food Chris Bird
13. Designing gardens and landscapes Jenny Shukman
14. Using plants in the garden Jenny Shukman and Rosie Yeomans
15. Gardening for science Aaron Mills
16. Commercial horticulture Chris Allen
17. Integrated pest management Neil Helyer
18. Conservation and sustainability Jenny Shukman

Figure credits

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Chris Bird has over twenty-five years of horticultural teaching experience in guiding learners through the complete suite of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) qualifications, together with other horticultural qualifications including the BTEC National Diploma and City and Guilds Subsidiary, Diploma and Extended Diploma. He has co-ordinated Sparsholt College's Chelsea Flower Show educational gardens for the past fourteen years, winning fourteen RHS show medals, including five at gold level, and has written articles for a number of gardening magazines.

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