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An enthusiast's tale of saxifrages in the wild and in garden cultivation. The exquisite symmetry of the star-shaped blooms of saxifrages has captivated gardeners for centuries. Close observation of their fine markings, artful color combinations, and graceful presence makes it eminently clear why they attract such an enthusiastic following. Many saxifrages come from mountain habitats that make them well-suited to rock gardens, troughs, and containers, but the diverse genus includes a huge range of garden-worthy plants that deserve to be better known and more widely grown.
This book brings together accounts of garden and wild saxifrages, their botany, history, cultivation and propagation. All sections of genus "Saxifraga" are described, first discursively for the general gardener and then from a botanical viewpoint. Malcolm McGregor's advice on using saxifrages in different parts of the garden and his list of the top 100 saxifrages will be invaluable to gardeners new to the genus and to experts who wish to diversify. This is the fascinating story of a true enthusiast's search for saxifrages in the wild, his techniques for successful cultivation, and his continuing quest for information.
Malcolm McGregor was born in 1947 in London, and has been growing alpine plants for over 25 years - and saxifrages for most of that time. He says that it is the unforced charm of mountain plants that most attracts him. Malcolm was the editor of the Scottish Rock Garden Club (2000-2006), and the Saxifrage Society (1993-2003), as well as chairman of the Saxifrage Society (2003-2006). He has traveled widely in search of saxifrages - in North America, Europe, Turkey, Morocco, the Himalayas, the Olympic Mountains, Austria, and Italy. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and philosophy from the University of York, as well as a bachelor's degree in English literature and economic history from the University of Hull. Malcolm has been a professional teacher and lecturer for thirty-five years as well as having worked in arts administration and in writing computer software for the engineering industry. He is now a freelance writer and an enthusiastic lecturer on alpine plants and gardening. He has twice undertaken lecture tours across North America for the North American Rock Garden Club and once for the Scottish Rock Garden Club. He has written several titles including: Saxifrages: The Complete Cultivars and Hybrids, and Saxifrages from Scratch. Malcolm currently lives in East Yorkshire, England.
This valuable book will appeal to many gardeners. Academic and special libraries with serious interests in botany and horticulture will need to add this important work to their collections. Also recommended for public libraries with significant horticulture collections. -- Edward J. Valauskas Library Journal 20081015 Would make a great addition to horticultural libraries and find favor with a huge number of gardeners who enjoy cultivating a wide range of hardy plants. In particular, the many members of alpine and hardy plant societies will be impressed with this truly well produced book. -- Paul Ingwersen BBC Gardens 20081101 Specialist [this book] may be, but it's good to know [it's] there as a source to be consulted, say, on breeding or propagation, as well as the different species themselves. -- Stephen Anderton Times (London) 20081204 In this single volume, the gardener has everything he/she might need to begin a lifelong adventure of growing and seeking these beautiful plants. -- D. H. Pfister Choice 20090801