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Book Reviews

With the great number of new titles published in the field of horticulture, we thought it would be helpful to our membership and the public at large to provide book reviews of new titles and books that have withstood the test of time. Each book reviewed here is available at our library.

Lilies: A Guide for Growers

lilies-a-guide-for-growersIt is very apt to consider lilies at this Easter season. Lilium candidum, the Madonna lily, has been known in the Western world for many centuries but it was depicted in ancient times by the Romans and even earlier. When it first arrived in England a wily old monk, the Venerable Bede, abbot of Jarrow in Northumberland, decided to Christianize it. Since he could not rid the populace of their devotion to this pagan flower, he pulled some theological sleight of hand and presto, it was now respectable, a symbol of the Madonna. It has never looked back. Bede is the man who wrote the first history of England.

The Global Migrations of Ornamental Plants

Global Migrations of Ornamental Plants

Editor's note: the following book review discusses the latest work by Judith M. Taylor, who kindly provides her reviews for the MassHort website. The review below was written by Chuck Robinson.

Often garden writing seems like a banquet of desserts. The gardening confections consist of many superlatives linked together rapturously, inundating the reader in hyperbole. After gorging myself, I feel overfull but under-sated, wishing I had ingested something of more substance.

The something more substantive I found this winter has been a new book from Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Judith M. Taylor’s “The Global Migrations of Ornamental Plants: How the World Got into Your Garden.” It has been fascinating.

On Foreign Soil: American Gardeners Abroad

On Foreign SoilA very special subset of Americans is represented in this impressive, richly illustrated volume. The author is concerned primarily with American artists who went to live in Europe. In general these were the people who wanted to create gardens and had the imagination and flair to do it. In several cases they were helped by finding local spouses who already owned property or who inherited it during the course of their marriage.

Succession Planting for Year Round Pleasure

succession plantingUnder the glossy surface of this handsome book there is a core of steel. As one first picks it up with its large photographs of beautiful flowers and many charming illustrations, one thinks “aha, another pretty coffee table book” but nothing could be further from the truth. Only the truly dedicated and knowledgeable plantsperson could cope with the advice dispensed by Lloyd in his insouciant fashion. All the horticultural information he gathered over his more than 80 years of life is on display here.

The English Flower Garden and Home Grounds

English Gardens and Home Grounds

As readers of this column know the club has a charming library caught in a time warp. The founding mothers bought many flower and horticulture books during the early years of the club’s existence. Only a very few can be considered “valuable”. The book I shall discuss here is one of them.

William Robinson and Gertrude Jekyll brought about a revolution in English gardens and taste. No style is so hateful as that which our parents thought the best. Landscape design embodies that dictum just as thoroughly as clothing and furniture.

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About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2018 Calendar & Courses

2018 Masshort Courses

Mass Hort Classes & Events

Sat Apr 21 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Grafting Fruit Trees
Tue Apr 24 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Improve Your Watercolor Skills - Morning Course
Tue Apr 24 @12:30PM - 03:30PM
Improve Your Watercolor Skills - Afternoon Course
Thu Apr 26 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Landscaping and Planting Design
Thu May 03 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Sun May 06 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Early Season Gardening Workshop
Thu May 17 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Greenhouse Growing
Tue May 22 @ 1:00PM - 05:00PM
Landscaping for Watershed Health
Wed May 30 @ 9:00AM - 03:00PM
Spring Landscape Tour
Wed Jun 06 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Hands-On Floral Design
Thu Jun 07 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Bio-control of Lily Leaf Beetles
Tue Jun 12 @ 1:00PM - 04:30PM
Eco Printing: Fiber art workshop
Tue Jun 26 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Explore the Teaching Herb Garden
Wed Jul 11 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
The Art of Planting Design
Wed Jul 18 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Summer Stroll: Garden tour
Sun Jul 22 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
What's Buggin' Me?
Sat Aug 04 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Fall Planting Workshop
Thu Aug 09 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
A Summer Stroll: Garden Tour
Sun Aug 12 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Meditations in Ink with Bruce Iverson