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Edited by Jennifer Bennett. Illustrated by Ian Grainge. Camden East (Ont.), Camden House, c1985. 176pp, paper, $17.95, ISBN 0-920656-39-0. CIP

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Seymour B. Tobe

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

This soft-covered book is probably among the best home gardener directed landscape aids I have seen in a long time. It is divided into eleven orderly and well-written chapters. Each chapter is written by a different author, with a different style of writing and different interests. The first chapter gives a readable, comprehensive history of landscaping, starting with the Persians and continuing up to the present day. The second deals with planning and is aptly called "The Paper Landscape." The following chapters are: "Sunspots," which discusses planned energy use and efficiency; "Return of the Natives," the use of native species of trees, shrubs, and flowers; "The Epicureans," which involves the growing of herbs and vegetables into an ornamental garden; "Leaves of Grass" discusses grasses and other ground cover, "Flora and Fondness" is the chapter involving colour and fragrance in the garden; "The Modern Shrubbery" is followed by "Green Walls," a presentation of hedges, vines, and climbers, and by "Tree Lines," covering the use, planting, maintenance problems, and value of trees in the garden. The last chapter is entitled "Landscapes of the Midnight Sun."

There are five appendices that, to me, make the book. Included in these appendices are a glossary that gives good, simple definitions, an appendix that describes ground covers, one on shrubs, and another on ornamental trees for northern landscapes. These use both scientific and common names. Height, shape, and suitable climatic zones for the plants are described. The last appendix gives mail order sources for the various plant materials needed for landscaping. Closing the book is a good index. The use of this book would be greatly enhanced if the novice reader also has at hand some of the better nursery catalogues in order to see the exact shapes and colours of the plants described.

My greatest reservation regarding this book is its total lack of use of the metric system. Was this accidental omission or commission? In either case, in this day and age, this is a serious defect for a book in a school library. The other reservation is with regard to the climatic zone map of Canada on page 20. It is too small for the detail necessary. It is chopped in half, with part of western Ontario missing and, also, the map deletes the entire Yukon, Northwest Territories, Labrador, and most of northern Ontario and Quebec. On the opposite page is a good, entire, and quite readable map of the United States (without a scale). If it were not for these reservations, I would highly recommend this book for any library.

Seymour B. Tobe, Willowdale, Ont.
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