Picks and Pans Review: The National Arboretum Book of Outstanding Garden Plants

updated 06/04/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/04/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Jacqueline Hériteau

Billed as a plant finder for gardeners in their quest for the perfect plant, this book, produced in collaboration with experts at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., lists the best for every landscaping need. With 450 color photos and descriptions of 1,786 of the most durable and carefree plants, gardeners around the nation can solve most problems in their own gardens. Chapters on flowers are subdivided into bulbs and perennials and are packed with details on where and when to plant, on light and moisture needs and on growth rate. Subsequent sections spotlight aquatic plants, herbs, ground covers, vines, shrubs and trees. The plants in each group are categorized according to their use in the landscape. Mulch, which is described as "misunderstood and dangerously overdone," and compost are explored in an authoritative appendix of gardening views held by the National Arboretum, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Simon and Schuster, $39.95)

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