Book about Hardy Bulbs

Jim McKenney
Mon, 14 Feb 2005 02:06:32 PST
Alberto, Grey's Hardy Bulbs provides a fascinating glimpse of the state of
international plant trade in the period just before the Second World War.
Many of the plants grown by Grey have come back into cultivation only
during the last twenty years. 

It is an intriguing look at the experiences of a collector who grew a vast
array of plants.

The title is a bit of a misnomer: basically, Grey included any plant of
ornamental value of the plant families he treated (in the old broad senses
lily, iris, amaryllis, orchid, canna, and ginger families and the
Haemadoraceae as then defined. Many of the plants he grew were/are of
doubtful hardiness even in the milder parts of England. 

The cultural information tends to be repetitive.

One interesting feature of this book is the very detailed description given
each species. This may be of use when and if the time comes to reissue this
trilogy with modern nomenclature.

I've had my copy for about thirty years and have enjoyed it over and over.

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where books are as important
to my gardening life as plants are.  


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