I was worried this book was going to be a little boring. I mean, who wants to read 300 pages about…shrubs. But Shrubs is actually an engaging read throughout. Author Andy McIndoe covers a lot of plants for different growing conditions, and he includes a lot of pics to make it all easy on the eyes.
The book is divided into four sections. Section 1 talks about optimal growing conditions and care for shrubs. Section 2 offers plant suggestions for challenging growing conditions (e.g., clay soil, acid soil, hot and dry environments, or harsh winters, etc.). Section 3 gives shrub choices for small spaces (e.g., pots and containers, small gardens, narrow beds and borders, slopes, etc.). Section 4 talks about shrubs with desirable characteristics (i.e., shrubs you would plant for drama, fast growth, long blooming life, fragrance, etc.).
Every plant in the book is presented with its name, identifying picture, expected size, and growing zone, and is accompanied by a blurb that talks about the color of the shrub, preferred growing conditions, and general growing advice. There is also a page at the end of each section that gives “other good [plants in this category].” Plant names are listed, but no pictures or further info is given.
Overall, I really loved reading Shrubs. The book flows well and makes sense. The pictures are beautiful and help break up the text. Most important, it has given me SO MANY good planting ideas. I will definitely be referencing this one come spring.
Thanks to Timber Press and Net Galley for the Advanced Reader Copy!