Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Florida Gardener's Handbook, 2nd Edition: All you need to know to plan, plant, maintain a Florida garden

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Florida Gardener's Handbook is the second edition of a resource dense classic southern garden favorite by Tom MacCubbin, et. al. Originally published in 2012, this second edition is due out 13th April 2021 from Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint. It's 240 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is a well organized and accessible guide to the special challenges and benefits of growing in Florida from heat, salty gardens, building up soil, potentially invasive species (most have been removed from the second edition), long/staggered growing seasons, and more. The authors are experienced southern gardeners and it shows. The book is arranged chiefly by chapters by plant profile: annuals, bulbs, fruit & nuts, fruit & vegetables, lawns, ground covers, perennials, shrubs, trees & palms, tropical plants, and vines. 

Plant profiles contained in the book are arranged alphabetically by category and each profile includes a color photo, culture/growing icons for light water and other growing needs, botanical and common names, colors, native ranges, peak growing and flowering seasons, and, importantly, habit/size. There are numerous tables which are full of suggestions for planting times by USDA zone (broken down by north central and southern Florida).

The authors have included a number of useful appendices including a glossary, bibliography for further reading, cross-referenced indices for botanical and common names, and a good overview over invasive plants, and troubleshooting tips for taking care of pests common to Florida gardens. 

These regional guides are very useful and specific to the areas for which they're written. This is a very good resource for southern gardeners and was a good choice for an update and re-release. The photography throughout is lush and very clear and colorful. 

Four and a half stars. This is a niche book and is recommended for the specific zones and region for which it was written.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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