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Columbines: Aquilegia, Paraquilegia, and Semiaquilegia

By Robert Nold

Fresh from his award-winning monograph on penstemons, Robert Nold turns his attention to one of the best-loved — and most frequently misunderstood — groups of garden plants. Columbines: Aquilegia, Paraquilegia, and Semiaquilegia is the first gardener's guide to these striking plants in more than half a century; and in his funny, personal, and charming prose, Nold makes sense of the thorniest taxonomic and horticultural questions they present. Sixty-five species of Aquilegia receive detailed examination, with a complete summary of cultivation needs, history, and biology. The author also describes plants of the genera Semiaquilegia and Paraquilegia, cutting through confusion and dissension to create a useful overview of these "columbine cousins." Nold also provides a brief history of hybridization, and practical chapters on propagation and pests and diseases round out the book. In addition to beautiful paintings by the author's wife, celebrated botanical artist Cindy Nelson-Nold, the book also boasts several dozen exquisite photos of columbines in the wild and in gardens.

Awards for this book: Garden Writers Association Garden Globe Award

Media reviews

"With Columbines behind me, I may well add a few new species to my garden, particularly in the new rock garden. So enjoyable was Nold's book that I also intend to read his Penstemons, which has been on my "to-read" list far too long."

Pacific Horticulture

"Gardeners have had to wait more than five decades for this modern monograph on generally easy-to-grow columbines ... Nold's horticultural guide to Aquilegia species and hybrids ... (is) told in an animated and personal voice melding insights, recollections, and research."

Booklist

"Gardeners have waited a very long time for a readable, comprehensive and attractive book on columbines–and here it is."

—Graham Rice, HortResources Newsletter

"Nold's delightful little book is just the thing for stoking the enthusiasm and self-confidence of the gardener who is ready to enjoy growing these flowering gems in abundance."

Boox Review

"An engaging book."

—James Riser II, Plant Science Bulletin

"Fun to read, lovingly written, and recommended for collections with avid gardeners and horticulturists."

—John P. Abbott, E-Streams

"A thoroughly researched book for gardeners on ubiquitous aquilegias and their relatives."

—Rod Leeds, Garden (Peterborough)

"A stimulating and entertaining read ... this is a courageous book."

—Rod Leeds, Garden (Peterborough)

"A very useful book for gardeners and taxonomists alike. Highly recommended."

Choice

"Enthusiasts will find a wealth of information about both native and nonnative species in this well-researched, highly readable volume."

Horticulture

"Will appeal to both gardeners and botanists."

—Lusetta Nelson, Kalmiopsis

"This informative book is a "must have" ... and a fabulous reference of Aquilegia species for south central Alaska."

—Barbara Miller, Gardens North

"Nold's delightful little book is just the thing for stoking the enthusiasm and self-confidence of the gardener who is ready to enjoy growing these flowering gems in abundance."

Boox Review

"Gardeners have waited a very long time for a readable, comprehensible and attractive book on columbines—and here, at last, it is."

—Graham Rice, HortResources Newsletter

"Contains all anyone could want to know about columbines ... written in an easy conversational style, with humor lacing even the most intense discussions."

—Marge Howard-Jones, California Garden

"Columbines is the first modern-day treatment of the confusing genus and the latest word on its close relatives, Paraquilegia and Semiaquilegia ... Nold has done horticulture a valuable service by compiling this information."

—Carlo Balistrieri, Rock Garden Quarterly

"Robert Nold can instruct you in propagating delightful Columbines."

—Donna Williamson, HortResources Newsletter

About the author

Robert Nold

Robert Nold is a member of numerous plant societies, including the Alpine Garden Society and the North American Rock Garden Society, and a regular writer for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the Colorado Gardener. Bob enjoys his garden in Lakewood, Colorado, with his wife, Cindy.

Read more about Robert Nold

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