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Hardy Bamboos: Taming the Dragon

By Paul Whittaker

Well-written and beautifully illustrated; perhaps the best book on hardy bamboos yet published.

The Garden

Bamboos are extraordinary in their ability to transform a garden, adapt to inhospitable surroundings, survive with little care and, most of all, surprise and delight the people who view them. Too long the exclusive pleasure of those with tropical and subtropical gardens, this hand-picked selection allows gardeners in cooler climes to experience the wonder and infinite variety of these magical plants. Besieged by winter wet, summer drought and bitter, drying winds, Paul Whittaker's garden has been a rigorous testing ground. In the first part of the book his compelling anecdotes, experiences and case histories illuminate how bamboos perform in different places, draw attention to their idiosyncratic nature, and highlight their geographical origins. A further section describes the bamboo's unique physical structure and growing habits. These fascinating insights give you the knowledge you need to choose the right bamboo for your site and grow it successfully. At the heart of the book are detailed plant descriptions that join with striking photographs and evocative illustrations to highlight each plant's characteristics. Using bamboos to best effect in the garden, propagation, aftercare and their resilience to pests and diseases complete the guidance for gardeners. The distillation of years of hands-on growing experience, this is the ultimate bamboo reference book for cool-climate gardeners. Enthusiasts will delight in the variety of new possibilities for their collection and gardeners everywhere will be captivated by the charm bamboos bring to countless different garden situations.

Awards for this book: Garden Writers' Guild Book Award

Media reviews

"Wonderful book packed with useful information for anyone interested in bamboos."

—L. G. Kavaljian, Choice

"Will help gardeners in cooler climates experience the wonder and infinite variety of these magical plants."

Michigan Gardener

"This is a must–have for gardeners who love bamboo. ... Whittaker infuses his book with striking and lush photography; a very personal yet authoratative storyteller's voice, and beautiful illustrations that show bamboo in all its glory. ... If you're looking for a book about bamboo, you need look no further. It's a winner."

—Madeline Caliendo, Washington Gardener

"A beautiful and user-friendly tome that will be equally at home on the coffee table or in the reference library."

—Adam Turtle, Bamboo

"Whittaker presents detailed plant descriptions with stunning photos of the quite diverse "chosen few" likely to thrive in the US and UK."

SciTech Book News

"The ultimate reference book for cool-climate gardeners. Enthusiasts and gardeners everywhere will be captivated by the charm bamboos bring to different garden situations."

Publishing News

"To convey the visual opulence of Hardy Bamboos by means of language is challenging indeed. Suffice it so say that if you never read a single word of this book, if you never cultivate even one bamboo plant, if you only turn the pages and look at these pictures, you will be very glad you did."

—Josephine Bridges, Asian Reporter

"Well-written and beautifully illustrated; perhaps the best book on hardy bamboos yet published."

—Jon Ardle, The Garden

"Hardy Bamboos will enchant the novice and serve as a great reference for any bamboo grower."

—Natasha S. Johnson, Natchitoches Times

"It's authoritative yet friendly, and the author knows of what he speaks ... fascinating reading."

—Kathy Bond Borie, National Gardening Association Regional Reports

"Whittaker includes much more data on bamboos suited to growing in temperate areas than we have seen before between the covers of any single book."


About the author

Paul Whittaker

Paul Whittaker has worked in horticulture for almost thirty years as a nurseryman, landscaper, and consultant. He now runs his own nursery, PW Plants, that specializes in ornamental grasses and his main love, temperate bamboos. A regular exhibitor at Royal Horticultural Society shows, he has won many gold medals for his legendary foliage displays.

Read more about Paul Whittaker

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