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The Himalayan Garden: Growing Plants from the Roof of the World

By Jim Jermyn

[A] mouth-watering book.

Pacific Horticulture

In this unique resource, Jim Jermyn offers not the usual botanical travelogue but instead a horticultural handbook that allows gardeners at far-lower-than-Himalayan elevations to successfully grow those plants that are native to the high Himalaya mountains. The highlights include species of Euphorbia, Gentiana, Meconopsis, Primula, Rhododendron, and more.

Interest in the plants of this region is at a peak. These plants are guaranteed to add an exotic touch to any garden in which they are successfully grown, and with Jermyn's expert instructions and tips, they can be easily maintained. Whether documenting a well-known garden plant or an uncommon species, Jermyn supplies tried-and-true instructions on garden site preferences and care based on his own extensive experience. Excellent photographs round out an introduction to the plants, and the book includes a comprehensive list of recommended sources from which to purchase specimens both in Europe and the United States.

Media reviews

"[A] mouth-watering book ... Jermyn's thorough knowledge of the range of natural habitats is impressive and allows him to give a full review of the cultivation of each species discussed ... An engaging read."

Pacific Horticulture

"Interspersed with nuggets of personal experience on growing the plants at home ... Superb photographs that will appeal to the adventurous traveler, the woodland gardener and anyone who enjoys the romance of seeing plants in the wild."

—James Compton, Gardens Illustrated

"Jermyn's book is a cross between a warm-hearted, friendly travelogue, a horticulture identification reference, and a gardening guide organized according to zone."

—Kathi Keville, American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter

"The pictures undoubtedly will arouse visual pleasure and horticultural excitement, in part evoked by the soothing pink of Daphne, the winsome blue of the gentians, and the festive pastels of the primroses."

—William Burk, E-Streams

"The book reads like an intriguing catalog of beautiful plants, enticing you to cultivate them in your own garden ... The book's superior aspect was the amazing glossy, color photographs located on almost every other page throughout the book. Seeing these beautiful plants, I felt inspired to take on even the most challenging species."

—Catherine Kleier, Plant Science Bulletin

"This is not a book to skim. I enjoyed losing myself in his text, following his outline steps, and (mentally) planting wonderful Himalayan specimens in my garden beds. Jermyn's tone is informal and chatty. His gardening process will be of interest to beginners as well as seasoned gardeners. We are lucky, indeed, to have this book in our library."

Heather Clippings

"The practical advice is clear and easy to follow."

—Rod Leeds, Garden (Peterborough)

"An inspirational book that would be especially useful for those who garden on neutral to acid soils."

—Rod Leeds, Garden (Peterborough)

"A fascinating narrative account."


"The comprehensive number of other genera and cultivation techniques make this book as fascinating as the plants."

—Ann Milovsoroff, Pappus

"Jermyn’s experience as a nurseryman has translated into practical solutions for growing and propagating some of these very desirable plants."

—Ed Buyarski, American Primrose Society Newsletter

"This book is unique in its exclusive focus on using Himalayan plants in the garden."

Garden (Peterborough)

"Not only does The Himalayan Garden offer practical guidance but also provides a new layer of information that can only increase our enjoyment of these plants."

American Rhododendron Society Journal

"A practical and handsome guide for alpine and perennial lovers across the globe."

Longmont Daily Times-Call

"Simply stated, this is a great book in the classic style. Written by a person who not only loves plants, but knows how to grow them and write about them in the most delightful way ... A feast for the eye as well as the mind."

—John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter

"Lots of full-color photo illustrations of these alpines and perennials growing in their native habitat as well as in private gardens."

—Lori D. Kranz, Bloomsbury Review

"The photographs are stunning."

—R. P. Poincelot, Choice

"Jermyn's combined expertise and fascination with the subject of cultivating species indigenous to the Himalayas result in a manual filled with highly specific advice and instructive growing tips ... Replete with color photographs, this effective resource may intensify the trend toward growing newly introduced and more familiar Himalayan plants."


"If you are among those whose pulse-rate has been kick-started by the ‘Subalpine Zone’ chapter, then take care as you proceed to the one on the alpine zone: you may need oxygen to take in the contents of this high altitude chapter ... Packed with useful and practical advice on how to establish and maintain these plants ... A most useful reference, it will certainly earn its space on many a keen grower’s shelves."

—Bleddyn Wynn-Jones, Hortus

"Jim Jermyn's new book should be of immediate practical use to rock gardeners just about everywhere ... Certainly the book takes an honored place as a reference work, and I expect to dip into it frequently to look at photographs or track down information about specific plants."

—Gerald Taaffe, Rock Garden Quarterly

"The practical advice is clear and easy to follow ... Excellent and well-sited colour photographs ... an otherwise inspirational book that would be especially useful for those who garden on neutral to acid soils."

—Rod Leeds, Garden (Peterborough)

"A mine of information for future reference, it is an excellent book to sit down and read through ... You will not find a better book anywhere on Himalayan plants in the wild and in the garden. This is a book not to be missed."

Journal of the Scottish Rock Garden Club

"My pick of the year's gardening books."

—Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times

"Do I recommend this book? Eagerly! I don't know how any gardener, whether they are generalists or have a specific interest like rock gardening, could resist this book. It will delight you during a rainy evening or while sitting in front of a fire this winter."

—Diana Pederson, Suite101.com

"The photos in this book deserve top marks, some are downright-mouth-watering, and to the best of my knowledge appear to be highly accurate for colour balance."

Alpine Garden Club of British Columbia

"This book is unique in its exclusive focus on using Himalayan plants in the garden; plants in the garden; with practical advice on every garden situation."

Garden (Peterborough)

"If you like to read a book that challenges you, this book is one you will enjoy, if you enjoy reading a well-written and entertaining book, you will not be disappointed."

—John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter

"Describes and illustrates scores of exquisite perennial and woody plants from “the roof of the world,” and provides extensive author’s–experience instruction on growing them in gardens at far lower elevations; includes excellent source lists."

Avant Gardener

"To the author I say 'Well done,' you have upheld the noblest and finest traditions of horticultural writing. You have contributed to our knowledge of plants, explained why we love them so, and why they fascinate us. Thank you."

—John E. Bryan, Gardening Newsletter

About the author

Jim Jermyn

After obtaining his horticultural qualifications in 1973, Jim Jermyn held a variety of posts in Germany, Italy, and the U.K. and was for twenty years the proprietor of Scotland's distinguished Edrom Nurseries, which was established in 1930. He is a frequent lecturer on gardening topics in the U.K., Europe, U.S.A., and Canada.

Read more about Jim Jermyn

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