Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates: An Illustrated Encyclopedia

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Timber Press, 2002 - Gardening - 446 pages
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Following the phenomenal success of Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs, written for gardeners in the climates of USDA zones 3–6, this companion volume is a superlative photographic encyclopedia of trees, shrubs, and vines for "warm temperate" zones. In North America, these areas (zones 7–11) stretch from the Mid-Atlantic states to the South, include most of Texas and the Southwest, and encompass the entire West Coast, up to western Canada. Many parts of the British Isles, Australia, and New Zealand experience similar conditions. In a nutshell, any gardener who lives in an area where average winter temperatures do not fall below 0 Fahrenheit (–18 Celsius) will want this book, and curious gardeners in colder zones may well want to test these select plants in their local microclimates.

This remarkable volume shows both the habit and details — flower, fruit, bark, fall color — of more than 400 species and describes hundreds more cultivars and varieties. Certain genera offer myriad hybrids and selections, and photographs of many of the best of these are included as well — nearly 40 named crapemyrtles, a dozen teaolives, and 11 loropetalums. In all, more than 1400 photographs join with the authoritative text to bring the plants to life.

From Abelia to Ziziphus, gardeners will encounter many new and unfamiliar plants that thrive in warmer climates. Dirr gives special attention to hardy palms that can survive outside the subtropics. The book also reflects the author's inimitable personality, which holds nothing back when a plant deserves outright acclaim ("If prescriptions could be written for perfect garden plants, this species would come close to filling the order"), backhanded praise ("Use for accent, for novelty, or to drive visitors loony"), or frank condemnation ("Splays to the point of no redemption with time").

The book concludes with useful lists for selecting plants for a variety of conditions or for ornamental characteristics, such as flower color and fragrance, fruit, and fall color.

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Dirr's trees and shrubs for warm climates: an illustrated encyclopedia

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A professor of horticulture and the author of ten books, including the well-known Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Dirr (Univ. of Georgia) here presents an encyclopedia with more than 1400 beautiful ... Read full review

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Decent book. Some errors in facts. One in particular is the suggestion that Girard Azaleas are great for warm climates and a great substitute for the old indicas. This is not true. Girard varieties are terrible for the warm climates. Tried to question Dirr on this one time and he dismissed me. Not what I would expect from a profesional and student of the subject, but this is what passes for scientific types I guess. 

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About the author (2002)

Michael A. Dirr, a professor of horticultureat the University of Georgia, is a legend in the horticultural world. Dirr has received the highest honors from the American Horticultural Society, Garden Clubs of America, and the American Society for Horticultural Science, amongmany others. A professorship in his name has been established at the University of Georgia in recognition of his accomplishments. Dirr lives in Athens, GA .

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