Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-climate Plants for Cooler Areas

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Timber Press, 2003 - Gardening - 267 pages
2 Reviews
Palms that grow in Canada? Bananas that overwinter in Michigan? How about southern crape myrtles that flower in Birmingham, England, instead of Birmingham, Alabama? Although the voice of authority — and nursery labels — might say, "You can't grow those plants here," author Dave Francko has a different message for gardeners: "Plants can't read the information on their tags." Laced with humorous anecdotes and based on years of first-hand observations and research, this book provides real-world information to help adventurous gardeners grow plants they never before dreamed possible. Nobody who reads this book will ever look at a plant label the same way again.

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great book - refer to it all the time - helped me bring a few palms back from the edge -
a little technical but worth the effort - wished it addressed some cultural practices or troubleshooting re: insects / fungus -

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

An interesting book with an overview of many cold hardy and "tropicalesque" plants.
In addition, there is information on how to care for these plants, where they have been grown and the tricks
people have used to get them to grow in non-ideal zones or areas.
I found it strange that the author spent so much space on Crepe Myrtles, but barely covered bananas and only devoted maybe a page to citrus, but then, the book never claims to be a guide to "tropical" plants, but rather "warm climate" plants.
There are plants listed that give the warm climate look, but are OK with the cold, some things that I would have never thought of.
I did like that the author encouraged readers to experiment and that indeed, "plants cannot read their tags".
This book explains how cold hardiness in plants works and how to make use of this knowledge.
The only improvements that I could recommend is to spend more time on the "wow" plants like bananas and citrus, and that they add more pictures of mature specimens, as many of the plant photos are of juvenile plants that don't really give a sense of "permanence" or having braved multiple cold seasons.

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About the author (2003)

Hardy palm expert David Francko has recently been a featured guest on Martha Stewart Living TV, as well as NPR's Science Friday with Ira Flatow. Francko is chair of the Department of Botany at Miami University in Ohio and his academic specialty is aquatic plants. He is co-investigator on the unversity's Hardy Palms Project, and for many years he has experimented with warm-climate plants in his own gardens. Francko's findings have been published in scientific journals and presented at national and international conferences. As part of a network of adventurous gardeners living in cooler regions of the world, Francko refuses to accept the common wisdom that "Palms won't grow here.

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