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By Anna Pavord
Copyright 2009
544 pages

Anna Pavord has spent a good deal of her life gardening with, thinking about, observing and appreciating flower bulbs. Her 1999 book entitled Tulip celebrated this flower as few other literary endeavors ever have. BULB, which carries on where Tulip left off, pays homage to all bulbs, and describes 540 of Pavord’s favorites. In this book she shares her intimate knowledge of each of these bulbs, their histories, their needs and the plants which should surround them in a beautiful garden. She has selected some of the oldest, most historic, most beautiful, most rare and most curious bulbs available today. The book is divided into chapters, each of which describes a type of bulb, i.e. narcissus, allium, iris, lily, etc. Each chapter begins with a detailed history and finishes with detailed descriptions of some outstanding examples. The photography is abundant and stunning and the text exceptionally informative, but the great delight of this book comes from Pavord’s style, her passion and her beloved British quirkiness. For Americans, her uniquely British terms of endearment for her beloved bulbs, her quips and the portfolio of fables she shares with the reader are to be adored. This book is an absolutely incredible resource, but it is also an interesting, funny, sweet read. It is not an overstatement to suggest that anyone who gardens, anyone who enjoys the occasional stroll through a garden, anyone who gazes out from a window observing the activities of a garden will enjoy and appreciate this book.

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