Genealogy for Gardeners by Simon Maughan and Dr Ross Bayton

As Heard on The Daily Gardener Podcast:

Copy of Grow That #Garden Library (3)

Genealogy for Gardeners by Simon Maughan  and Dr Ross Bayton

This book came out in 2017, and the subtitle is Plant Families Explored & Explained.

Anything that has genealogy and gardening in the title is a book that I'm interested in.

Before I get into this particular review, I should mention that this book is part of one of my favorite garden series by the RHS. So in this series is the book Latin for gardeners and botany for gardeners.

And now, this book Genealogy for Gardeners is designed to help you explore and understand plant families - and plant family trees, which to me is even more exciting.

Now, you may be wondering why. The authors do a great job explaining that in their book's preface.

They write,

While most of us think of plants, that’s belonging to one big happy family. The fact is they don't. There are hundreds of different plant families, which botanists have cleverly grouped together using what they know of family histories and genealogy and now, of course, DNA to bring some sense and order to more than a quarter of a million different plant species. 


But why should this matter to you as a gardener, aside from wanting to become more knowledgeable about plant families?

Well, here's the explanation from the authors:

Plant families are all around us. Whatever the time of year, go for a walk and look for wild or garden plants. You'll be surprised at how many plant families are represented within a small radius of your home. Even in your own garden, there will be a fantastic genealogy of plants. 

Thanks largely to the efforts of plant collectors and horticulturists who brought the plants into cultivation from the four corners of the world. 

When it comes to being a good gardener making connections is what it's all about. And if you are faced with a strongly acidic soil, and know that rhododendrons will grow, then you can broaden your planting ideas to include other plants in the same family, such as Heather. Mountain Laurel, leather leaf, blueberries, and others. If you are designing with plants, you may know that all plants and a particular family, and share certain features, which enables you to mix displays effectively and extend your range. 


That is a compelling reason to get to know your plant families.

One of the things that I love about this particular series of books is that the illustrations are incredible. The editors have pulled botanical art images that are the best examples of some of these plants. The beauty of these books, including the cover, is not rivaled.

The minute I spot these books, they have a look and a feel to them - I know immediately that it's part of this series from the RHS. These books are in my office on a unique little bookshelf of books I reference all the time, and this little series from the RHS is such a gem. This particular book about plant family and garden genealogy - The genealogy of plants-  is one that I go back to repeatedly. So this is a fantastic book.

As I mentioned, the illustrations are excellent. It is very clearly laid out.

They've done the heavy lifting to simplify this material, making it very understandable and accessible. And yet, they do not dumb it down. That's not what this book is about.

If you want a book on this topic that is exceptionally clear and a delight to read, this is the book you've been waiting for.

So, whether you're a landscape designer, a horticulture student, or an amateur gardener, Genealogy for Gardeners will help you better understand and utilize plant families in your garden.

This book is 224 pages of plant families and plant family trees - part of one of the top garden book series on the market today.

You can get a copy of Genealogy for Gardeners by Simon Maughan and Ross Bayton and support the show using the Amazon Link in today's Show Notes for around $20.



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