Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Bulb, by Anna Pavord (Octopus Publishing Group, Ltd,
ISBN: 978-1-84533-532-8), is a glorious addition to any garden library. It thoroughly covers the topic bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes, all plants that depend on a storage system to sustain them between bloom cycles.
Bulb is lavishly illustrated with both drawings and photographs. I find the history of the various bulb plants at the beginning of each chapter especially intriguing. Did you know, for example, that Iris was a Greek goddess, the personification of the rainbow, which she used as her pathway through the sky.
The book contains in-depth information on the cultivation for each variety and a nice description of what to expect once planted. It also reveals what kind of problems too watch for with each variety of bulb.
In the back of the book is a section on how to grow bulbs, very handy even if you are an accomplished gardener!
I feel that Bulb is a mandatory resource for the serious garden library. My only complaint is that the book does not come with a protective cover jacket. Garden books take more abuse than ordinary volumes.
Clever Gardening Technique
Foil hungry slugs, snails, and earwigs by providing new seedlings with a mini greenhouse. You can use recycled one-gallon milk cartons or soda bottles or commercial products made for this purpose. Once the seeds have germinated, leave the protective covers in place until the small plants can stand on their own. It will be crowded and sweaty inside the covers, but it's better that than death by being eaten.