Book review: Garden-pedia
by Susan Mulvihill
When reading garden books or wandering through nurseries, do
you ever feel daunted or confused by various botanical terms? You are not
alone. I’ve been a Master Gardener for a long time now and even I struggle with
certain terms. Well, I’m happy to report there’s help on the way for all of us.
A new book called Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to
Gardening Terms (St. Lynn’s Press, 202 pp., 2015, $16.95) has been written
by Pamela Bennett and Maria Zampini to help Master Gardeners, students,
gardening aficionados and those working
in the horticulture industry master these terms.
From “abiotic” to “zone,” the authors went to great lengths
to list and define the words we commonly see, yet occasionally struggle to
comprehend in our line of work.
Garden-pedia is a colorful guide filled with
illustrative photos for most of the definitions... and the occasionally
humorous definition -- just to remind us that the authors don’t take themselves
too seriously and that gardening should be fun!
For example, read part of the definition for “double
“... you take out the
top one foot of soil and place it in the bottom of the first trench, then take
the next one foot of soil from the bottom and put it on top of the bottom soil
in the first trench. Keep doing this until you are either dead tired or the
garden bed is ready to go! Hint: you will be dead tired anyway, but hats off to
There are cross-references throughout Garden-pedia to other
relevant terms that have been defined elsewhere in the book. Within each
definition, there are also highlighted terms that will also have their own
For example, the definition for “rootstock” refers the
reader to other important related terms such as “roots,” “graft,” “ornamental”
Some definitions are very clear and don’t require
explanations, while the authors provide clear examples of the context of words
for most definitions.
Garden-pedia is both informative and very easy to use.
It is worth picking up a copy to help you wade through terms in garden books,
magazines, on plant tags and in other literature produced by the horticultural industry.