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Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter

Number 25

February 1995

J. C. Raulston

Contents Page

Notes from the Arboretum

Surprise, surprise, surprise! We've gone from the world record long time between issues of the newsletter to world record time for the fastest turnaround time between newsletters. (About the only thing on time in my life at present - but hey!). As I'm in the middle of 9 states, two courses with 80 students and our N.C. tradeshow in a 3 week period - I'm going to let the newsletter speak for itself this time without my generic introductory philosophical discussion. We must say however - that this has been the winter (or one could say "non-winter") for our Japanese Flowering Apricots, Prunus mume - fabulous! Visit the arboretum often, attend some of our many lecture programs we've prepared for you this spring (or catch me somewhere across the country) and we'll be back in early summer with more personal and detailed information.

(Please note our newly designed letterhead logo and stationary used for the first page here. Opinions?)

THE EVERGREEN OAKS

A brief review prepared for the NCAN Green & Growin' Show in Winston-Salem, NC, January 13-15, 1995 to accompany a display of the evergreen oaks from The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum).

Oaks are well known, classic essential plants in the landscape with a general "image" of large, slow-growing, long-lived, trees. They have similiarities in that all are members of the genus Quercus and produce fruiting structures called acorns - but beyond that it becomes an amazingly diverse group of plants. There are over 600 species - all found in the northern hemisphere - with great diversity even within individual species and innumerable intermediate hybrids. They range from slow-growing dimunitive alpine plants to giants of tropical forests and include a full spectrum of types from fully deciduous to fully evergreen with various intermediates.

In this display we focus on the "evergreen" oaks - plants that are generally evergreen in the Raleigh, NC region in USDA Zone 7. Some of these plants will go further north, but become deciduous with more severe freezes - or even in Raleigh, some of these will become deciduous when the freeze point of leaves are reached - but they are stem and trunk hardy in this range. There are likely over a hundred species that are evergreen in their native habitats - but many are subtropical or tropical, or will not grow in this climate (the huge array of west coast oaks for example which go out from summer rains in our definite "non-Mediterranean" hot-wet climate) - so a complete listing of all evergreen oaks will not be presented.

Most oaks by necessity are acorn propagated and in general acorn viability diminishes rapidly and acorns should be sown as soon as mature. Insect damage on seed is high, particularly on seed which has been shed on the ground - and floatation tests can be made to sort out the hollowed out and likely dead "floaters." The source of available acorns is often the limitation to producing the less common species as stock trees are rarely available. A few species can be cutting propagated and more work is needed to completely define the possibilities of this technique in this genus.

Evergreen oak species now growing in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum):

IMPOSTER "OAKS"

The family Fagaceae also contains another genera of trees closely related to Quercus, the Lithocarpus genera. All 100 species are evergreen and from Asia (except 1 west coast species from America which I've not been able to grow). Many have great potential here but have rarely been grown. They are supposedly spectacular in fruit (which I've never seen). Woodlanders Nursery in Aiken, SC (803-648-7522) and Camellia Forest Nursery in Chapel Hill, NC (919-967-5529) have the largest range of Lithocarpus for sale in the country - definitely worthy of trial. Three species are doing well in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) at present.

CUPRESSUS EVALUATION IN THE NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum)

Tom Foley, Jr. and J. C. Raulston (original version in Proc. SNA Res. Workers Conf. 39:in press).

In general, conifers are a relatively small percentage of the total nursery and landscape ornamentals market in the southeastern U.S.  Most commercial offerings come from a few prominent genera with Chamaecyparis, Juniperus, Pinus, Platycladus, andThuja heavily dominating the conifer market at this time. During the past 20 years, The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) has actively collected and evaluated adaptability and ornamental potential of a wide array of conifers in almost all existing genera. The conifer genus Cupressus (Cupressaceae) is a diverse one with about 100-115 taxa currently listed (14) from 15-20 species native to the southeastern U.S. and Mexico, the Mediterranean region from southern Europe around the Middle East into Northern Africa, and in the Himalayas and southern China. The group is a difficult one taxonomically with many varied naming and classification schemes of the species. The American complex alone is considered to be anywhere from 6 to 15 species (5). Various taxonomic keys to the species are available (5,8,9,13).

Most species eventually form tall evergreen trees though some remain shrubs. With a few exceptions, the majority of species come from arid areas of subtropical to tropical regions which would seem to limit adaptability for use in the southeastern U.S. - with likely potential problems of summer root rots typical of most Mediterranean woody plant species brought to this region, or of inadequate winter hardiness in the upper reaches of the southeast.

With such "rare minor taxa" published information is often difficult to locate and the following general guides will offer the best potential for further search (1,5,7,9,11,13,14). Most species are easily propagated by cold-stratification of seed which is readily available from commercial sources (4). Many early cultivars were produced by grafting but the economics of this technique have lead to the development of cultivars in the last decade specifically selected for their ability to be cutting propagated. Development of numerous commercial cultivars of C. glabra and macrocarpa has been extremely active in Australia, England and New Zealand where these two species are well adapted for landscape use and grown in large quantities from seed allowing selection of distinct variants in this population. Various source guides report 18 Cupressus taxa currently being sold in Holland (12), 28 in the U. S. (8) and 53 in England (10).

Nearly 50 accessions of Cupressus have been received by The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) over the years, and about 22 taxa are presently growing in the collections. Performance of some Cupressus taxa which have been evaluated in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) is presented below with brief information on origin, general plant character, propagation, hardiness, and present status in the nursery industry. Bold type indicates plants which have been in the collection at some point with those presently growing indicated by asterisks (*).

To our surprise, summer root rotting in our heavy clay soils has been less of a problem than expected with most species apparently having decent tolerance. The genus is noted for rootbinding problems when grown in container production with subsequent anchorage and topple problems in the garden. Field grown and transplanted plants probably make better long-term landscape plants. Foliar diseases have also been less prevalent than expected and all mentioned are more useful in this regard than some other existing commercial conifers such as the Juniperus scopulorum cultivars.

Winter hardiness is variable with species - but most listed below are dependable in USDA Zone 7 to the 5F range; with the hardiest species coming from the mountains of Oregon (C. bakerii) and Arizona (C. glabra) and hardy to USDA Zone 6. All species except these two were either severely damaged or killed in the record low winter of 1985 when temperatures reached -7F and most were replanted for further evaluation at that time. An unusual adaptation issue noted in our trials has been snow breakage tolerance. Most species come from arid, snow and ice-free regions and all of these have shown marked susceptibily to limb flux and breakage with even moderate snow loads. The two species which come from heavy snowfall regions, C. bakeri and glabra, are structurally sound through generations of genetic selection in native habitats and have shown no damage in our trials.

Perhaps the most unfortunate generalization from observations of this genera is that while very beautiful plants with widely variable ornamental features are available - few seem to age well and remain with attractive form and character beyond 10-20 years of age. Most open up to loose habit and unsymmetrical character with age limiting long-term usage.

A large variety of Cupressus taxa can be grown successfully in the southeastern U. S. but most would fit more in speciality hobbyist markets without widespread commercial landscape potential due to long-term survivability and age aesthetics problems. The most commercial at the moment is C. glabra 'Carolina Sapphire' with its bluish-grey color, cutting propagation ability and exceptionally fast growth of up to 6' per year for maximum profitability to growers, and relative low resulting price for the purchaser. The New Zealand Duncan & Davies Ltd. cultivars C. glabra 'Blue Ice' , 'Golden Pyramid', and 'Silver Smoke' also produce well and have very attractive landscape appeal. The speciality markets of interiorscaping and annual patio plants using more tender taxa such as C. macrocarpa cultivars and C. cashmeriana should be pursued in the southeast in light of the enormous success with these plants in the European market over the last decade.

Literature Cited:

1. Bean, W. J. 1976. Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles. (8th ed., 2nd impression - Five volumes)

Vol. I:798-808. John Murray Publ., London. 845 p.

2. Bloom, Adrian. 1988. Taking a chance on cypresses. The Garden (June 1988):259-265.

3. Dirr, Michael A. 1990. Manual of woody landscape plants: their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. pp. 281-282. Stipes Pub. Co., Champaign, IL. 1007 p.

4. Dirr, Michael A. and Charles W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. Reference manual of woody plant propagation: from seed to tissue culture. Varsity Press, Athens, GA. 239 p.

5. Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1993. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 2:405- 408. Oxford University Press. 475 p.

6. Granholm, Jackson W. 1986. Noteworthy cypresses of California. Amer. Nurseryman (January 15, 1986):43-48.

7. Hillier Nurseries. 1991. The Hillier manual of trees and shrubs. (6th ed.) pp. 598-602. David & Charles, Devon, UK. 704 p.

8. Isaacson, Richard T. 1993. The Andersen Horticultural Library's source list of plants and seeds. pp. 55. Univ. of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Chanhassen, MN. 261 p.

9. Krussman, G. 1985. Manual of cultivated conifers. p. 103-111. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 361 p.

10. Philip, Chris and Tony Lord. 1994. The plant finder. (8th ed.) pp. 161-162. Royal Horticultural Society, England. 819 p.

11. Royal Horticultural Society. 1992. New Royal Horticultural Society dIctionary of gardening - Vol. 1:781-783. Stockton Press, New York, NY. 790 p.

12 Schoenike, R. E. 1981. 'Clemson Greenspire' Arizona cypress. HortScience 16(4):575.

13. van de Laar, Harry J. 1987. Naamlijst van houtige gewassen. pp. 215. Proefstation Voor de Boomteelt en Het Stedelijk Groen, Boskoop, The Netherlands. 252 p.

14. Vidakovic, Mirko. 1991. Conifers - morphology and variation. pp. 190-202. Graficki Zavod Hrvatske, Croatia. 754 p.

15. Welch, Humphrey and Gordon Haddow. 1993. The world checklist of conifers. pp. 128-142. Landsman's Bookshop Ltd. for World Conifer Data Pool, Buchenhill, Bromyard, Herefordshire, England. 427 p.

PRUNUS LAUROCERASUS EVALUATIONS IN THE NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum)

Tom Foley, Jr. and J. C. Raulston (original version in Proc. SNA Res. Workers Conf. 39:(in press).

Broadleaf evergreen shrubs are perhaps the most important woody ornamental plant group in the landscape industry of the southeastern United States with heavy use for specimens, medium height groundcovers, foundation plantings and screening. Among the many widely diverse taxa of broadleaved evergreen shrubs, the Cherry Laurel or Laurel Cherry, Prunus laurocerasus, is one of the most widely used and successful of such plants for effective landscape use. This large shrub/small tree species is native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor around the Black Sea in the Caucasus and Transcaucasia mountains of Anatolia, Bulgaria, and Serbia - reaching 20-25' in height as old specimens (1).

It has likely been cultivated since antiquity in its native region, and was recorded as an introduced exotic species in western Europe by 1576. It is a widely variable species in growth rate, ultimate size, form, foliage characteristics, bloom time and ornamental quality. As a very easily propagated species (stem cuttings at most any time of year (3)), many selections have been made for various ornamental qualities and at least 45 cultivars have been named (5,6,11). Taxonomic keys to sorting out the main cultivars by foliage characteristics are available (5,10). The vast majority of the cultivars have been made in Europe and the ones now in most common use in the U. S. are old European cultivars (1889 and 1898) which were likely imported before contemporary U.S. plant quarantine bans on all Prunus introduction. In general, most of the large-leaved forms originate from Caucasus Mountains germplasm, and the small-leaved forms from the Balkan Mountains (5). Also, in general the small-leaved forms tend to have greater cold resistance than do large-leaved forms. Most cultivars perform well in USDA Zones 7-8, with hardier ones extending into Zone 6 and possibly 5.

No serious biological problems commonly exist in landscape use. Leaf shot-hole, a Pseudomonas bacteria problem, can be serious under the high water, frequent overhead irrigation schemes normally used in modern container nursery production (7). It can be controlled by chlorination/bromination of irrigation water or by using media-applied drip irrigation during production to keep foliage dry. Root decline in the landscape occurs with poor drainage and excess water during high temperature months. In hot southern environments, planting beds should be engineered for good aeration and drainage. Prunus laurocerasus taxa have been under evaluation in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) for cultural and ornamental characteristics in USDA Zone 7 for over a decade.

Results and Discussion: The following list summarizes 45 taxa listed in the literature and their general ornamental attributes when known or given. Invalid synonyms are presented in parentheses. The 10 cultivars currently in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) collection are indicated by bold type.

Prunus laurocerasus cultivars 'Otto Luyken', 'Schipkaensis', 'West Coast Schipkaensis', and 'Zabeliana' are currently common in the southeast U. S. nursery trade and make excellent problem-free landscape plants for hedges, specimens, foundation plantings, and mid-height groundcovers. Observations at The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) indicate that 'Castlewellan', 'Forest Green', and 'Latifolia' offer good potential for future market development for the southeastern U. S. market. There are many other cultivars in widespread use in Europe which offer much potential for trial and production. Potential industry long-term value of these cultivars would probably justify attempts to import the best forms through the long and difficult USDA quarantine isolation procedure.

Literature Cited:

1. Bean, W. J. 1976. Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles. (8th ed., 2nd impression - Five volumes)

Vol. III:378-380. John Murray Publ., London. 973 p.

2. Dirr, Michael A. 1990. Manual of woody landscape plants: their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses. pp. 654-656. Stipes Pub. Co., Champaign, IL. 1007 p.

3. Dirr, Michael A. and Charles W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. Reference manual of woody plant propagation: from seed to tissue culture. Varsity Press, Athens, GA. 239 p.

4. Hillier Nurseries. 1991. The Hillier manual of trees and shrubs. (6th ed.) pp. 329-330. David & Charles, Devon, UK. 704 p.

5. Krussman, G. 1985. Manual of cultivated broad-leaved trees & shrubs. Vol. 111:35-38. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 510 p.

6. Philip, Chris and Tony Lord. 1994. The plant finder. (8th ed.) pp. 480. Royal Horticultural Society, England. 819 p.

7. Phipps, Gary. 1987. Pest management in Monrovia's propagation department. Proc. IPPS 37:70-75.

8. Royal Horticultural Society. 1992. New Royal Horticultural Society dIctionary of gardening - Vol. 3:737. Stockton Press, New York, NY. 790 p.

9. Schmidt, Gabor. 1992. New plants from Hungary tolerating urban conditions. Proc. IPPS 42:140-141.

10. van de Laar, Harry J. 1970. (A study of cultivated varieties of Prunus laurocerasus. In Dutch, with English summary). Dendroflora 7:42-61.

11. van de Laar, Harry J. 1987. Naamlijst van houtige gewassen. pp. 133. Proefstation Voor de Boomteelt en Het Stedelijk Groen, Boskoop, The Netherlands. 252 p.

12. van de Laar, Harry J. 1992. New plant introductions - The European scene. Proc. IPPS 42:166-168.

PLANTS DISTRIBUTED TO NURSERYMEN - 1993 NCAN SUMMER SHORT COURSE

NCAN Short Course and Trade Fair - Asheville, NC - August 28-29, 1993.

(Most members who comprise the Friends of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) are not in the professional nursery/landscape trade, but are serious gardeners or people who want to support the contunation of the arboretum as a state resource. Beyond the arboretum use as a university teaching resource and display garden for the public, there is also the very important outreach to the commercial industry. Each year plants are taken to the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen's meeting for display, and thousands of plants are also propagated for free distribution as an incentive to try to encourage nurserymen to grow some new crops. To allow our "Friends" to have a feel for this outreach, I am again as for many years, including here the information on plants distributed at the 1993 meeting as these may be plants which will appear in garden centers for the public in the future - and of course many of the extras from this distribution end up in the autumn members plant giveaway so many of these are now in your gardens under trial.)

Each year a selection of plants from The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) is made for propagation and distribution to N. C. nurserymen at the summer short course as a means of spreading new or uncomon plants through the state for further observation and perhaps commercial production. This program has been underway since 1980 and ca. 58,000 plants of 285 different species and cultivars have been given to growers since its inception. Selection of plants is based on plant ability to be propagated when the Department of Horticultural Science propagation benches are empty, size of stock plants in the arboretum adequate to allow taking of 200-300 cuttings, and absence in the existing commercial industry. Plants will vary in commercial potential with some having great potential - others merely curiosities for adaptation study or hobbyist collector-type items. The 38 plants distributed in 1993 were by far the largest number of plants ever provided in our packs.

The plants provided for growers represent just a sample of the 5,0000 species and cultivars presently growing in The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum). Commercial growers are most welcome at any time to come to the arboretum to collect propagation material to provide stock plants for their operations. We do request for nurserymen collecting plants from the arboretum for the first time, an appointment be made (call 919-515-1192 for J. C. Raulston, 515-5361 for Tom Foley, or 515-1632 for Newell Hancock) to coordinate which materials may be collected and our general guidelines for collection procedures. Dozens of growers now gather many hundreds of thousands of cuttings annually in this manner.

A significant 1993 improvement in our pack was the first use of pre-printed permanent labels to help recipients keep the plants identified better when potted back at the nursery - our sincere thanks to Horticultural Printers, Inc. of Dallas, TX for providing excellent and stunningly fast service in preparing these labels with notice at the last possible moment. We very much appreciate the long, diligent efforts of a whole team of Friends of The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) Volunteers who spent a full week individually labeling, wrapping, and bagging the 8,000 plants in this year's distribution. Many, many thanks to all who have helped in this process, and especially to Rosanna Adams, Sue Aldworth, Mary Edith Alexander, Wayne Brooke, Tom Bumgarner, Anne Clapp, Jody Council, Alice Figgins, Vivian Finklestein, Larry Garver, Linda T. Jones, Betsy Lindemuth, Ray Noggle, Danny Piner, Charlotte Presley, Sherri Sattewhite, Letizia Thrift, and Bee Weddington for your incredible help.

CANDIDATES ATTEMPTED AND FAILED FOR THE 1993 DISTRIBUTION WINDOW

Lest growers think all is rosy in our propagation efforts and we have none of the problems that each of you face daily - we've decided to include our failure list for plants we tried to produce for this distribution. If one figures it up - we've had only about a 60% success rate this year!

PLANT SOURCES NEWS

We shorted this section in the last newsletter with the lengthy amount of book news. With spring planting lust and frenzy coming up - time to do a better job here. There continues an explosion of new nurseries across the country - additions here will generally be very briefly described - some seen from catalogs received, some recommended by other people or publications. The "hottest of the hottest" continue to be Heronswood, Plant Delights, and Yucca Do - truly madmen!

Bob & Brigitta Stewart, Arrowhead Alpines, P. O. Box 857, Fowlerville, MI 48836 (517-223-3581; FAX 517-223-8750). Huge list of alpines and herbaceous materials, section on ornamental grasses, and woodies.

Fairweather Gardens, P. O. Box 330, Greenwich, NJ 08323 ($3 catalog) - phone & FAX 609-451-6261. A remarkable listing of woodies which grows daily it seems. Happy to recommend it as they visit The NCSU Arboretum (now the JC Raulston Arboretum) often to get cuttings for new introductions and have been very helpful in getting some of our new introductions out to the market first. The beautiful 1995 catalog cover features one of my favorite and most often recommended plants, Magnolia ashei.

Limerock Ornamental Grasses, R. D. 1, Box 111-C, Port Matilda, PA 16870 (814-692-2272) has a large listing of grasses, sedges and rushes.

In a publication from the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College, 3 catalogs new to me were highly recommended:

Windrose, 1093 Ackermanville Rd., PenArgyle, PA 18072-9670 ($2 catalog)

Amber Gate, 8015 Krey Avenue, Waconia, MN 55387 ($2 catalog)

Canyon Creek, 3527 Dry Creek Rd., Oroville, CA 95965 ($2 catalog)

Old friends of mine who have expanded from wholesale to mail order of conifers, alpines, sedums, perennials are at Porterhowse Farms, 41370 SE Thomas Rd., Sandy, OR 97055 ($4 catalog).

Three new bamboo firms to add to my listings include:

New England Bamboo Co., P. O. Box 358, Rockport, MA 01966 ($2 catalog - 28 New England hardy species).

Raintree Nursery, 393B Butts Rd., Morton, WA 98356 (206-496-6400) (free catalog).

Burt Associates, P. O. Box 719, Westford, MA 01886 (508-692-3240) ($2 catalog).

Assorted interesting looking old and new firms:

Bay View Gardens, 1201 Bay St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 ($2).

Carleson's Gardens, Box 305, South Salem, NY 10590 ($3)

Eco-Gardens, P. O. Box 1227, Decatur, GA 30031 ($2) - many Asian introductions.

Twilley Seed Co., P. O. Box 65, Trevose, PA 19053 (free)

Select Seeds, 180 Stickney Hill Rd., Union, CT 06076 ($3)

Thompson & Morgan, P. O. Box 1308, Jackson, NJ 08527 (free)

Klehm Nursery, 4210 N. Duncan Rd., Champaign, IL 61821-9559 ($4)

If you are insatiable try: Garden Catalog Directory (850 mail order sources!), GSG, P. O. Box 206A, Gowanda, NY 14070-0206 ($5.95). Also - for list of nurseries offering nursery-propagated only native plants - send SASE to Virginia Native Plant Society, P. O. Box 844, Annandale, VA 22003.

People have long asked where they can get the excellent heat tolerant lilac (Syringa oblata var. dilatata) growing in the arboretum - now available from lilac specialists, Wedge Nursery, R#2, Box 114, Albert Lea, MN 56007 (507-373-5225) (free).

Great listing of unusual fruits and nuts: Northwoods, 27635 S. Oglesby Rd., Canby, OR 97013 (503-266-5432). For a comprehensive listing of other such sources order: Fruit, Berry & Nut Inventory, Seed Saver Publications, 3076 North Winn Rd., Decorah, Iowa 52101 - astonishing list of species, cultivars and nurseries all over the U.S.!

"We offer . . . a wide selection of uncommon and appealing trees, shrubs, dwarf conifers and other plants." Mike Stansberry, Beaver Creek Nursery, 7526 Pelleaux Rd., Knoxville, TN 37938 ((615-922-3961) (free).

Owen Farms, 2951 Curve-Nankipoo Rd., Rt. #3, Box #158A, Ripley, TN 38063 (901-635-1588) (free) - 20 crepe myrtles, lots of hollies, viburnums, hydrangeas, etc.

Collector's Nursery, 16804 N.E. 102 nd. Ave., Battle Ground, WA 98604 (206-574-3832) ($2) - (rave review in American Horticulturist).

Dilworth Nursery, 1200 Election Rd., Oxford, PA 19363 - remarkable listing of grafted conifers & other woodies.

Dominic & Octavia Carpin, Bon Air Farms, 4412 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA 23225-3242 (804-233-5642) - perennials, trees, shrubs, grasses.

List of nursery sources for Abies and Chamaecyparis cvs. - Mason, P. O. Box 1771, Conway, AR 72023 ($4.95).

BOOK AND WRITING NEWS

Good friend, Gerald Straley at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden in Vancouver, BC, Canada, recently sent a delightful book Crazy about Gardening: Reflections on the Sweet Seductions of a Garden by Des Kennedy which provided several evenings of pleasure in clever word useage and the foibles of gardeners (or as Ann Lovejoy stated more eloquently in her review of the book "a horticultural Robin Williams, Des Kennedy keeps us chuckling over a series of zinging one-liners"). In a chapter on weather and a discussion of hardiness zones and climatic factors he states: "Whatever the warnings about hardiness, growers seem perversely determined to ignore them, and instead develop an exaggerated estimation of their own expertise in the matter of local microclimates. Even more dangerous is the gardener's recklessness in what is known as "pushing the hardiness zones." This manifests itself as an irrational desire to cultivate plants that cannot possibly survive local growing conditions. I think of it as a form of horticultural bungee-jumping." In my own area of woody plants I loved his chapter on trees and an introductory statement: "One of the most magnificent components of gardening, trees also offer the amateur grower the grandest opportunities for blundering on a colossal scale. Choosing the wrong species, locating it improperly, planting it incorrectly, pruning it inappropriately - a good-sized tree can easily become a monument to incompetence visible for blocks. Not to mention becoming a menace; a problem tree can blight your garden, enrage the neighbors, flatten your house, antagonize authorities, and , ultimately, skewer you on the horns of ethical dilemma." What? My innocent and beloved trees can do all that?? 282 p., ISBN 1-55110-137-8, 1994, Whitecap Books, 1086 West Third Street, North Vancouver, BC V7P 3J6 Canada.

Remarkable Agaves and Cacti by Park S. Nobel was offered in the December catalog from Oxford Press (1-800-230-3242); 508415-2; 180 p. $19.95. "For at least 9000 years, agaves and cacti have been cultivated and consumed. Whether they have been used to make alcoholic beverages, eaten as fruits, turned into hallucinogens for religious rites, raised for their leaf fibers, or fed to cattle, these succulent plants have proven invaluable to many cultures." (Hey guy - you left out their ornamental landscape use!).

Hand to Earth: Andy Goldsworth Sculpture 1976-1990. Andy Goldsworthy - A Collaboration with Nature. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publisher. 1990;1993, 196 p. Born at Cheshire, England in 1956. There are now three books out on this astonishing artist - have never encountered a person who could flip through any of these books without being completely entranced and captivated. He does ephemeral creations from nature materials and photographs them for a permanent record - imagination that cannot be believed. Check the magic in a bookstore - WOW!

The International Camellia Register - for the hardcore specialist, definitely. How about 2,200 pages describing 32,000 species and cultivars?! Per page it's actually quite reasonable - $100 from International Camellia Society, c/o Arthur Landry, Secretary ICS, 10522 Ferncliff Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70815.

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it." Jacob Bronowski - The Ascent of Man (1975).

For books on the "soul" side of gardening - look at the titles from Spring Publications, Inc., P. O. Box 222069, Dallas, TX 75222. The Power of Trees: The Reforesting of the Soul; The Greening of Psychology: The Vegetable World in Myth, Dream and Healing; The Ecology of Imagination in Childhood; The Symbolic Rose; and The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World.

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