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  • The Mediterranean Gardener

    Hugo Latymer  (1926-2003)

    photography by Niccolò Grassi

     

    paperback

    10.25×7.5in • 26×19cm

    160 pages

    more than 150 color plates

    index included

    ISBNs: 0711218285 • 9780711218284

    Frances Lincoln • 2001



    I first became aquainted with this book through communication with the author regarding the creation of this Web site with The Mediterranean Garden Society.  He was very helpful and generously assistant in the startup of these pages.  Early on in that process, he sent me this book to review, and I was immediately impressed by the beauty and comprehensiveness of the work.  The ease with which he leads the reader into the realm of gardening appropriately inMediterranean climates contributes towards an effortless introduction to the basic concepts and concerns.  Niccolò Grassi's superb photographs add distinct pleasure to this trip.

    The simple structure of the book, first introducing the reader to the Mediterranean climate, second, the elements of design suited to these conditions, then plant selction, and finally the basis horticultural concerns and techniques, makes it a perfect choice for a novice gardener or someone transplanted from a non-Mediterranean region.  This being true, it is also comprehensive enough to hold the attention of more experienced or professional gardeners.  The author, the owner of a nursery on the island of Mallorca, is very aware of the details we need to know about specific plants, and I very much enjoyed reading his paragraphs on plants both new and familiar.  Contrasted with some other works which provide only scketchy descriptions of large numbers of plants, here is interesting and informative information about both good and bad qualities of specific species.

    Drawing on the horticultural traditions of his native Mediterranean basin, as well as those in far flung regions, this work is a marvelous reference for gardeners in our climates.  In response to casual mention of Hugo Latymer's work, I have heard numerous glowing testimonials from professional and amateur gardeners.  The Mediterranean Gardener is a very useful title for your reference shelf or to grace your living room coffee table.

    Seán A.  O'Hara


    Pine trees against a blue sky, crimson pelargoniums in terracotta pots, whitewashed walls ablaze with bougainvillea - these are the images that for many or us evoke the essence of the Mediterranean.  But they paint only a fraction of the picture.  In this unique and timely volume, Hugo Latymer reveals the extraordinarily rich diversity of trees, shrubs, flowring plants and cacti that will florish in regions where summers are hot and dry, winters mild and wet.

    His knowledge and enthusiasm are communicated in his descriptions of more that 300 plants, most of them readily obtainable from good nurseries in Mediterranean regions: Chinaberry trees with fragrant lilac flowers in spring, dark green twisted carobs, beautiful red-flowered climbing lilies.  Many of the subjects are illustrated in superb colour photographs taken specially for the book.  As well as being an invaluable reference, this section of the book serves a throughly practical purpose.  Coded information at the head of each entry enables gardeners to make appropriate choices when confronted with the possibly bewildering array of plants on offer in nurseries.

    Whether your garden is a patio a few metres square or several hectares on a terraced hillside, you will find a wealth of ideas for colourful and interesting plants to fill pots, to train over pergolas, to cover difficult terrain or to grow as spectacular specimens.  Hugo Latymer also suggests a variety of garden designs - always encouraging imaginative solutions while insisting the garden are primarily to be enjoyed.

    The author draws on 20 years' experience of gardening on the island of Mallorca.

    Francis Lincoln


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