Architectural plants are plants that make a bold statement in the garden, such as ferns, palms, bamboos and cacti. Usually exotic, they are grown for their strong shape and year-round presence. Gardening with architectural plants is one of the fastest growing areas of horticulture in Britain. The bulk of this guide comprises a comprehensive directory of the most common architectural plants available for growing. Each entry includes: background information on general characteristics, planting and care; a table of plant care with easily accessed advice on soil, site, watering, pruning, general care and pests and diseases; colour-coded icons to indicate hardiness; and expert tip boxes. The book opens with a practical guide to essential gardening techniques, which covers: assessing your plot for soil quality, drainage, sun and shade; where to buy and how to tell if the plant is healthy; advice for planting trees and plants; creative ideas for planting combinations; specialist care for architectural plants throughout the year, including winter protection, brown bitting and pruning; and increasing stock with propagation techniques. The book closes with a section on plant problems, which includes a trouble-shooting chart to identify the problem and a directory of pests and diseases.
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Christine Shaw studied horticulture at the Isle of Wight Horticultural College while working nights as a croupier. She has worked at Angus White's famous nursery near Horsham, and set up a new branch at Chichester in 1996, which she continues to run. In addition, Christine has established a successful career for herself as a freelance horticultural journalist, writing articles for The English Garden, Garden Inspirations, RHS The Garden and Exotic Gardening.
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