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What Grows Here?: Problems    by Jim Hole order for
What Grows Here?
by Jim Hole
Order:  USA  Can
Lone Pine, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the second in a series of What Grows Here? guides that address what plants grow best under different constraints. Volume 1 looked at Locations, and this second in the series covers specific Problems, with solutions that blend gardening expertise with common sense and good planning. Jim Hole includes specific, relevant questions that he has been asked (as a gardening consultant on television and radio). Chapters are color coded for easy, fast reference, and specific plants can be looked up in the detailed index.

The author starts by summarizing categories of problems - Poor Soil, Pets or Pests, Physical Challenges (e.g. arthritis or visual impairment), Big Trees, Tight Budgets, Wind & Weather, Architectural Influences, Water, Pests & Diseases, and Small Spaces. He covers each in detail in subsequent chapters, along with over 400 color photographs of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, which help readers visualize solutions. As an example, in Poor Soil, the author recommends using a soil test kit, explains how to raise soil pH, and presents various plant preferences with respect to soil types. I was especially interested in Big Trees and what grows under their shade, and found some new ideas for groundcover. Detail information provided on each plant includes height and width, as well as soil and sun preferences.

This volume on gardening and landscaping Problems is a useful addition to Jim Hole's What Grows Here? series, the next best thing to being able to get advice from the gardening guru in person.

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