Recently a good friend sent us this excellent book on Chinese plants. ‘Guide to the Flowers of Western China’ by Christopher Grey-Wilson & Philip Cribb, It is an amazing compilation of valuable information on over 2,700 plants from one of the world’s richest temperate areas. Western China, the books focus, especially the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan, has been explored for some time because of the vast diversity and richness of the flora. China, as a country, has about 12% of the world’s plant biodiversity. Thirty thousand species of higher plants, compared to 17,000 species of higher plants in North America (US and Canada).
With over 2,000 photos and detailed information about each plant and its habitat, the reader can get a very good description of those plants that they think might be in their garden, and those that one can lust for and try to obtain and grow. Many plants from China are already mainstays in our gardens, Astilbe, Paeonia, and Cimicifuga are just a few with more being discovered, propagated, and made available to us. The anticipation of these plants and their future cultivars will certainly be something to look forward to, especially for the plant enthusiast.
Fernwood is growing and selling some of the more recent plants to be introduced to this country from China. Those that we sell have proven very adaptable to our climate. Others we have in the ground to test for hardiness and other garden considerations. We would be happy to show them to you when you visit.
Another publication that has recently arrived in the mail for winter reading is the Fedco seed catalog. I can be sure to find Denise cozied up in one of our more comfortable chairs, hot tea in hand, scrutinizing the seed offerings for this summer’s gardens.
At the moment, in the hoop house where the first seeds are planted, our flock of Blue Face Leicester are helping to enrich the soil. Inside the house, Denise is using this past spring’s fleeces to create many of her knitting and felting projects. Those sheep are handy to have around.
We hope you are all finding time during these approaching, colder months, to indulge in some good winter reading. Like the long chore lists we have spoken about in the past, our “ books to read” list is just as lengthy.
Anything especially interesting on your list?