Growing Conifers: The Complete Illustrated Gardening and Landscaping Guide

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Review Growing Conifers: The CompleteIllustrated Gardening and Landscaping GuideBy Dr. John J. Albers, Photography David E. PerryNew Society Publishers, May 2021Review by Brent Marcus, Owner of Conifer Kingdom Growing Conifers, by Dr. John Albers, is a treasure of information for gardeners interested in growing these magnificent trees. Dr. Albers educates the reader with detailed, scientific information about families, genera, and species of the different conifers, where in the US they will grow best, and how to choose, plant, prune, maintain, and propagate them. He even teaches about garden design and creating a sustainable landscape. His brilliantly researched tables make it easy for gardeners in any part of the US to know which varieties to grow. This beautiful book, with superb illustrations, is written with passion, and an in-depth knowledge and understanding of his subject. It is the outgrowth of decades of study, research, and love of these handsome and interesting trees. Dr. Albers is a gifted medical research professor at the University of Washington who is also a dedicated environmentalist. He created Albers Vista Gardens on his four acres in Bremerton,Washington, that has been his love and his horticultural laboratoryfor over two decades. His story unfolds with an introduction to conifers and their many roles in the environment -- how they are important contributors to the ecological health of our cities and towns in light of global warming. This is his raison d'etre for writing this book. He encourages one and all to plant a conifer for the health of their families, communities, and environment.Dr. Albers goes on to explain the basics of conifer biology in a way that can be understood and appreciated by a beginner or an expert. He teaches about conifer families worldwide, and details the taxonomic differences between families, genera, species and varieties. He outlines how to scientifically evaluate the garden space in a property according to climate, soil, drainage, sun, frost, and slope. Once you've established your garden data by measuring and testing, you're ready to design your space. He gives you the information you need to draw up a site plan according to use, size, growth rate, form, and color and texture. When it's time to select your conifers, he includes up-to-date cultivars, and his charts, by tree and by region, are brilliantly researched so that gardeners in any part of the United States can easily see what species and cultivars will grow in their locale. Next, he instructs the reader how to correctly plant a balled-and-burlapped or a container-grown tree, and how to propagate conifers by seeds, cuttings, or grafting, step-by-step. Finally, he teaches how to sustainably care for conifers by mimicking the trees' native growing conditions with healthy soil, mycorrhizae, and organic matter. Cultural practices such as fertilizing, watering, pruning, integrated pest management,and even dealing with deer are explained in depth. The supporting photos throughout the book are stunning, making you want to crawl right into the pages and experience the landscape that was captured through the lens.This book phenomenally synthesizes so much information in one place, it will be a standard for gardening with conifers for years to come. Thank you, Dr. Albers, for sharing your knowledge and inspiration through this beautiful book.Growing Conifers: The Complete IllustratedGardening and Landscaping Guide. By Dr. John J. Albers, Photography David E.PerryReview  by Dr. Ronald J. Elardo, Editor of The Conifer Quarterly It's all about science! That pretty much sums up the essence of Dr. John J. Albers's Growing Conifers, whichis far more than just a run-of-the-mill conifer book. It is a complete guide to designing a conifer garden that starts with basic knowledge of conifers and ends with creating a sustainable conifer landscape. In between is the accumulated knowledge of a conifer lover, who knows how to explain everyt