books by martin page

 


The Gardener's Guide to Growing Peonies


David & Charles Ltd. (1997)

Currently out of print


The Gardener’s Guide to Growing Peonies is a profusely illustrated guide to one of the most beautiful groups of garden flowers.


Wherever possible the descriptions were taken from living plants, although many of species had to be described from herbarium specimens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The list of recommended varieties is based upon the author’s personal experience of seeing the plants growing in the USA and England. Many of the hybrid peonies are completely unknown to British gardeners and deserve to be more widely grown.


When the book was written there had been very little research since the 1940's and there were many questions about the validity of several species names. The author includes a thorough list of synonyms at the back of the book.


The hardback version of this book is rarely available in the United Kingdom, but it can still be obtained in the USA, where the book is published by Timber Press. A revised paperback edition of the book was published in March 2002 by David and Charles Ltd.



The Gardener’s Peony


Timber Press (2005)

Hardback £25.00.


The Gardener’s Peony delves more deeply into the taxonomy of the genus Paeonia and discusses the implications of modern genetic research. Peonies used to be classified with buttercups and hellebores, which are considered to be relatively primitive flowering plants. However gene sequencing has revealed that peonies are actually related to the advanced Crassulaceae, which includes the stone crops (Sedum sp.) and Kalanchoe.


The book also gives greater coverage to tree peonies and describes the colourful Itoh hybrids in more detail. The author traveled to several nurseries in the United States to describe and photograph the peonies included in the book. The Gardener’s Peony complements, rather than replaces his earlier book, which places more emphasis on herbaceous peonies.




Growing Citrus: The Essential Grower’s Guide


Timber Press (2009)

Hardback £20.00.

Electronic Kindle version (currently £11.05).


The great majority of books about citrus have been written for hotter climates, where the trees can be grown outdoors. The author’s new book shifts the emphasis to colder climes, where the trees have to be grown in pots and the plants have to be protected from cold winter weather. Martin has grown citrus trees for almost twenty years and claims to have only lost one during that time.


The book starts with the history of citrus and the impact that they have had on our world. It then describes how to grow the plants in a temperate climate and the different varieties that are available. Citrus trees apparently have a nasty habit of dropping their leaves if the air is too dry, but the author explains how to avoid this by preparing the trees for the winter.


Growing Citrus is well illustrated and includes information on how to control pests and diseases. It should make a useful addition to the keen gardener’s library.