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Book Review: Encyclopedia of NZ Native Plants

The Gardener’s Encyclopedia Of New Zealand Native Plants
By Yvonne Cave and Valda Paddison
Random House
RRP $69.95
Reviewed by Jonathan Hill

With the sun coming out to herald the move towards Summer many of us will be dreading the annual garden tidy up that inevitably follows Winter.

It seems that lately Kiwi gardens have begun to at last make more use of native New Zealand plants which suddenly seem to be fashionable.

The most comprehensive guide to the hundreds of New Zealand’s native plants is the enormous ‘Gardener’s Encyclopedia of New Zealand Native Plants which has just been published by Random House.

Every Kiwi gardener worth their salt needs and will certainly want a copy of this book and it promises to sell well as the perfect Christmas gift for the gardener who has everything else.

The Encyclopedia – and that is exactly what it is – is a large hard-covered book with close to 1000 beautiful photographs of all exclusively New Zealand plants. It is broken into two sections – the photographs and a comprehensive alphabetical index which describes the plants and tells what they require and how they may be used.

The photographs are arranged into sections also – Trees; Shrubs and Climbers Herbaceous Plants and Ferns. The pictures and text are well cross referenced and the book is easy to use.

It is expensive at $69.95 but it has been thoroughly and comprehensively researched and is visually stunning. It is the definitive work on New Zealand native plants and is essential for the bookshelves of all Kiwi gardeners. It will stand the test of time and is well worth the money.


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