|The Propagation of New Zealand Native Plants
Lawrie Metcalfe (Random House, Sep. 2007)
This is a very useful book for anyone interested in producing native plants for their home garden, for commercial purposes or for revegetating larger areas of land.
The book is well laid out with early sections devoted to equipment, general methods of propagation and sourcing seeds or plant material. These sections are illustrated with line drawings which aid understanding for the uninitiated. There is also a glossary of terms at the back to help the beginner, although most of the text is in plain language that is easy to follow.
The second half of the book is an alphabetical section dedicated to describing how to raise plants of 214 different native genera. The list includes ferns, forest plants, alpines and subalpines, swamp plants and plants of open country. Although this section uses botanical names, common names are listed in the index so knowing the correct name of the native in question is not essential.
While it would add considerably to the cost, photographs or drawings of the plants in this section could be a helpful addition for the many people who have no idea of the names of plants, botanical or otherwise. In the absence of such illustrations, owning an illustrated guide to native plants would be of benefit.
All in all, a small investment in this excellent book could potentially save its purchaser thousands of dollars at the nursery!
(Recommended Retail NZ$34.99)