This is such an exciting time of the year. Not just because it’s spring at last, but because on Thursday (1 April) the new RHS PlantFinder will be published. As well as over 73,000 plants in all (almost 2,000 more than last year) and over 600 nurseries, the brand new 2010/2011 edition includes an amazing 3,424 new plant entries.
I’ll be looking at some of the most interesting newcomers over the next few weeks but they include one hundred and ninety nine new irises, over a hundred new Narcissus, over a hundred new primulas (mainly auriculas), seventy three new pelargoniums, seventy one new roses, almost seventy new rhododendrons, over fifty new dahlias and over fifty new salvias, over forty new fuchsias, but only twenty six new hardy geraniums. There are also almost four hundred – yes, not forty… four hundred - new day lilies. And just two new verbascums.
Even if you have last year’s edition you should still go and buy this year’s version. All those new plants are a temptation, of course. But the team of horticultural botanists who work on the RHS PlantFinder have also updated all the names so the book serves as the most comprehensive up-to-date reference on correct plant names.
But I see that some people making comments on the 2009 edition's page on amazon.co.uk are less than thrilled by the book.
“The limitation is that the RHS often uses trivial names rather than the botanical name.” No, this is complete rubbish. The truth is the exact opposite. The whole book is based on the correct botanical names for the plants. (Is this person looking at the right book?!)
“…has grown like a noxious weed and is in desperate need of culling… A useful buy every ten years, more often than this and your shelf will be over stuffed with too much useless and unworthy information.” No. It’s important to buy the latest edition as after one year, let alone after ten years, some of the names will be out of date and plants may well no longer be stocked by the nurseries mentioned. And of course every year there are thousands of new plants added.
So, that’s that got out of the way.
“Another must have edition of this amazing book,” says another comment on amazon.co.uk. That’s more like it.
The 2010/2011 RHS PlantFinder will be published on Thursday, 1 April.
Order it now from the RHS