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Book Review--Taylorís Guide to Orchids

Taylor's Guide to Orchids by Judy White is an excellent resource for anyone interested in orchids. Full of close-up color photography and cultural information for hundreds of orchids, this book is written in a concise style that packs a lot of detail into a relatively small format.

The first section contains introductory facts on where and how to grow orchids in the home. Another helpful section includes a brief description of the most popular types of orchids for the home grower. Following chapters go into detail about potting, potting mixes, the importance of the proper lighting levels, watering and fertilizers, how to purchase and care for your new orchid plants. The final cultural chapter is devoted to ridding your growing area of pest and diseases without resorting to hazardous pesticides and other chemicals.

The 160-page color plate section is featured at the center of the book. The photos are categorized in alliances. As a quick reference, each plant's cultural needs, flower size and bloom times are listed below the photos. If a specific plant is fragrant or has an unpleasant odor, that is mentioned as well. Each plant listing includes a page number reference so that you can look up a more detailed description.

The section entitled "Encyclopedia of Plants" is the alphabetical reference to the specific orchid plants. Each listing includes a pronunciation guide, the type of orchid, growth habit and whether the plant has pseudobulbs. A general description of the plant, the flowers and the native habitat follows.

Specific requirements including temperature, lighting and humidity are listed in the next paragraph. The last section cross-references the page number of the color photograph of each variety.

The Appendices round out the book with some excellent articles about the benefits of joining an orchid society, an exhaustive list of orchid potting materials, a glossary and aids to understanding orchid names, hybrids and award abbreviations.

This is a great book for orchid fans from the beginner to the advanced hobbyist. It is a book I use often as a quick reference to information on just about any orchid.


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