Robert L. Fincham
I have been asked many different times about writing a conifer book. I have attempted to work with a publisher on two different projects, but for various reasons, they were never completed. One of the projects that I have worked on at various times was a rewrite of the Krussmann Manual of Cultivated Conifers. I gathered a wealth of data on the new conifers, much with the help of my European friends. However, since so many newly named cultivars are literally pouring out of a number of places, redoing Krussmann at this time would be an exercise in futility. I plan to allow the marketplace to sort things out over the next few years before I resume that project.
Meanwhile, there is a definite need for a good conifer cultivar book. I decided to write such a book, focusing on the conifers that are best suited for smaller gardens. I did not select the cultivars based upon my existing slide collection but upon other criteria.
First: I selected cultivars that I believe are among the best performing selections.
Second: I selected cultivars that will give the best appearance in the garden.
Third: I selected cultivars that are available from various retail sources. Many of these will be difficult to locate, but they are out there somewhere.
I decided to follow the very successful format used by the Dutch Conifer Society of using large pictures and devoting a full page to each cultivar, with some modifications. There are 256 color pictures and 292 pages in the book describing 180 different cultivars.
The book is 6" x 9", a size that allows the book to be carried into the garden or into a plant nursery. It is also a size that allows for nicely sized pictures.
Each plant picture has text on the facing page that serves four basic
A. To describe the shape and growth rate of the plant
B. To describe ways to use the plant in a landscape
C. To describe how I first came across the plant and/or how it
originated in a way that will interest the reader
D. To relate some history about the conifer collectors of the
1960's into the present time
Below is a sample from the book.
|Landscaping With Conifers|
|Conifers for the Rock Garden|