The 365 color photos of the Gotelli and Watnong Conifer Collections at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. provide reference for mature dwarf conifer specimens, and at the same time introduce the reader to our Nation’s living museum of dwarf and unusual conifers. The photographs and keyed line drawings in the first two chapters show mature dwarf conifers in landscaped beds. The reader can identify and compare the sizes, colors, textures and forms of mature plants.

You want to be sure you have the right plant: The only way to ensure it’s the right plant is to know the botanical name. Frustrated home gardeners and landscape professionals will appreciate the use of botanical names throughout. Uncomfortable with all that Latin? There is a cross-reference of botanical-to-common and common-to-botanical names of conifers in the back of the book which can come in handy.

There is a visual cross-reference for growth rates in the ‘History’ chapter, with photos of the installation (1962) and early years of the Gotelli Collection. Beginners will find the information in the chapter ‘Answers to a Few Questions’ extremely helpful.

The ‘Conifer Descriptions’ chapter describes over 350 conifers, includes close-up photos, growing information, growth rates and USDA hardiness zones. The ‘Care and Maintenance’ chapter has planting instructions, as well as integrated pest and disease management. The glossary, reading list and index add to the ‘user-friendly’ format used throughout this book, ensuring its continued use as a reference tool.