The Native Plant Garden

Author: Dennis Greville

Publisher: Penguin $39.95

Many readers will know Dennis Greville from his regular contributions to New Zealand Gardener magazine.

He comes from a practical gardening background and that is the focus of this book – the use of New Zealand plants in a domestic garden setting. If you have ever thought our flora dull, then take a look at the mouthwatering photographs and some of the plant combinations. Most are close ups but there are also some lovely images of gardens which concentrate on native plants. Boring? No.

The book is structured in garden layers from creating the canopy (trees), through laying the carpet (groundcovers), positioning the furniture (shrubs) through to the final chapter on Getting It All Together. A little contrived perhaps, but a great motivating book for beginning gardeners (buy it as a gift for your adult children in their first home).

Technically it is a little superficial. The arrangement of the photographs, captions and index takes some decoding and is at times downright irritating (the absence of page numbers on the full colour photographic pages does not make it easy, especially when you can get up to seven such pages in a row with related captions appearing elsewhere). This is not a comprehensive reference. It is a large format, colourful, motivational book with sufficient information to get you started on your native garden.