Wednesday, March 28, 2012
1) Adkins, Linda. Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds: How to Plan, Construct and Maintain a Vibrant Pond That Will Enhance Your Garden. 2012. Firefly Books. Paperback: 208 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds has all the know-how needed to create an ideal water feature in any garden. It examines a variety of ponds according to their size and type, from formal to wildlife, and considers their installation, from siting and budget to construction and equipment, such as filters and pumps.
Useful directories feature photographs and detailed descriptions of native and exotic plants and wildlife with which to stock a pond, with a particular emphasis on achieving and maintaining a balanced and healthy pond environment. A further chapter describes and illustrates the process of planting oxygenating marginal plants that enhance the pond's health and appearance. Water features, such as waterfalls and streams, are covered and a final section explains routine care and maintenance to ensure the pond looks its best all year round.
Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds is written in an accessible and easy-to-understand style, and illustrated with a wealth of color photographs and illustrations to support the comprehensive text and bring to life the joys of pond ownership for the reader.
RECOMMENDATION: An easy-to-use guide to building your own garden pond.
2) de Kock, Servaas and Ronnie Watt. Koi: A handbook on keeping Nishikigoi. 2006. Firefly Books. Paperback: 159 pages. Price: $22.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: With full-color photographs, annotated illustrations and detailed, expert how-to advice, this guidebook is ideal for the koi hobbyist.
Koi begins with the history of koi-keeping, from the first known use of the word "koi"(about 500 BC) to the early 1900s, when collectors began breeding them for specific colors and metallics. The markings and patterns of koi are their most important feature, and the authors detail these in depth and define the Japanese terms used to describe them.
In addition to the section on the 15 varieties of koi, or nishikigoi, the authors address the care and exhibition of koi. Topics include:
*The water environment
*Pond design and maintenance
*Environmental health factors
*Evaluating and grading koi
*Pre-show and post-show preparations
*Parasitic, bacterial and viral conditions
*Judging criteria used at shows
*The effects of temperature on feeding
*Selecting and breeding koi
*How to enhance colors
Koi is a complete and practical reference on these enjoyable, enchanting creatures.
RECOMMENDATION: Once you build a pond using the first book, now you can add koi to it using this book!
3) Oliver, A.P.H.. Guide to Seashells of the World. 2004 (reprinted 2012). Firefly Books. Paperback: 320 pages. Price: $19.95 U.S.
SUMMARY: Guide to the Seashells of the World is a practical identification guide that covers a wide range of shells from all parts of the world. The book combines comprehensive and informative text with 1,200 color illustrations, focusing on the shells themselves rather than on the marine creatures that once inhabited them.
An introductory section covers mollusks and their classification, terminology and collection, along with conservation issues and an invaluable identification key.
The main section is the identification guide to 1,200 species in precise detail and clarity. The description of each species is accompanied on the same page with an easy-to-use identification key and color illustration.
The specific details for each entry include:
*Detailed color picture of the shell
*Distribution and locations
*Color and texture
Guide to the Seashells of the World is an ideal reference for shell aficionados.
RECOMMENDATION: A useful guide for shell collectors.