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Ornamental Plants

  Orchids of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Dr Yam Tim Wing
Singapore: National Parks Board and Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1995
Call No.: SING 584.15095957 YAM

This book covers some of the noteworthy and historically important species and hybrids of orchids collected at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (which has one of the world’s most impressive orchid collection) as at 1994. It includes species found in Singapore as well as in the Asia Pacific, Africa and the Americas. It also provides detailed descriptions of the flowers and their distribution. There is also a chapter on hybrids grown in the Botanic Gardens that provides the parent plants of the hybrids, the description of each orchid flower and those named after VIP visitors. A must-read for all orchid lovers!
  Tropical Flowers of Malaysia and Singapore
William Warren
Hong Kong: Periplus Editions, 1998 
Call No.: SING 581.95957 WAR

The author introduces 55 species of commonly flowering plants grown in Malaysia and Singapore in this handy pocket guide. Each plant is lovingly detailed: its height and size of the plant, the pattern and colour of the flowers and leaves, and how to grow the plants. Part of the Periplus Nature Guide series, Tropical Flowers of Malaysia and Singapore gives the botanical and other names of the plants. Each entry has colour photographs of the plant and its flowers.
  Hip Houseplants
Orlando Hamilton 
London: Dorling Kindersley, 2001
Call No.: 635.965 HAM [HOM]

An intriguing title, and it reflects a novel approach to choosing houseplants. The book suggests that the correct mixing and matching of plants to your particular home interior décor theme can add significantly to your home’s ambience. Discussions, however, are not limited to plant varieties and plant species; it covers topics such as choice of plant pots, the use of light, and optimal arrangements to suit each area within the home.
  Plants and Flowers of Malaysia
Ivan Polunin
Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited, 2004 
Call No.: 581.9595 POL

This book captures some of the most beautiful, rare as well as common plants of Malaysia. Featuring 170 plant species, including the ant plants, pitcher plants (trappers of insects), the giant-flowered Rafflesia and many more beautiful orchids, which are all grouped according to their habitat.

The writer, Dr Polunin, also describes the main vegetation types with maps and a guide to the best places for seeing different types of plant life. The chapter - ‘Ornamental Plants and Gardens’ – includes information and photographs of plants that require shade and the ornamental gardens of the traditional Malay house (container raised on stands in the front), the Chinese (designed to accommodate throngs during Chinese festivals) and the British houses (the keenest of all ornamental gardeners), which makes for very interesting reading as these have all left their mark on Malaysian gardens. Extensive coverage and full-coloured photographs make this book an important introduction to the flora of Malaysia.
  The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses: How to Grow Over 250 Beautiful and Versatile Plants
John Greenlee
New York: Micheal Friedman Publishing Group, 1992
Call No.: 635.9349 GRE [HOM]

Appropriate that the author is named ‘Greenlee’ – The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses is a major reference work and as the blurb proudly proclaims: ‘belongs on every serious gardener’s bookshelf’. Each entry, which is arranged alphabetically for ease of use, would include:
  • Full physical description
  • Colour photograph
  • Suggested usage
  • Propagating information
  • Pest control and disease-fighting advice
Planning A Small Garden: 101 Essential Tips
Edited by John Brookes
London: Dorling Kindersley, 1996
Call No.: 712.6 PLA

The editor of this book is the Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers (UK) and this book gives tips on designing a small garden. Materials and structures are highlighted. Photographs illustrate the steps on how to plan and maintain a small garden. This colourful book breaks down core information on garden planning into 101-easy-to-grasp tips that include ‘Tips for Topiary’, ‘Sun-loving Plants’, ‘Planting Pretties’ (colourful flowers), ‘Beauty of Bulbs’, ‘Rooftop Retreat and Balconies’, ‘Ornamental Trees’ amongst others.

On the section on ‘Ornamental Trees’, the writer cautions the readers to take account of the eventual height of a plant, as one that is too large will quickly engulf and unbalance the garden design. With good practical advice and quick answers to all questions, this book reveals the secrets of turning one’s limited space and corners into a beautiful garden that all can admire.
American Orchid Society
http://www.aos.org/

Anyone who has read Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief (Call No.: 635.934409759 ORL [HOM]) knows that orchid lovers will do anything (some go as far as to break the law) to get the plants they love. Find out more about how and why these particular plants drive people potty with this website which includes general information about orchids such as propagation and other resources.
Perfect African Violets
http://gardening.about.com/od/houseplants/

The introduction page to this website has as its header: ‘How to grow perfect African violets’. Well, if you want to find out, dive in. Chockfull of information on anything related to African violets, this will surely please people trying to find a one-stop resource for these plants.
Last updated on 02 February 2015

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