|Flamboyant members of the family Zingiberaceae — including Hedychium, Curcuma, Roscoea, and Zingiber — are once again on the wanted list as people discover their intricately constructed flowers, beautiful perfumes, and lush foliage. Although the majority of gingers originate in the tropics, a substantial number come from temperate zones or high altitudes and are perfectly at home in the temperate garden. These hardy gingers are the primary subject of this book. In the wild, gingers fit a variety of ecological niches, and diversity is the key to their success in the garden. They make dramatic focal points in tropical-style plantings but can look equally impressive in traditional herbaceous borders, woodland settings, rock gardens, water gardens and containers. Branney charts the history of gingers from their 19th-century heyday through modern-day hybridization programmes to the latest introductions of new species. A comprehensive plant directory ranges wide in its coverage. Valuable cultivation advice includes techniques for breaking dormancy, maintaining soil nutrition, and understanding individual plants' hardiness requirements. Captivating photographs complement the descriptions and convey the distinctive charms of these irresistible plants. This book brims with new finds that will tempt newcomers, delight enthusiasts, and ensure hardy gingers a place in every 21st-century garden.
Author Bio: T. M. E. Branney is co-owner of The Europa Nursery that specializes in rare, temperate-woodland plants. As well as offering a wide selection of Zingiberaceae, the nursery is also involved in a large-scale hybridization program for Epimedium and has amassed a comprehensive collection of Polygonatum. Its two-hectare (five-acre) Devon site, which is still being developed, is planted with a collection of rare trees and shrubs in a woodland and water setting. Branney designs gardens for private clients and has had articles and photographs published in plant journals all over the world. He has travelled to Southeast Asia, Central America, and Madeira to observe plants in the wild, take photographs, and collect seed. Next in his sights is a trip to Chile to see the high-altitude flora of the Andes.