This book is the gem of tropical gardening books. It delivers everything a person could want --- garden planning, soil structure, cultivation, fertilization (including much on organics), and pests, diseases, and weeds. There are almost 300 pages devoted to individual plants with excellent color photographs! The plants are divided into: Herbaceous Plants and Dwarf Shrubs, Ornamental Shrubs and Climbers, Hedges, Trees and Palms, Lawns, Foliage Plants, Orchids, Vegetables, Fruits and Fruit Trees. There's also a delightful section called Other Kinds of Gardens which includes: Small Gardens, Miniature Gardens, Rock Gardens, Water Gardens, etc. It is written specifically with Malaysia in mind but applies well to any tropical or subtropical area. It's also perfect for greenhouse and houseplant gardeners in more temperate zones. The authors say, "Many of these tropical plants will tolerate a much wider range of temperatures than is usually imagined and will grow luxuriantly in centrally heated houses where the day and night temperatures show a wide difference. It should be remembered that in the wet tropics the high humidity will keep the temperature much lower during the day than in a dry tropical area. Consequently, many of the plants of the wet tropics are almost ideally suited for culture in the centrally heated buildings of temperate countries."
Don't let the price put you off. This book is worth it in every way. It is an unmatched resource.
Timber Press, Portland, OR, (800) 327-5680, www.timberpress.com, 1991, 0-88192-309-5, 384 pages, color photographs and drawings, hardback, $69.95