An extremely comprehensive book from an author more renowned for her Gold Medal winning herb displays and organic gardening. Every group of plant is covered from the more usual annuals, perennials, shrubs and vegetables through to cacti, ferns, palms and aquatic plants. Drawing on her own experience and that of fellow nurserymen, Jekka McVicar gives a concise picture of this fascinating method of plant propagation. Attractively illustrated with the photographs of Marianne Majerus, it is a clear, straightforward guide to seed propagation. The most helpful information included is germination times, something many previous books on the subject have omitted. Many a would-be propagator has thrown away an apparently 'dead' pot of seeds only to discover them suddenly germinating wherever the compost has been turned out! Following on from the A-Z listings of the various groups of plants is the practical information on the generalities of sowing from composts, equipment to seed collection and breaking of dormancy. Unfortunately the terminology in many instances appears to be aimed at the experienced grower rather than the novice and the repetition of the unnecessary 'substrate' as well as compost is particularly irritating. However, as Jekka McVicar says in her introduction, seed growing is a return to nature, the wonders of an emergent shoot never failing to astonish and amaze the sower. What better way to introduce a child to gardening than with a packet of calendula or nasturtium, easily grown and guaranteed to succeed, making an impression which may last a lifetime? This is one of the most in-depth guides to seed propagation recently published and will be an invaluable reference tool for gardeners for many years to come.