In fields and forests, wild flowers bloom with beauty and charm, dwelling in many different surroundings. Many do not seem to care where they live so long as there is soil and moisture sufficient to sustain life.
An outstanding new book, "Wild Flowers of Britain," by Roger Phillips (Quick Fox, 190 pages, illustrated, $19.95 hard cover, $8.95 paperback), makes it easy to learn a great deal about them.
The book provides color photographic identification of more than 1,000 species that grow in Britain, more than three-fourths of which also grow in this country.
"The prime object," says the author, "is to create a system of visual identification that may be tackled by anyone. I have used a large format in order to give greater space to the illustration of each specimen. To facilitate identification, I have described the habitat and distribution of each plant."
People grow orchids for many reasons - most significantly their beauty and the mystery that surrounds them. With modern technology, it is easy to grow them in the home, even on a windowsill.
An outstanding new book, "Orchid Care - A Guide to Cultivation and Breeding" by Walter Richter (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 212 pp., illustrated, $12.50), can provide the necessary know-how. The book was originally written in German, by an eminent orchid grower in a country where not only greenhouse orchid-culture is practiced but also indoor gardening is more widespread than anywhere else. It is principally directed toward the amateur orchid grower, but also will be valuable to the student of botany and to the nurseryman.
The key to successful growing of orchids is a knowledge of their native haunts, particularly the microclimate in which each species grows best. The book provides this information. The important elements are light, temperature and humidity. Work with the plants that do best with the environment you can provide, either on a windowsill, in a plant window, indoor mini-greenhouse or a true greenhouse.
A tiny garden plot, 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, can yield a tremendous volume of produce. A very good new book, "The Practical Vegetable Gardener," by John Phillip Baumgardt (Quick Fox, 192 pp., illustrated, $5.95 paperback), provides the essential instructions.
Dr. Frederick G. Meyer, curator of the herbarium, U.S. National Arboretum, has been awarded the Gold Seal of the National Council of State Garden Clubs for his contributions in the field of taxonomy of weedy plants.
The National Council also cited Mrs. Judson C. French, chairman of volunteer guides of the National Arboretum, for her leadership in the conservation of natural resources; Dr. William S. Van Dersal of Arlington for his book, "Why Does You Garden Grow" (recently reviewed on the garden pages of The Washington Post); and Mrs. Dayton Frost, for promoting interest in herb gardening.
Beverly Hills Garden Club of Alexandria was awarded a cash prize of $1,000 for spearheading a drive to restore the gardens of the historic 193-year-old Lee-Fendall House, and flower show achievement awards went to Country Hills Garden Club of Fairfax, Five Hills Garden Club of Vienna and West Springfield Garden Club.