Three very good books related to gardening have been published recently, about landscaping, pruning and daylilies.
"Around the House," by David Frazier (Quick Fox, $6.95 paperback), is a book with more than 200 full-color photographs of landscapes surrounding homes throughout the country, a rich portfolio of ideas for city and suburban homeowners.
According to Frazier, who was also the photographer, it illustrates how discerning people rearrange a portion of nature into a new, harmonically pleasing whole, suited to their own way of living. The book is also a gallery of their gazebos, driftwood fences, stone steps, swimming areas, porch decks, patios and moss-covered mailboxes.
Man-made fences, steps pools or bridges vary dramatically across the country; the photographs illustrate the variances from one section to another.
Because trees are such an important raw material for outdoor decorating, illustrations are included to suggest how the fullness the height of 24 commonly planted trees appear in relation to various houses.
"Pruning Simplified - A Complete Guide to Pruning Ornamental and Fruit Trees and Bushes, Shrubs, Hedges, Vines, Flowers, Garden Plants, Houseplants and Bonsai," by Lewis Hill (Rodale Press, 208 pages, illustrated, $10.95), is an easy-to-follow guide.
Hill, a Vermont nurseryman, says that pruning, when properly done, strengthens rather than weakens the tree. Certain rules must be followed, however, or pruning can be harmful.
"Some diseases can be spread by pruning tools," he says. "Pruning certain tress in late winter can result in a harmfully large sap loss. Cuts should be made so that the plant will grow attractively. Large cuts must be done skillfully, so there is no danger that the limb might accidentally split when it is only half cut off and tear back into the tree. What the rules amount to is that your shearing and cutting should be done for the right reason, in the right way, and at the proper time."
The book also covers root pruning and tools for pruning.
"Daylilies - Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Daylilies," compliled and edited by Ben Parry and John Allgood (American Hemerocallis Society, 72 pages, illustrated, $2) can be ordered direct from Joan D. Senior, Secretary, Route 2, Box 360, Le Queen, Ark. 71832.
It tells about foliage habits, buying, plainting, and caring for daylilies. The book also discusses hybridizing daylilies and controlling the very few pests that attack them.
No other flower provides greater satisfaction to inexperienced gardeners than the versatile daylily, they say. They can be grown in all parts of the country. They have a long season of bloom. They come in a multitude of colors and color combinations. They are superb show flowers, and are a marvelous gourmet vegetable.
Some daylilies have a special color quality, known as "diamond dusting." The blooms sparkle and glisten in the sun as if silver dust or hundreds of tiny diamonds have been sprinkled on their surface.
Some deep orange and red flowers have this same sparkle, but the dusting is gold rather than silver.
The natural daylily colors, as found in the species, are yellow, orange, and fulvous (blend of orange-yellow-red). Modern daylily breeders have succeeded, however, in producing daylilies in almost every color of the spectrum, except pure white and true blue. Even these two elusive colors may soon be available as each generation of breeding draws closer and closer to these goals.