A gardener's gardening book from a retired US Department of Agriculture biologist and highly regarded author of children's books. Van Dersal approaches gardening as a friendly botanist, using organic chemistry formulae, drawings of leaf cross-sections, and explanations of classification to enlarge understandings. He acknowledges imprecisions, regretting the absence of a standard for describing light intensity, and categorizes plants by origins--native, transplanted, or developed by breeders--in considering their needs. He includes lists of Latin names, a glossary 'of common botanical terms, and annotated suggestions for additional reading. Intended for full-time gardeners, a solid and sociable reference.