Home—54 Jennifer St., Christchurch, New Zealand.
Photographer, writer, and nurseryman.
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free was a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection.
Gardens for Free, David Bateman (Glenfield, Auckland, New Zealand), 1992, published as Propagation Handbook: Basic Techniques for Gardeners, Stackpole Books (Mechanicsburg, PA), 1995.
(With Eion Scarecrow) The Complete New Zealand Gardener: A Practical Guide, David Bateman (Glenfield, Auckland, New Zealand), 1995.
Growing Plants for Free, Cassell (London, England), 1995.
Growing Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Cassell (London, England), 1995, published as Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Firefly Books (Buffalo, NY), 2001.
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free, Firefly Books (Buffalo, NY), 2003.
Also contributor to books, including the Ultimate Gardening Book, the Ultimate Book of Trees and Shrubs, and the Ultimate Book of Flowers, Southern Book Publishers.
New Zealander Geoff Bryant turned a job as a nurseryman specializing in hybridizing rhododendrons and azaleas into a career as an author and photographer of gardening books. Bryant first began writing about topics from plant propagation to basic gardening how-to's; when he needed illustrations for his work, he later took up photography. Bryant's work featuring a multitude of plant species is available not only between book covers, but also at his Web site of stock plant photos, Hortiphoto.com.
Bryant's first book, Gardens for Free, later published as Propagation Handbook: Basic Techniques for Gardeners, appeared in 1992. Following its success, he penned several other works dealing with gardening methods and plant growing techniques. In his Growing Rhododendrons and Azaleas, also released as Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Bryant provides gardeners with important information needed for growing and maintaining these spring bloomers, which belong to the same genus. Along with general information on cultivation, such as where and when to plant and what fertilizers to use, Bryant includes a history of these plants, tracing their origin back to China two millennia ago. As late as 1800 there were only a dozen species available, Bryant informs the reader, but with travel opening to the Himalayas, where many new types of rhododendrons were found, there are now hundreds of species and subspecies on the market. In addition to the ninety full-color photographs of various species of both rhododendrons and azaleas, Bryant includes a glossary.
In Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free, Bryant offers simplified procedures for plant breeding, both by seed and vegetative propagation, such as bulb division and cutting, or growing new plants from cut limbs or leaves as well as by grafting. Bryant supplies propagation information on over a thousand garden plants, along with tables with plant name, climate zone, best time of the year to propagate, and other vital plant breeding information. Plant Propagation A to Z "provides an essential and encyclopedic resource for the fiscally minded, or just creatively curious, gardener," according to Carol Haggas in Booklist. Haggas went on to note that Bryant serves up "a wealth of information in a variety of formats." Similarly, Edward J. Valauskas, reviewing the same title in Library Journal, found it an "excellent introduction to propagation." Valauskas explained that the author offers general information and instructions in the first half of the book, and in the second provides individual propagation information. Space does not allow for lengthy individual instructions in Plant Propagation A to Z, but Valauskas went on to comment that when such individual descriptions are combined with more general principles, the book "offers the novice a good start."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2003, Carol Haggas, review of Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free, pp. 1132-1133.
Library Journal, April 1, 2001, Sue O'Brien, review of Rhododendrons and Azaleas, p. 121; May 1, 2003, Edward J. Valauskas, review of Plant Propagation A to Z, p. 146.
Firefly Books,http://www.fireflybooks.com/ (November 10, 2003).