Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers by Bob Gibbons | Paperback | Waterproof PVC cover | Mar 2013 | 192 pages | 180 colour photos | ISBN: 9781780092614 |
Wild flowers are something I often photograph, and enjoy the look of but have absolutely no idea what I am looking at most of the time, so this guide has become one I often chuck in the bag in the summer months.
Pocket guide to wild flowers – Review
Before I get into the meat of the review of this book I would like to point out one thing, and that is; when it comes to pocket guides the important thing you really have to remember is that they are not always going to be the best guide to identification the world has seen. They are designed mainly for portability and I certainly like that element of these small books. This one is easy enough to slip into any pocket and light enough to barely be noticed. If you are looking for a book that will adorn your shelves and be used as purely a reference book, never leaving the house, I’d advise looking away from pocket guides, that is not what they are for.
Anyway on with my review of the Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers by Bob Gibbons.
The Identification Guide
The basic format of this excellent small guide by Bob Gibbons, is useful in many ways. Most entries carry additional identification information along side the the flowering time (a very important Identification feature). The photographs throughout are attractive, although sometimes a little dark, due to the small format, and really help you to recognise the plants.
The only real drawback I have found however is that if, like me, you are a complete novice it isn’t easy to use. I have no idea where to start looking! I am a complete beginner when it comes to wild flowers so I would imagine this book is aimed squarely at me. Real botanical enthusiasts would require something with far more depth and species listings. Unfortunately if I spot a flower I want to ID then using this book has me searching through each page to try and find it, if it is in there. I’m not sure how best this could be resolved, but maybe something to look at.
As I alluded to earlier, the photos are a little dark, but only due to the size. They are otherwise fabulous images showing the flowers in situ nicely. I am aware some people are not keen on photographic guides as they often make focusing on the object being identified a little more tricky but I quite like them, I guess personal taste counts for much.
A useful tool, to have in your bag for trips where you might find unusual flowers. Keen botanists will want much more; and total beginners, like me, may struggle to start with (it is just about getting used to things). But as a low cost addition to a nature lovers bag this is ideal.
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