Unusual in its specific focus on cold-hardy ferns, this book is based on John Mickel's experience as a scientist and curator of ferns at The New York Botanical Garden as well as a home gardener. The bulk of the book is an encyclopedic treatment of more than 400 kinds of ferns, illustrated with 360 color photographs in addition to numerous black and white images. Useful appendices, including updated source lists, make it clear why the American Horticultural Society chose this book as one of its 75 Great American Garden Books.
Mickel has been a curator of ferns here at the Garden for decades, and his monumental work on pteridophytes of Mexico is a masterpiece. His expertise with dried herbarium specimens complements his proficiency at actually growing ferns. Pteridophiles, if he recommends a plant, stop at nothing to add it to your collection. Look for the luxurious Dryopteris crassirhizoma at a garden center near you.