Burpee is perhaps North America's best-known name in gardening, and the Burpee Basics series of colorful, concise growing guides to specific plant types is an appropriately basic, sound reference for novice gardeners. Annuals lives up well to the series subtitle, Growing Guides for Easy, Colorful Gardens, both because the book itself is simply, clearly written, and because annuals are easy to plant and care for, making them a beginning gardener's best friend. Author Emma Sweeney lays out the essentials of soil science, composting, hardiness zones, and supplies in the first chapter, moves on to garden planning and design in the second (including plans for one extremely low-maintenance garden, a cutting garden, and a self-sowing garden, among others), and fills us in on the basics of planting and maintenance in the third. Then it's on to the meat of the book: careful descriptions of 75 great annuals chosen for easy care, availability, and variety. The helpful appendix includes a monthly calendar of tasks, a table of the dates of first and last frosts in North America, and a very basic garden glossary. This is an extremely practical growing guide that new gardeners will use, wear out, and enjoy.