Recommended Reading

A good garden book unlocks our imagination and bestows gifts of inspiration, knowledge and discovery.

Just in time for gift giving – and receiving – check out this roundup of our favorite books for gardeners in 2018. While our list is eclectic and broad ranging, constant through every title is the acknowledgement that gardens and nature are meaningful partners. The one does not exist without the other.

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Saving Tarboo Creek, One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land
, by Scott Freeman (Timber Press)

“Everything is connected. As Freeman observes, ‘An ecosystem is a tapestry; climate change pulls at the threads.’” —reviewed by Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor, Pacific Horticulture

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Gardens of the High Line, Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes, by Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke (Timber Press)

“[The book’s] spectacular photos, taken in all seasons, let you feast your eyes on this bit of horticultural heaven in the midst of a crowded city.” —reviewed by Pam Peirce, San Francisco, California

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Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, The Complete Homeowner’s Guide, by Paul Bonine and Amy Campion (Timber Press)

“It might not be sexy, but a careful understanding of where you garden informs the future success of all your gardening efforts. Readers, you are in good hands.” —reviewed by Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor, Pacific Horticulture

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Pretty Tough Plants, 135 Resilient, Water-Smart Choices for a Beautiful Garden, by Plant Select (Timber Press)

“Plant Select uses a rigorous and highly selective process to choose plants that will thrive with less—less care, less water, less fuss—while still providing beauty in a landscape that has a lighter impact on the environment.” —reviewed by Steve Gerischer, Los Angeles, California

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A New Garden Ethic, Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future, by Benjamin Vogt (New Society Publishers)

“This book’s message is universal: there is a greater purpose in designing gardens and landscapes that goes beyond the whims and desires of our clients or even our own artistic vision. And this message applies to all regions.” —reviewed by Jacky Surber, Los Angeles, California

Grow What You Love, 12 Food Families to Change Your Life, by Emily Murphy. 2018 Firefly Books Ltd.

Grow What You Love, 12 Food Families to Change Your Life, by Emily Murphy (Firefly Books)

“…a tantalizingly simple invitation to tend a garden-based life filled with flavor, health, and happiness.”

Desert Gardens of Steve Martino

Desert Gardens of Steve Martino, by Caren Yglesias (Monacelli Press)

“Colorful walls, desert natives, and gardens that work with the desert, rather then deny it. When he began his practice, there was little to no recognition of the desert as a desirable garden influence.” —reviewed by Loree Bohl

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Roy Lancaster, My life with plants, by Roy Lancaster (Filbert Press/Royal Horticultural Society)

“Roy Lancaster’s accounting of his all-consuming passion for the natural world—80 years and counting.” —reviewed by Daniel Hinkley

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Sustainable Stormwater Management, A Landscape-Driven Approach to Planning and Design, by Tom Liptan with J. David Santen Jr. (Timber Press)

“…it all comes down to putting water in the landscape. …Liptan fully acknowledges that daylighting water management is a huge paradigm shift from traditional underground piping and storage systems. A radical new solution with roots in antiquity.” —reviewed by Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor, Pacific Horticulture

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Land on Fire, The New Reality of Wildfire in the West, by Gary Ferguson (Timber Press)

“We must develop an educated approach to understanding how fire within the Western landscape has changed and adapt accordingly. We must build more resilient, less vulnerable communities, and adopt fire-wise landscaping practices in the wildland-urban interface.” —reviewed by Mary Ann Newcomer, Boise, Idaho

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Gardening with Foliage First, 127 dazzling combinations that pair the beauty of leaves with flowers, bark, berries, and more, by Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz (Timber Press

“Sandwiched among the beautiful, lush photos is a veritable buffet of plant information. The best use of each plant is described along with information about how to grow it successfully. … Lush, beautiful, and filled with a bounty of information, this is a nice addition to the design shelf of your garden book library.” —reviewed by Sue Goetz, Tacoma, Washington

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Shinrin-Yoku, The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing, by Yoshifumi Miyazaki (Timber Press)

“This beautiful, small, quiet book contains a powerful message. By connecting with nature we can enrich our lives and find relief from a world that shows no sign of slowing down. Give yourself this gift, and then share it with others.” —reviewed by Lorene Edwards Forkner, editor, Pacific Horticulture