As a gardener who likes to use as many native plants as fit (both physically and aesthetically) in my urban yard, Alan Branhagen’s new book will be an often consulted guide. Branhagen, who is director of operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and former director of horticulture at Powell Gardens in Kansas City, has two…

Read More

In The Earth in Her Hands (Timber Press, 2020), Jennifer Jewell introduces readers to 75 women in horticulture and gardening. Some are names you’ll recognize from plant tags or seed packets, such as Renee Shepherd of Renee’s Garden Seeds or Annie Hayes of Annie’s Annuals and Perennials. Some are famous for other endeavors, such as…

Read More

One of the mantras often repeated by garden designers is “think foliage first, then flowers.” Foliage lasts throughout the growing season and sometimes hangs on into winter, while flowers on trees, shrubs and perennials tend to be fleeting. In this book by Washington-state based garden designers Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, foliage is both the…

Read More

Growing roses in New Brunswick, Canada, nursery owner Bob Osborne knows a thing or two about cold-climate gardening. He’s recently released the third edition of his book, Hardy Roses: The Essential Guide for High Latitudes and Altitudes (Firefly Books, 2020). This is a great book for those new to rose growing or someone who has grown…

Read More

In honor of Earth Day 2020, we’re posting this book review from our May/June 2020 issue of Northern Gardener. We share author Douglas Tallamy’s belief that home gardens are “nature’s best hope,” and that gardeners will play a significant role in conserving the Earth, one garden at a time. In Nature’s Best Hope (Timber Press,…

Read More

Search for “pollinator” in the books section of Amazon.com, and about 750 titles pop up,  most of them written in the past decade as pollinator decline and concern about it has risen. Kim Eierman, founder of EcoBeneficial, explains the need to plant for pollinators in the context of victory gardens in her new book The…

Read More

This review originally appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. Knowing that Summer Rayne Oakes lives in a Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment with about 1,000 plants, I expected her first gardening book to be about houseplant care. While you can learn elements of plant care from this book, How to Make a Plant Love…

Read More

This review by Julie Jensen originally appeared in the November/December issue of Northern Gardener. In his new book, Mini Meadows: Create a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere Around Your Yard (Storey Publishing, 2019), Mike Lizotte uses an expansive definition of a meadow—a garden that is “loose and informal and … doesn’t take a lot…

Read More

This review originally appeared in the July/August issue of Northern Gardener. In Creating Sanctuary (Timber Press, 2018), author Jessi Bloom interweaves gardening practices with those of meditation, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic medicine. Readers familiar with organic and sustainable gardening philosophies will find many common techniques in Bloom’s work. As the book’s subtitle—Sacred Garden Spaces, Plant-Based Medicine,…

Read More

It’s spring, and along with the daffodils and spring ephemerals, it’s a time when new books of interest to gardeners emerge. Here are four mini book reviews of newer books we like. A Way to Garden (Timber Press, 2019) by Margaret Roach is a revision to the book Roach published more than 20 years ago.…

Read More