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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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.…

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Vertical Vegetables: Simple Projects that Deliver More Yield in Less Space (Cool Springs Press, 2018) by Twin Cities-based garden blogger Amy Andrychowicz describes a variety of easy projects for gardeners who have limited space but want to grow lots of vegetables and flowers. Andrychowicz is the proprietor of GetBusyGardening.com, a very successful website for beginning…

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While many gardeners plant coneflowers, milkweed, black-eyed Susans and other blooming plants to help butterflies, ornamental grasses are also vital to the eco-system of these important creatures. A new, free e-book by Prof. Mary H. Meyer and Diane Narem describes the best ornamental grasses for cold climates AND which ones are most used by butterflies.…

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