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The Gardens of Spring

Spring (even this spring) is our favorite garden season in the Northwest. It can start early on a warm January day when white hellebores and “pink ladies” burst into blossom and then continues in fits and starts all the way to early June when gardeners debate like medieval alchemists when to put their tomatoes out. There is frustration, joy, damp earth, hard work, certainties, and infinite questions. For the questions we turn to a wonderful bookshelf of garden books--a shelf that mirrors the infinite variety of the pleasures of the garden. From the urbane Brit Beverly Nichols to the profane local Ciscoe Morris, it’s a riot of colorful personalities and sage advice. Here’s a few titles that stand out this spring, chosen personally by Roger, the man with the green thumb.

Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations Cover Image
ISBN: 9781584799016
Availability: Usually Available in 1-5 Days
Published: Stewart, Tabori & Chang - March 1st, 2012

A stunning book by an expert gardener on a subject that is perhaps the most difficult and most interesting in gardening: How to combine plants taking into effect the multiple dimensions of season, texture, color, etc. Probably the prettiest book I have seen in five years. 5 stars.

The New Western Garden Book: The Ultimate Gardening Guide Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780376039200
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Sunset - February 7th, 2012

When I first started gardening in the Northwest I wore out a couple copies of this book. It was and still is the bible. No one book answers everything
but this gets the closest. Best revision in years, too.

Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780865716841
Availability: Out of Print
Published: New Society Publishers - March 29th, 2011

The title pretty much states it all. We have had an explosion of home gardening and home gardening books here in the NW. This one seems to cover all the bases and is a nice balance of not too simple and not too complex.

The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393329971
Availability: Usually Available in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 17th, 2007

A poet reflects upon a century in the garden. A very special 100-year-old man writes about lifetime tending plants. A book I treasure and give to gardening friends.

Petal & Twig: Seasonal Bouquets with Blossoms, Branches, and Grasses from Your Garden Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781570617669
Availability: Special Order
Published: Sasquatch Books - January 31st, 2012

A local author and part of the new Northwest flower movement.

Grow Your Own Flesh-Eating Plants!: Everything You Need for the Care & Feeding of Your Venus Fly Trap Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781604332230
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Applesauce Press - March 27th, 2012

Get the kids involved. Rid yourself of pesky flies. Totally cool package. The real deal.