The year in trees: superb woody plants for four-season gardens

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Here are some of the most widely available AGM varieties:. Choose a sheltered site where trees are protected from late spring frosts, cold winds and scorching summer sun. Maples prefer well-drained soil containing plenty of compost to lock in moisture and ensure the ground never dries out. Spread a deep mulch of leaf-mould, compost or shredded bark over the soil around maples to retain moisture and reduce annual weed growth. For growing in containers choose large and stable terracotta pots with several drainage holes in their base. Line pots with a sheet of plastic before filling with compost to reduce water loss through the sides.

Do remember that established trees will need repotting into larger pots every few years. Keep the top of the compost a few inches below the pot rim to make watering from above easier, covering the surface with a mulch of pebbles or ornamental gravel. Water regularly with collected rainwater, and stand pots in saucers of water to provide a reservoir for trees to take up each day during hot, dry periods.

Tree roots can be susceptible to frost damage in winter, so either move pots to sheltered sites or wrap with bubble polythene insulation. Try combining maples with other plants and features and ornaments to create areas with Oriental charm. However, Japanese maples should not be smothered by neighbouring plants, so always give them space to flourish. Plant a rainbow of colour to welcome in spring by packing patio pots and filling flower beds with primulas and polyanthus.

These cheerful bedding plants offer great value, flowering their hearts out for weeks on end to brighten your outlook on even the dullest of days. New varieties are continually being bred offering outstanding garden performance, larger flowers and better resistance to the vagaries of our weather. Although single-coloured flowers are always popular also look out for bicolours, double and rosebud types, plus wonderfully scented new varieties too.

Bold blocks of primulas always look striking, but impressive displays can also be created by combining them with other spring bedding, flowering bulbs and foliage plants too. Small pot grown plants are available now in full flower, making them perfect for creating instant displays in any garden, patio or courtyard.

Primulas are one of the most popular wildflowers too. Make your own grassy meadow or plant banks, verges and other natural areas with dainty Primroses Primula vulgaris and Cowslips Primula veris. Keep watered if conditions are dry and these hardy perennials will quickly establish, flowering and setting seed to slowly spread and cover the area with their progeny. Primula enthusiasts often move on from growing bedding varieties to picking choice varieties of Auricula to grow and display in small terracotta pots on patios or shelved Auricula Theatres. A Victorian favourite, hundreds of exquisite varieties of these evergreen perennials have been bred over the years.

Many have deeply coloured and patterned petals surrounding a white or golden eye, with rosettes of leathery leaves often intriguingly coated with a powdery bloom. For damp shady sites and boggy or poolside gardens there are several Asiatic primulas that flower from late spring through into summer. Look out for:. Plant in spring so plants develop strongly to establish and bloom well this summer. Deadhead regularly to remove faded flowers and keep displays looking their best. The compost in patio pots can get waterlogged during wet weather, so always put a layer of coarse gravel or similar drainage material in the base of pots before filling with compost.

Temporarily move pots to a sheltered position if snow or bad weather is forecast. Cheeky sparrows and other birds sometimes peck at primroses, damaging their blooms. Some people have noted that blue varieties often avoid their attentions. Fancy growing primulas from seed? Choose from a range of spring bedding plants, flowering bulbs and hardy perennials to create colourful displays for patio pots and flowerbeds. Here are some ideas of the flowers you could choose as companion plants for primulas and polyanthus.

Few hardy shrubs signal the end of winter better than camellias, highly valued for their stunning floral displays and fresh, glossy, evergreen foliage. Their ultimate size, habit and rate of growth vary immensely too, so consider how much space the camellia will need as it grows. Camellia flowers vary in size and shape too, and their forms can be divided into six descriptive groups depending on the number of petals and their pattern or arrangement within the flower.

These forms are described as Single, Semi-double, Anemone-form, Peony-form, Rose-form double or Formal double, so take your pick from the ones that most appeal. Like azaleas and rhododendrons, camellias are ericaceous plants, and this means they need to grow in an acid or lime-free soil to ensure they stay healthy. Alternatively, compact varieties of camellia grow well in large pots or half-barrels filled with ericaceous compost, available in garden centres. Grown in the right soil and position camellias usually flower reliably with little care and attention, growing larger over time to develop into impressive flowering shrubs.

Most camellias rarely need pruning, but if they outgrow their position individual shoots can be shortened, and plants can even regrow well if cut back hard into old wood. Where space is available develop a seasonal bed including a camellia or two and other evergreens and early flowering plants to provide welcome colour through late winter and into early spring.

Literally hundreds of camellia varieties are available from nurseries across the country with numerous colours, forms and sizes. Most have glossy green foliage, but some variegated varieties are also available. The very best camellias are given an Award of Garden Merit AGM by the Royal Horticultural Society to indicate their superb garden performance, and here are some of the most popular. Early flowering camellias can be damaged by frost, so position plants in a sheltered part of your garden.

Move pots to sheltered sites during bad weather. Cover bushes with sheets of fleece to protect buds and blooms on frosty nights, removing it once conditions warm-up in the morning. Water camellias with collected rain water if possible. Some tap water contains high levels of lime often referred to as hard water , so avoid using this to water camellias and other ericaceous plants. Grown in chalky soil or irrigated with hard tap water the leaves of camellias usually turn pale and yellow.

Feeding these plants with an ericaceous plant food or iron sequestrene can help them regain their glossy green appearance. Camellias start forming flower buds during late summer and autumn, so make sure plants never go short of water through the year or poor flower development and bud drop can result. Make the most of the green framework of camellias to provide support for summer flowering clematis. Plant clematis in the shade at the base of camellias, and let shoots scramble up and over stems to support their summer displays.

Did you know that some camellias flower through autumn and into winter? Look out for varieties of Camellia sasanqua to provide this welcome winter colour. And as an added bonus their flowers are often wonderfully fragrant too! Upright growing. Choose a range of hardy shrubs, flowering perennials and bulbs to grow in combination with camellias, as well as a selection of ground covering plants that will spread out over the soil beneath bushes. Add the wow factor to your winter garden with striking plants that look their best right now. While a coating of frost or snow creates temporary magical moments, unifying our gardens with its icy frosting, the excitement really starts when it melts away to reveal winter displays full of colour, character and charm.

A choice selection of the very hardiest plants put on their best show in the depths of winter, providing a bright outlook from the comfort of your armchair, and an even warmer welcome when you step outside. Gold blooms really shine out on gloomy days, so look out for dramatic Witch Hazels that produce clusters of small fragrant flowers with petals like dainty ribbons, transforming the otherwise naked stems of this hardy shrub.

Evergreen mahonias are equally impressive, with golden sprays of flowers forming at the tip of each shoot. There are several varieties to choose from with different sizes and forms, and flowers on most are followed by the formation of grape-like berries in spring, giving these shrubs their common name of Oregon Grape. In addition to their welcome colour, fragrance is another valuable characteristic of many winter flowering shrubs. And for a shady site take a look at the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, a low-growing and compact perennial whose simple white cup-shaped flowers can be picked and floated on water in a glass bowl to provide seasonal table decorations.

Winter brings out the best in many plants.


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While flowers are an essential part of this seasonal spotlight, many other characteristics provide winter interest too. A wide range of conifers and evergreen shrubs provide bold forms and fancy foliage. Also look out for plants with colourful wand-like stems, dainty tassel-like catkins, and the tactile barks of many ornamental trees.

Visit your local garden centre now to discover the best plants to create your very own winter wonderland! Witch Hazel Hamamelis varieties Unusual fragrant flowers in clusters of tiny ribbons develop along the entire length of stems. Oregon Grape Mahonia varieties Choose from a range of robust and reliable Mahonias to provide evergreen foliage and golden seasonal flower, followed by black grape-like berries in spring. Christmas Rose Helleborus niger This compact perennial is perfect for a slightly shady position, producing clusters of flowers through winter and into spring. Also look out for the many wonderful Hellebore hybrids now available.

Choose your planting sites carefully. Ensure new plants are positioned in full view from a window or prime position by patio doors so you can enjoy them every time you look outside on dull days. Add winter colour to your front garden to welcome you home and cheer-up your local neighbourhood. Fill patio pots and baskets with hardy winter bedding plants, like pansies and violas with cheerful faces in a kaleidoscope of colours.


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Cover the ground under trees or shrubs with a carpet of Winter Aconites Eranthis hyemalis. Get ready to buy snowdrops too! Plant clumps of winter flowering Iris unguicularis to brighten a dry, sunny spot at the base of a wall or fence, and use blooms as cut flowers to bring indoors. Create striking winter displays by choosing some of the following for your planting combinations:. Ideal to cut and bring indoors! It will soon be Christmas, and what better way to celebrate the season and bring festive cheer to your garden than with two traditional Christmas favourites — Holly and Ivy.

Countless cards carry their image, often with leaves touched by frost or covered with a crisp layer of snow, and your garden displays will have even greater appeal. What better way to welcome visitors over the Christmas period than with a woven wreath made using holly, ivy and other seasonal flowers and foliage picked from the garden.

Both plant families offer a wide range of wonderful evergreen varieties, with many boasting beautifully variegated leaves. Holly is hardy and evergreen, making it an ideal shrub to form part of the backbone or structure every garden needs. The common or English Holly Ilex aquifolium grows across the country, but as well as choosing holly with glossy green leaves there are lots of different cultivars with more colourful foliage.

With thick evergreen growth and spiny foliage, holly is also a good choice of shrub to form a dense and secure boundary hedge to your property.

EVERY Fruit Tree We're Growing Full Garden Tour

Holly can also be tightly clipped into formal shapes and topiary too. Leaf sizes and shapes vary enormously between varieties, so explore the Ilex family to discover more. For instance, the Box-leaved or Japanese Holly is often used to create small topiary features. Or for something a little different search out varieties of Blue Holly Ilex x meserveae that produce deep green leaves with a bluish tinge. Ivy is a valuable climber or ground cover plant, perfect for a shady spot or for cladding bare fences or garden structures.

However, it must be kept within bounds with regular pruning to prevent it spreading too far or becoming invasive. Hundreds of varieties have been bred over the years, and many garden favourites have colourful leaf forms or attractive variegated patterns adding to their appeal. Established ivy carries flowers late in the season that provide valuable nectar for late-flying butterflies and bees, as well as great nesting site opportunities for blackbirds and others.

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Small-leaved ivy trails gracefully down the sides of baskets and containers, the perfect partner for many flowering and foliage plants. So, for a traditional touch to your seasonal displays, check out the varieties of Holly and Ivy available at your local garden centres and nurseries now. Variegated foliage. Prune holly carefully with secateurs to shorten individual shoots rather than a hedge cutter or shears that can tear and damage leaves. Established, overgrown holly can be cut back hard in spring to encourage new growth to develop from nearer the base to revitalise old plants.

Ivy can be invasive, so check growth regularly through the year, snipping off wayward shoots to keep plants in check. Plain green shoots sometimes develop on variegated plants. The Year in Trees will help gardeners throughout the country find exciting new plants to enliven the landscape. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller. Book Description Timber Press, Incorporated, Condition: New.

Never used!. Seller Inventory P Seller Inventory M Book Description Timber Press, Incorporated. Seller Inventory NEW Ships with Tracking Number! Throughout all the stories, there are questions asking what is possible. Can native bees provide better solutions for our pollinating needs? Can we provide better solutions for the needs of native bees? The author provides some answers to these questions, but I think her underlying goal is that we join her on a journey to a better understanding and appreciation of the diversity of bees, especially native bees. This is an effort to understand and protect a barely surviving old ecosystem, mostly destroyed by centuries of human activities.

This small subject, about 38 square kilometers, or just a bit bigger than Mercer Island, includes the fast-flowing River Spey and Loch Garten, which at 47 hectares is about half the size of Green Lake.

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While small, Abernethy includes "the largest of the remaining fragments of the pine forest that once extended across Highland Scotland" and is "incredibly rare in Britain and therefore precious for nature conservation and science. To achieve these ends, much maintenance is required and they relish this work. Both Marietta and Ernie grew up loving nature. Both had college degrees in biology and worked together in their own landscape management company for much of their careers, but when it came to their own garden, they made plenty of horticultural mistakes, especially in the early years.

While this at first seems like a book for the gardening elite, I encourage beginners to give it a read. As they spent more and more time in their own garden, the authors eventually curtailed some of the maintenance business to start their own nursery. This latter continues today as a wholesale business exclusively selling hellebores. A chapter highlights the beauties they have developed, especially the Winter Jewels series, with stunning photographs.

This book also includes a very helpful chapter on their maintenance practices, and maps of the garden inside both covers, in case you get lost during the written tour. Their plant palette is very broad, including many natives but also challenging-to-grow plants from around the world. Many of these are grown from seed — often there is no other way to obtain these plants. Would that we humans could be as comradely as is the diverse plant world here represented. Linda Chalker-Scott has written several books found in the Miller Library — all intended to help the home gardener make more savvy choices and dispel many gardening myths that do not stand up to the rigor of scientific review.

Now she brings the same messages to a new format. These cover the whole range of gardening culture and techniques — almost everything except an A-Z encyclopedia of recommended plants. The emphasis is on woody plants and includes considerable detail on growth processes and the ecology of your garden.

A book accompanies the set. It follows the same lessons plans and even includes some questions or projects for you as the student. However, I think the visual presentation is richer as Chalker-Scott is a skilled teacher and presenter, and she capably incorporates graphics and video examples to augment her well-researched viewpoints. Leo Hitchcock, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on For Pacific Northwest botanists of all levels, the one-volume book informally known as "Hitchcock" has been standard equipment since its publication in Leo Hitchcock and Arthur Cronquist, was intended as a field version of the five-volume flora Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, written by the same authors with two additional botanists and two illustrators from Changes in taxonomy, especially from molecular studies, plus newly described taxa and the establishment of non-native species which this flora includes have created a long overdue need for an update.

Like the first edition, this book attempts to be comprehensive in its presentation of species, subspecies, and varieties throughout Washington, most of Oregon and Idaho, the western part of Montana, and southern British Columbia. The first edition introduced the new at the time idea of embedding the species descriptions and illustrations within the taxonomic keys. This proved to be a good decision. It has remained a best-seller for University of Washington Press for the last four decades.

At pages the first edition had , it is perhaps a bit hefty for field work, but this is a must for your work desk. The Miller Library has a lending copy of the new edition, and keeps non-circulating copies of both editions and the earlier volumes of Vascular Plants. Be sure to take a look at this new standard for our regional botany!

The Rodale name has long been associated with organic gardening, and books from Rodale Press make up a significant part of the Miller Library's section on this subject. The company's magazine Organic Gardening, under that name and similar titles, was a mainstay of garden periodicals from the midth century until it ceased publication in What is the bigger story behind this name? In part, this is a biography of J. Rodale and his son, Robert Rodale It also is an analysis of the mid- to later 20th century movement, in many ways sparked by this family effort, for self-improvement through healthy life choices, including gardening practices and diet.

Reading this history, I particularly enjoyed a study of the etymology of the word "organic. As the play on words in the title would suggest, the family's story is not completely altruistic. There was a market for their products and they were eager to meet and promote customers' demands. However, this grew out of zeal for sharing their personal beliefs. Rodale's] estimation, soils, plants, animals, and people all had a proper diet. Those proper diets were disrupted in the age of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the health of people, plants, animals, and soils was breaking down as a result.

The author also analyzes the role the Rodales played in the broader environmental movement of the s and s. For all who are researching or working in fields that were affected — or even created — by the changes in societal attitudes towards our collective stewardship of the environment at that time, this is an important history to know. Peterson Peterson, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Fascinated by all the small life forms you find in your garden?

Perhaps not, but it is still valuable for gardeners to know about them. This excellent new field guide provides incredible color photos of over 1, species native to our region. The scope is the phylum Arthropoda, so this includes all the true insects bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, etc. Peterson recognizes the importance of plants to the insect world and visa-versa.

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Did you know that moths are a significant food source for grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains fattening up for their winter hibernation? Many visitors think the Pacific Northwest has limited insect life. As before, he combines just the right touch of personal, local experience — he lives on an unidentified island in the Pacific Northwest — with wide-ranging research. For this book, he traveled to Sri Lanka to investigate a bee-like wasp, and to southern Africa, one of the ecosystems where honey bees are native.

That much is known. This is still a mostly unanswered question, but Hanson seeks out some of most recent research and insightful researchers to explore the possibilities. Why there and then? During the course, Hanson became smitten with an alkali bee Nomia sp. This is not a small-scale operation. There are an estimated million nesting female alkali bees scattered over acres.

There are other local connections, too. The author profiles Brian Griffin of Bellingham, well-known amongst gardeners and fruit-growers for his commercializing and promotion of keeping orchard mason bees. Hanson also made his own discovery, finding a cliff on a neighboring island to his own that is home to , digger bees — the largest know population of such bees — amongst a complex community of several other types of bees, wasps, flies, and beetles.

McNulty is an excellent essayist and the subject is a mostly unspoiled, large-scale ecosystem, from seashore to mountaintops, the latter easily seen on a clear day from Seattle. This is not an identification book or field guide. There are photographs, but they mostly set the mood of the book by being clustered up front. Instead, this a reading book, intended to be savored cover-to-cover, to gain an understanding of the flora and the fauna in broad settings: the mountains, the forests, and the coast.

The author concludes with the human history of the region, especially pre-European, and the much more recent struggle to establish and maintain the integrity of the national park and its ecosystems. This newest edition is the same as the previous in large part, but includes the story of the removal of dams on the Elwha River. It also updates efforts to restore the animal life as found prior to the influence by European and eastern North American settlers, with the reintroduction of fishers and the removal of non-native mountain goats.

The Olympic Peninsula is sometimes described as a refugia, a place where plant and animal species survived while disappearing from nearby locations.

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This is in part because of the wide range of topographical niches, caused by extreme changes both in elevation and rainfall over short distances. Species could adapt by moving to nearby, suitable habitats. Earlier history is part of this story, too. Leo Hitchcock and Arthur C. Cronquist , Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Hitchcock was a long-time professor of botany at the University of Washington. He was also a gardener, and many references remain in the 2nd edition regarding the ornamental qualities and garden adaptability of the subjects.

Like the first edition, this book attempts to be comprehensive in its presentation of species, subspecies, and varieties throughout Washington, much of Oregon and Idaho, the western part of Montana, and southern British Columbia. It has remained a best-seller for the University of Washington Press for the last four decades. At pages the first edition had , it is perhaps a bit hefty for field work, but this is a must for your home garden library. The aforementioned use of abbreviations keeps it from becoming even bigger, and this is a bit of a challenge for reading at first. But after a while, this shorthand becomes familiar.

Can we tend to our sense of self the way we tend to a garden? Can a garden teach us self-acceptance and resilience? A garden contains beauty in many forms, and a tree is not better than a ground cover: "They're both beautiful […] even though they're so different. Brady, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on This venerable publication — the first edition was in — can be read in depth, but at over 1, pages more likely will be used as a reference book for learning about a particular interest or to solve a specific problem.

Throughout, it is very readable, and will be of value to those at almost all levels of soils knowledge. While this new edition is restricted to use in the Miller Library, the still authoritative fourteenth edition from is available to check out. But this list is placed at the end with good reason.

It is not the place to start! Instead, the authors thoughtfully take you through the many considerations that go into a rain garden. First of all, why do we need them in our supposedly rainy climate? How do the various areas of our region differ in their rainfall and geological factors? What do our various cities, counties, and other government entities think about or allow with rain gardens?

Once you have a handle on these questions, you need to look at your own property. What permits do I need? Are there incentive programs in my area for rain gardens? How do I want to incorporate this new major project into my outdoor living space, so that it only positively affects my home and the properties of my neighbors? Finally, what do I actually need to buy from the hardware store and nursery to build and plant a rain garden? These are many questions, but this book takes you through them systematically and in great detail. Many instructive photographs and building diagrams will help, too.

I soon found myself getting intrigued by the process. Building a rain garden is not a simple process to complete over a free weekend, but if you are serious about it, this book will be an excellent resource. With fronds like these, who needs anemones? This old horticultural quip inspired the title Fronds and Anemones, a book of essays by William Allan Plummer.

In his preface he warns, "I am an incorrigible punster, for which I make no apology. Fun aside, these collected essays reveal the author as a keen and skilled observer of the native birds and wildflowers around his home in upstate New York. He also reflects on his discoveries as an avid gardener, with a particular interest in ferns. This latter interest led him to join the Hardy Fern Foundation.

In the summer of , this organization, along with the British Pteridological Society, sponsored a "Best of the West Fern Excursion" to explore both the gardening and natural attractions found in Washington State. The emphasis, of course, was on those sites rich in ferns. The resulting essays, which form a significant part of this book, make an outstanding travelogue to some of the best gardens of the region.

These include public gardens such as the Elisabeth C. Those issues are available in the Miller Library, but I recommend reading Plummer's writings in the context of his other fine work found in this book. Link to this review permalink Hey Kids! Editor's note: An emergent curriculum builds on the interests of students, developing as they learn.

Rather than being entirely set in advance, emergent curricula grow naturally from the chosen environment indoor or outdoor , the curiosity of children, and the instructor's knowledge and experience. A good walk stimulates both mind and body and provides the invigorating theme and energizing structure of Hey Kids! Walking is free, easy, and can be done almost anywhere.

Redleaf includes appendices to help teachers organize the excursions. At the early childhood level, Rhoda Redleaf's approach is emergent curriculum, with an emphasis on human relationships and language development while exploring common everyday experiences that are engaging and meaningful to children. You, the adults in their world, provide the bridges from the unknown to the known," writes Redleaf.

The book is full of ideas to explore and to build on, involving flexibility and creativity on the part of the adults as well as an openness to seeing where the learning takes the children. Both adults and children take initiative and make decisions. Children's thinking and learning are documented with suggested activities related to the walks. Hey Kids! Out the Door, Let's Explore is a valuable resource for teachers with both preschool and primary school children. Plant Conservation Science and Practice: The Role of Botanic Gardens is an in-depth study of botanic gardens, arboreta, seed banks, and similar institutions and the responsibility they have in the conservation of plants on a global scale.

Editors Stephen Blackmore and Sara Oldfield have included the input of an impressive list of botanists, primarily at botanic gardens, to observe what is being done, and to consider improvements, especially through international cooperation. Education and demonstration is an important function of public gardens in the promotion of in situ conservation.

The know-how that researchers and staff of these gardens have developed in ecology, horticulture, and systematics also contribute to these efforts. Ex situ conservation is supported by plant collections — many plants exist only in cultivated settings — and by seed banks, that both preserve and make seeds available for research.

This research includes searching for solutions to food and fuel security. Demonstrating that these solutions do not come at the loss of biodiversity is another important message that botanic gardens teach. In conclusion, the editors look to botanic gardens to continue their public outreach and education, but they expect more. They admonish these institutions to use their special expertise to "take their place as key agents for undoing much of the damage we have inflicted on our planet.

Molly Hashimoto has exhibited her artwork at the Miller Library for many years. Library patrons and staff alike have delighted in her original works, along with sketchbooks, prints, cards, calendars, and other depictions of regional landscapes and animal life. This is in part the story of how she came to embrace watercolor painting en plein air in the open air after seeing the field sketchbooks of Thomas Moran from the late 19th century. His work was instrumental in the creation of the first national park at Yellowstone.


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I felt that I, too, had to create work in the field, to keep sketchbooks and journals to record my own experiences in the outdoors. This book is also an excellent introduction to this style of painting and you quickly learn that Molly is not only an accomplished artist, but also an excellent teacher. This book, like my classes, urges you to just pick up a paintbrush and get started! To be scrupulously honest, over twenty years ago, I drank the blue poppy Kool-Aid.

I was intoxicated, and have pursued this holy grail of plants ever since. This review therefore is biased. I am under the spell of this legendary plant of superb color and known transitory nature. It thrills and then is, in most cases, gone forever. Well, until the next quest and trial. So the chance to revel in pages devoted to the blue poppy is pure joy. What does this volume reveal? Christopher Grey-Wilson is well known for his past works on Meconopsis. This is a trove of information from expert researchers, growers and enthusiasts of the genus. It is a connoisseur's handbook and a very detailed guide for the aspiring Meconopsis grower.

The photos are enticingly beautiful. They are morphologically detailed, illuminating the subtle species differences, aiding in identification, which helps define suitable habitats and growing requirements. For the novice, the photos show the variety of colors beyond the outstanding sapphire blues of Meconopsis 'Lingholm' or M. It's a revelation to see the fancy jewel-tone colors of pinks, purples, double yellows and the aptly named white Meconopsis superba. Go straight to page to see the Meconopsis 'Kilbryde Castle White,' which will shatter your image of poppies, with its white petals streaked with fine blue brush strokes reminiscent of an Andrew Wyeth painting.

This book has so much: genetics, exact cultivation techniques in very handy boxed bullet points , suggested siting, legends and lore of the early poppy hunters to excite your thirst, and excellent descriptions of great gardens and nurseries worldwide where poppy cultivation flourishes…places one might visit. Oh dear. On his faculty website, he describes his research as focused on the "ecology, design, and management of herbaceous vegetation. In his new book, Sowing Beauty , he emphasizes the practical application of this research, especially for developing naturalistic meadows in public spaces.

He is a strong advocate of sowing carefully designed seed mixes, using established plants only as supplements or embellishments. I recommend this book to all who are designing restoration sites, especially larger sites where sowing seeds is advantageous to manage costs. Hitchmough has considerable understanding and practice with the creation of new herbaceous plantings, including restoration of native grass communities in Western Australia.

Much of this hefty tome is a handbook to the many steps required in the design, installation, and future maintenance of any new planting. He includes several case studies. While many of his installations include non-invasive, exotic species, he also provides charts using natives from various regions of the world that are effective in restoration projects. For projects that fall under public scrutiny, Hitchmough considers "how human beings interpret and value" naturalistic plantings, concluding that "human responses are generally very complex, but there are patterns.

Christenhusz et al. Tancin on Christenhusz, Michael F. Fay, and Mark W. Chase is the first book to explore systematically every vascular plant family in the world. The plants are organized in a modern phylogenetic order, in which more than families are described and illustrated. Following an introduction that sets out the various aspects that are covered in the treatments, the entries follow an encyclopedic format with information about distribution, phylogeny and evolution, numbers of genera and species, uses, largest genome, and etymology.

Illustrations are color photographs showing key features of selected representatives. Small global distribution maps are included. The end matter includes a glossary, further reading, general references and index. This ambitious book seems like an important reference work that will set the tone for further works to follow. Best of all is having an author who worked in the Washington Park Arboretum for many years! The same pair collaborated on a book, with Robson taking the lead on that publication.

This new book begins with a short but very meaty introduction chapter covering the basics. For example, in June we learned how to turn an area of your lawn into a garden bed, perfect timing so it will be ready for fall planting. I appreciate that each month begins with a section on planning. What do you want from your garden? What is working well? What needs changing? These activities sections include planting and all aspects of caring for common garden plants ranging from annuals to trees.

Lawns and houseplants are considered, too. You are also encouraged to get out to nurseries and plant festivals, and to see our native plants where and when they are at their peak. Enjoying your own and other gardens is important, too. This is a time for picnics in the shade and leisurely strolls at local parks and gardens. Nita-Jo Rountree move to the Bellevue, Washington 15 years ago after many years as a Master Gardener and the owner of a landscape design and installation company in Atlanta.

She has chosen an impressive list of roses in all classes, all bred for health, or that have proved their durability in our region without a lot of fussing. I have a passing knowledge of rose varieties, mostly from a brief period of heavy immersion in gardening with roses many years ago. At the same time, I learned a lot about the frequent spraying and other chemical rites of rose growing, as this was the expectation in almost every rose books of the time.

Rountree is emphatic in her most important advice. Many books and articles about roses give generic advice for growing roses in a wide range of climates. They are of little specific help for growing roses in the Pacific Northwest. Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz are crusaders for garden foliage. Flowers come later. The authors have created a long list of vignettes of plant combinations. Some are simple, two or three plants, while others are very complex and may include ornaments. The setting can be in a large garden bed, or a simple pot.

Flowers are allowed, but they must compliment the foliage and be chosen for embellishment. They are not the stars of the show. The plans all have crazy names. Why these designs work is carefully explained, along with general culture tips. Best is how the design will change with time. Attention is also drawn to potential problems, such as the invasiveness of the above-mentioned feather grass. I find field guides fascinating and always enjoy reading new ones. There are enough photos and text descriptions to help you recognize the most common plants, animals, bugs, and even the rocks of our mountains.

While field guides with detailed keys or multiple photographs for each species might be better for fine-tuning your plant identification, this is handy if your specimen is occupied by some winged creature — just flip to another part of the book to identify it, too. Interspersed are anecdotes and observations of the more noteworthy genera that make this a delightful book to read from cover to cover. However, it is new to me and I found it quite interesting. Unlike some other all-in-one field guides, plants are not short-changed and — if you include mosses, fungi, and lichens — comprise half of the book.

The essays on the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers are delightful. For example, the glacier Erythronium grandiflorum and avalanche E. How would it be to spend a whole year observing a forest, the changing seasons and all the beings — plants and animals — that lived there. She lived on the edge of the Harvard Forest, a 3, acre managed research forest in Petersham, Massachusetts, over 60 miles west of the main Harvard campus.

To focus her attention, she concentrates on one tree, a northern red oak Quercus rubra , of early middle age for this species. She examines this tree in every conceivable way, and with the help of experts from many professional and avocational perspectives. She also considers the humans that interact with the tree and the forest, including the cultural history of the area, and its impact on the natural history.

Throughout there is an ongoing consideration of climate and other changes in the forest. Both from the long view over millennia, and the more recent changes, such as the increase of the hemlock woolly adelgid Adelges tsugae , and near demise of such forest stalwarts as the American elm Ulmus americana and the American chestnut Castanea dentata. Some of this is told from the supposed perspective of her beloved hundred-plus-year-old red oak. Mapes stayed in New England during the winter of , one of the coldest and snowiest on record.

However, if your goals are not quite so ambitious, there is still a lot of advice here for creating a cutting patch in your own garden and using the bounty for filling vases and many other purposes. Primary author Erin Benzakein speaks from a lot of experience. Her farm began as a big patch of sweet peas, grown in memory of her beloved, gardening great-grandmother.

Friends requested cut flowers. The tears and emotional memories evoked in one recipient was an epiphany for Benzakein. Witnessing the profound impact that a simple bouquet could have on a person, I knew I had discovered something worth pursuing. And not just flowers. She encourages growing at least as many plants for their leaves, seed pods, colorful branches, and other features as supporting cast — or stars in their own right — for your arrangements.

She also encourages the use of grasses, shrubs, trees, and even vegetables in your cutting plans; a spray of tomatoes — in various stages of ripeness — has considerable ornamental value. To this end, there is an introduction to all the equipment familiar to a florist. Many of these are useful to the home arranger for various projects involving both fresh and dried flowers. The most striking photo and there are many in the book is of the author wearing a spring crown of ranunculus, viburnum, muscari, and campanula!

The popularity of birding in our region sparked the release of two new birding books with nearly identical titles by major regional publishers. If you are serious about identifying the birds in your garden or on your local travels, you clearly need both books! The photography is one of the outstanding features of both, and the photos capture a very wide range of species, often with multiple images to show variation in sexes, juveniles, breeding plumage, and other color forms. Throughout there is help with identification between near look-alikes, and the authors address behaviors, bird songs, specifics on where to find rarer birds, and conservation status.

The Timber Press book includes helpful and practical introductions to most species. This began in childhood. Although this path would have likely led to a more profitable career, Lanham realized his heart had a different goal, and is now a Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University. This was not an easy choice, and Lanham laments that very few other men of color have pursued the same career path.

It also is sometimes a dangerous choice; black men found with binoculars in a rural setting may risk their lives. Thomas Liptan introduces his new book, Sustainable Stormwater Management , by recounting an aha! This book is an easy-to-read summation of the lessons the author has learned over his career, and is recommended for anyone considering stormwater management projects, large or small. He is both upbeat in encouraging innovation and pragmatic in the need to have results that are functional, economically sound, long-lasting, and look good.

Most engaging are the many case studies and the practicalities of choosing plants and structural materials. Liptan has worked in Portland for many years and uses this city for many of his examples. Given our similar climate, rainfall, and interest in sustainable development, this is an excellent book for projects in the Seattle area, too. Confused by plant families? Having trouble keeping track of recent changes based on DNA and other molecular research?

RHS Genealogy for Gardeners can help with these questions. This is an excellent book for field botanists, or anyone interested in understanding the relationships between plants in any setting. Bayton has his PhD in taxonomy, while Maughan has an extensive background in writing, editing, and publishing both botanical and horticultural works. The combination means this book has scientific accuracy and is very readable for those with all levels of botanical knowledge. Family descriptions include basic characteristics, the genetic history, best-known genera, and the important uses of the members, including as ornamentals and for food crops or other plant-based products.

The best we currently have to rely on are our own observational skills. I read a lot of gardening books — one of the joys of my profession! Somehow, the British author Val Bourne had escaped my attention until now, but I will watch eagerly for her future writings. Her new book, The Living Jigsaw , is a delight. I had a hard time putting it down. Reading this book is like looking at your garden with a close-up lens. As suggested by the title, Bourne is very interested in the inner workings of and the interplay between plants, insects, and other animals, especially as they influence the health and robustness of her garden.

Her pesticide free garden — she is opposed to even so-called 'natural insecticides' — thrives with careful planning and management. Many of her gardening principles were tested when she moved from an established garden that was dry and stony, to a new, unmanaged garden with fertile soil and underground springs. She had to make new choices of plants and plant combinations — some old favorites didn't succeed in the new conditions.

Of course, the animals in her garden are UK natives. Try as I might, nothing I do in my garden will encourage hedgehogs. However, Bourne's garden practices are very applicable to the Pacific Northwest, and her annotated listing of "Top Plants for an Eco-Friendly Garden" has many worthwhile selections for our gardens. Brown, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Published in , it surveyed the best practices for pruning used on the numerous and wide-ranging woody plants of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew near London.

Brown died in Tony Kirkham, the current head of the arboretum, gardens, and horticultural services at Kew, updated his work with a second edition in This new book is most obviously different by its inclusion of the excellent photographs by Andrea Jones. These not only illustrate pruning challenges and techniques for addressing them, they act as a guide to the collections at Kew, showing a wide selection of woody ornamentals suitable for any temperate garden or arboretum.

While trees predominate, there is a good selection of shrubs and vines, too. Each entry describes the growth habit and the reasons for pruning, which is some cases is "little pruning needed. If you are attending outdoor Shakespeare plays this summer and enjoy plants, this book is for you! For example, cockle, a flowering weed found in wheat fields, is metaphorically used to describe corruption. The foreword is by Helen Mirren, who has taken on many Shakespeare roles, including switching up the male character Prospero in The Tempest. Mirren notes her love of gardening began during her time with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.

This book is pure pleasure: you can thumb through and find a quotation about your favorite plant or learn something new in Botanicals Defined: Syllabic Sketches at the back of the book. I learned that beans seem to suffer from a low reputation in Shakespeare, and are often used as horse feed or food only fit for the poor.

On our wish list, this dictionary is not currently available in local libraries. I recently read and returned a new book to the Elisabeth C. As I told Laura Blumhagen, this is one of the most important books I have ever read. In just pages, it contains a rich world that eloquently presents the complexity of our gardening landscapes and practices. Reading the book feels as if you are speaking with its author, and as if he were a lifelong friend.