Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Garden Book Reviews

Irises, Native Foods, & Everything for the Landscape

Magic of Irises would make a great gift for anyone who loves to grow flowers.  Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day are just around the corner and graduation is coming up soon.  Or maybe you’re the one who deserves a gift.  This attractive coffee table book might be just what you need to get conversations started at your next Secret Garden Club meeting and it will help you plan some surprises in your borders.  You will find sections on “The Lore and Legends of Irises;” ‘Irises in American Gardens;” “Bearded Irises,” including tall, medium, and miniature, as well as reblooming; “Beardless Irises,” including those native to Siberia, the Pacific Northwest, Louisiana, and Japan.  Bulbous irises as well as pest, diseases, propagation, and botany are also covered. The luscious photos will have you scrambling for bulb and iris catalogs and finding special spots to tuck in these vibrant treasures. The best part of all is - irises do well here in Bigfoot Valley! Magic of Irises, Barbara Lawton, Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN 1-55591-267-2

Native American Gardening includes ancient stories and myths, traditional gardening plans, and garden related crafts, activities, and recipes. Everything you need to know to grow a bountiful crop and learn about northeast and southwest tribal gardening traditions is included.  Each section either begins or ends with a traditional story. These stories illustrate where the information shared began and its place of importance in the culture. Basic outdoor education is covered, including a reminder to be respectful of the creatures that are often found in the garden and the roles they play in nature. Most sections include activities that could be used as classroom curriculum. Traditional children’s crafts, toys, and games have been adapted; many using items the children will be able to help grow. Instructions and illustrations are well thought out, clear, and easy to follow.  This is a very rich resource for anyone who wants to share or explore traditional Native American gardening practices.  Native American Gardening, Michael J. Caduto, Joseph Bruchac, Fulcrum Publishing, ISBN 1-55591-148-X

Sunset’s Western Garden Book has been completely revised and updated.  This is the preeminent gardening guide for the western states. The region is divided into more than 20 climate zones, each more specific than those provided by the USDA system.  The river valleys here in Humboldt and Trinity counties are Sunset zone 14 as opposed to USDA zone 8.  This is a good thing to keep in mind when browsing the plant listings looking for that special specimen for your garden. The browsing is terrific!  There are over 8,000 plants listed – 500 of them brand new to this edition.  The new expanded plant encyclopedia now includes many color illustrations. The information on zones, the plants need for sun, shade, and water are clearly highlighted.  This brand new book was just released in February; it should be available in book stores and garden centers right now!  It will make a great gift for plant collectors, landscapers, and anyone who loves to garden.  Western Garden Book, edited by Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Sunset, ISBN (soft cover) 978-0-376-03916-3 (hard cover) 978-0-376-03917-0 

Published, April 2007, Bigfoot Valley News, in my regular column, The Book Worm.  A full scan of the original article as published can he found here:  Book Reviews: Spring in the Garden.

Note on images:  The book cover images were optimized for black and white printing on newsprint, as they were found in the originally published article.  

Second North American, second serial, or reprint rights available. The article can be broken up into smaller pieces if you are looking for filler.  I am also willing to do a limited amount of rewriting and updating. 

Text, Copyright Harvest McCampbell, 2007.  This article, in full or in part, may be reprinted or reposted with written permission only. For more information send me an e-mail to:  harvest95546 @ (take out spaces). 

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