Some of my Favourite Gardening Books (Part I)

By: Anne Corke

Aug 07 2011

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Category: Gardening, Photography

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Is it part of the gardening culture to collect gardening books? I believe so. My bookshelf sags under the weight of my gardening books. I thought I would share with you some of my favourites. For general reference and good practical advice, you can’t go wrong with Lois Hole’s series: Perennial Favourites, Rose Favourites, Favourite Trees and Shrubs, etcetera. Lois Hole lived and gardened in St. Albert in northern Alberta. You can rest assured that any plant that made it into her books is reliably hardy here. The Daylily (Peat & Petit) is an excellent reference for daylily fanciers and their Color Encyclodedia of Daylilies is full of pictures of all those daylilies that you covet! It’s a great book to drool over during those long winter nights while your daylilies are sleeping. For some beautiful closeup photography of the daylilies of We’re in the Hayfield Now gardens, check out Norman Track’s book Daylilies published in 1997. I’m a lazy gardener so I can highly recommend The Rusty Rake Gardener, Beautiful Canadian Gardens with Minimum Toil, by David and Cathy Cummins. It’s full of information which will free up more of your leisure time for sitting and sipping in your garden. Jennifer Bennett’s Lilacs for the Garden and Dry Land Gardening are two more excellent books for Canadian gardeners. The first is a comprehensive guide to lilac culture with lots of gorgeous photos. The second is a xeriscaping guide for dry summer, cold winter climates, more relevant than ever as we all try to conserve water. For the rose lover, Roses for Canadian Gardens (Osborne & Powning) is most worthwhile and beautifully illustrated. Just planning a garden and wondering what colours to use?  The Gardener’s Palette (Sydney Eddison) and Color for Adventurous Gardeners (Christopher Lloyd) are sure to give you some great ideas for your colour scheme. Another worthwhile book for those in the planning stage is Steve Whysall’s 100 Best Plants for the Ontario Garden, a great reference book with good advice about reliable plants , “the botanical bones of great gardening”, for our little corner of the world. And if you really want to understand all those botanical names, brush up on your Latin with Gardener’s Latin (Neal) and amaze your friends and fellow gardeners! Some of these books may be out of print. If you can’t find them through the regular channels, try a great resource for used books. These are just a few of my favourites. Stay tuned for Part II, and some favourite garden fiction (there’s even a naughty one!) Happy Gardening!

Copyright 2011 Anne Corke

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