Califonia Bountiful

Book review bonus: Gardeners’ delight

Mar./Apr. 2010 California Country magazine

As the weather warms up, farmers will tell you it’s hard to resist the urge to plant. Check out these new garden books for home gardeners with the planting bug.

As the weather warms up, farmers will tell you it’s hard to resist the urge to plant. For home gardeners with the planting bug, check out this expanded showcase of new garden books. But, it’s best to do it before you get your hands dirty!

Landscape Pest Identification Cards

Landscape Pest Identification Cards offer a quick reference to identify pests that plague home gardens. A sturdy, pocket-size deck of laminated cards, this reference can be pulled out and matched to pictures of pests and beneficial bugs alike. Each card also offers detailed advice on control and eradication measures. Includes 80 common insects and mites, 40 diseases, 20 beneficial insects and a variety of other pests. From the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources service. $15. Order online at

Designing California Native Gardens

The beauty of California’s native plants is captured in Designing California Native Gardens. By plant and garden specialists Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook, this beautifully photographed guide offers inspirational, practical and easy-to-use suggestions for introducing native plants to home gardens. Reviews the suitability of more than 600 native species for residential garden designs and recommends places to view native plant gardens. $29.95 in paperback. Order online at


The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden

A fun and easy blueprint for designing hundreds of gardens that begin blooming in late spring and don’t quit until the last days of autumn, The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden, by garden designer Lee Schneller, offers a no-fail formula for continuous flowering. This how-to guide lays out five easy steps—measure and draw, set height proportions, calculate plant numbers, begin the blueprint and choose the plants—to enjoy color and cuttings nearly year-round. Includes a flower catalog listing 220 easy-care possibilities. $19.95. Order online at

Landscaping with Fruit

Landscaping with Fruit, by garden consultant Lee Reich, shows how strawberry groundcovers, blueberry hedges, grape arbors and 39 other luscious fruits can make home gardens an edible delight. This definitive guide helps gardeners select, care for and harvest backyard fruiting plants A plant-by-plant encyclopedia recommends 39 species that are especially well-suited to home landscapes. $19.95 in paperback. Order online at

Basic Landscape Irrigation

An up-to-date, reader-friendly guide, Basic Landscape Irrigation, by longtime landscaping contractor Neil W. Johnson, provides the ins and outs of residential irrigation systems. From the design to the installation and maintenance of home irrigation equipment, Johnson demystifies the whole process and explains how to make everything work for maximum water efficiency. $34.95. Order online at

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