Pat Welsh’s Southern California Gardening a Month-By-Month Guide: Since much of the garden advice out there is geared to different climates I find this book is a must for anyone who wants to garden in Southern California. Really a great bible for knowing what to to when and how each season. A new edition is forthcoming and she’ll be signing books at Roger’s Gardens in February (see my calendar for details)
Designing with Plants by Piet Oudolf with Noel Kingsbury: Piet Oudolf is a huge international name in landscape design. In this book he takes us on a journey of designing with form, texture, light and movement in mind. I especially love the section on creating moods in the garden through light (and all its different qualities), movement, harmony, etc… This book really gets you thinking differently about design.
Gardening the Mediterranean Way by Heidi Gildemeister: Now that you know that plants of the Mediterranean are perfect for Southern California, you now have this fabulous guide for all different landscape situations (i.e., slopes, deep shade, privacy, you name it). This is a book I turn to again and again.
California Native Plants for the Garden by Carol Bornstein, David Fross and Bart O’ Brien: I simply love this book. No other come close in giving me the low down on California Natives, including great photos and companion planting ideas. Really comprehensive and enjoyable to read.
The Jewel Box Garden and Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs: I credit these books and my dear friend Janice Francois who lent them to me for getting me headed back into landscape design. They are eye candy for sure and have, hands down, the most exquisite photography. There’s also a lot of great humor in Mr. Hobbs’ writing. I love that he says he suffers from “zonal denial” meaning that in his cold Vancouver climate he still insists on growing tender, warm-climate plants.
Designing with Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin: For anyone who has said “I don’t like succulents” this book is for you. You can’t help but be won over with the great photos, descriptions and advice in this very thorough book.
Secret Gardens of Hollywood by Erica Lennard: This book provides garden escapism at its best with 27 private gardens organized by mood (i.e., romantic, exotic, etc…)
Meetings with Remarkable Trees by Thomas Pakenham: It’s hard to look at trees the same after perusing this collection of ancient and massive trees from all over the world. This is a fun read especially for history buffs.
Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies by Owen Dell: Owen Dell was one of my teachers in the Master Gardener program some 12 years ago. Even then he always challenged us to think about how what we were using and doing impacted the world. Here Dell has put together a wonderful guide for anyone who wants a landscape with less “inputs” and more natural beauty. Here’s a Los Angeles Times review.