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Books help gardeners grow

Posted: August 10, 2013 - 11:04pm
Master Gardener Ginny Allen often relies on gardening books for information. Her favorite is Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and Flowers by Lance Hattatt, which describes 1,500 plants.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Master Gardener Ginny Allen often relies on gardening books for information. Her favorite is Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and Flowers by Lance Hattatt, which describes 1,500 plants.

Avid gardeners have their favorite places to shop, their favorite plants, even their favorite tools.

They also have their favorite books and are eager to share those treasures with others.

“I have several that I consider ‘favorites’ depending on the season,” said Betty Crowther, of Evans. “Right now, during the heat of the summer, my favorites would be Paradise Found: Growing Tropicals in Your Own Backyard by Norman Winter, closely followed by Tough as Nails Flowers for the South, also by Norman Winter.”

Crowther said she finds that both books are informative because of their “lovely colored photographs of the plants, growing information, propagation tips and suggestions of other plants to pair them with that grow well in our Georgia heat.”

Augusta Council of Garden Clubs President Judy Kirkland notes that The Southern Living Garden Book is at the top of her reading list because it is so comprehensive.

She also likes Joe Lamp’l’s Over the Fence with Joe Gardener because it gives “good reasons for doing things with clear explanations” and Gardening in Georgia because it has a month-by-month guide to gardening in the Peach State.

Some new reads on Kirkland’s list include “anything by Pat Lanza and Slow Gardening by Felder Rushing. Both write with personality and practicality.”

Master Gardener Ginny Allen said her favorite gardening book is Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and Flowers by Lance Hattatt. She said the book includes photographs, botanical name, common name, size and basic description of more than 1,500 plants and “is great for plant identification.”

Crowther said a standard go-to book is The Southern Gardener’s Book of Lists.

“It doesn’t sound very exciting but is so useful,” she said. “It is full of lists of plants – trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, etc. – for every kind of location, soil condition, etc., which is very helpful if you have a difficult spot in your yard and don’t know what will grow well there.

“It doesn’t have any pictures, so a knowledge of plant names is useful.”

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