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My oldest gardening book is THE WEEKEND GARDENER by Dorothy H. Jenkins and it dates back to 1950.
I got it mainly because I was interested in seeing how much gardening had changed over the years. A lot of its material is still quite useful.

The newest addition to my gardener's bookshelf is a large copy of Steven M. Still's MANUAL OF HERBACEOUS ORNAMENTAL PLANTS. (It runs to a little over 800 pages.) I'm finding lots of useful tidbits of information in it.
[I bought it for a buck at the library sale the first Saturday in April.)

Two very lovely and handy Christmas presents that were given to me this year are:
FOLIAGE by Nancy J. Ondra
THE GOURMET GARDEN by Virginia Hayes
These two books are going to heavily influence my gardening this year since I've decided I absolutely MUST have a kitchen garden this year!

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NOTE: This is just four of many...WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES???

Comments

( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
dickgloucester
Apr. 10th, 2014 07:51 am (UTC)
As a new gardener, I don't have many books on it. Yet.

The ones I do have are:
The Vegetable Expert (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vegetable-Expert-books/dp/0903505207/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397115977&sr=1-2&keywords=the+vegetable+expert)
The RHS Encyclopaedia of Plants and Flowers (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Encyclopedia-Plants-Flowers-Christopher-Brickell/dp/1405354232/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397116150&sr=1-1&keywords=rhs+encyclopedia+of+plants+and+flowers) - because my MIL got fed up with me always asking "What's this?"
and
The Complete Book of Herbs by Lesley Bremness (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Book-Herbs-complete-book/dp/0863183131/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397116231&sr=1-1&keywords=lesley+bremness)

There seem to be a couple of others on the shelf. Perhaps I should read them...
rhodielady_47
Apr. 10th, 2014 08:40 am (UTC)
The sound like an excellent set for a brand new gardener!
:)
ladycelia
Apr. 10th, 2014 10:51 am (UTC)
The Sunset Garden Book. Especially good for the west coast.
rhodielady_47
Apr. 10th, 2014 06:07 pm (UTC)
If you're talking about the American West Coast--I agree with you. The people who garden there can grow things that no one else in the US can grow.
:)
ladycelia
Apr. 10th, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
Yup, that's the one. Now I need to find something comparable for the U.S. South East because I'm having a devilish time figuring it out here.
rhodielady_47
Apr. 11th, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
Mind if I ask you which southeastern state you're in?
And the type of soil you have.
:)
ladycelia
Apr. 11th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC)
I'm in upstate South Carolina. Horrible red clay that nothing seems to help amend it. I've used composted manure, mushroom compost, composted hay and straw with goat and chicken manure, etc., etc., etc. Horrible stuff.
rhodielady_47
Apr. 11th, 2014 07:12 pm (UTC)
It takes a huge amount of organic material to change clay like that and sadly you are probably one of the first to ever attempt it.
Clay soil gardening takes a while to get used to.
Have you ever considered hugelbeeting?
I think it might work for you.
:)
ladycelia
Apr. 11th, 2014 07:22 pm (UTC)
I considered it, but doing most of the work myself it's not something that I can really tackle.

I think you're right, that no one else ever worked this land. There's one old apple tree, and everything else is just either wild brambles or rolling lawn/mowed weeds/wildflowers. I've added in some roses, blueberries, a couple more trees, that kind of thing, but most are not thriving. I just keep throwing organic materials at it in the hope that eventually it will catch.
(no subject) - rhodielady_47 - Apr. 12th, 2014 05:42 am (UTC) - Expand
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virginiadear
Apr. 11th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
Outdoors, I take it you mean?
rhodielady_47
Apr. 11th, 2014 09:32 am (UTC)
Yes. The western coast of the US grows a lot of stuff that just won't grow elsewhere in the US.
I've heard it described as a really harsh Medittereanian climate.
My own area, the Midwest, does really well with plants that come from China and Japan as long as they are cold-hardy.
:)
virginiadear
Apr. 11th, 2014 11:51 am (UTC)
While I was growing up and for a long time after graduation, Ohio was and to the best of my nearly certain knowledge still is considered to be part of the Midwest, which begins immediately west of Ellicott's Line. Perhaps you consider us to be "east" or "northeast?" The "east" doesn't, and the northeast defintiely doesn't.

The west coast is actually large because it's long (very roughly 1250 miles between Seattle, WA and San Diego, CA), varied in climate, and complex, depending whether you're at the northern end, the southern end, the middle, and east or west of any given mountain range within a specific west coast state.
Could you be more specific, unless you really do mean the entire west coast of the continent or at least of the contiguous 48 states, and also share what plant species you're referring to?
ladycelia
Apr. 11th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
The West Coast has a lot of varied climates, but a big chunk of it can be described roughly as "Mediterranean". Heck, in the county that I lived in, there were 5 different microclimates.
virginiadear
Apr. 11th, 2014 01:55 pm (UTC)
"Heck, in the county that I lived in, there were 5 different microclimates."
That's sort of my point.

And come to that, the Mediterranean itself doesn't have "one uniform climate" along its shores.

Now, Rhodie said she has heard the west coast's climate "described as a really harsh Mediterranean climate."
You've said "roughly."

Until she tells me otherwise, I'm interpreting "really harsh" as "extremely [so]" of whatever specific aspects of the Mediterranean region she's thinking of.

I'm understanding your "roughly as Mediterranean" to equate to "generally speaking or broadly speaking," having little or nothing to do with harshness or extremes.
(no subject) - ladycelia - Apr. 11th, 2014 04:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
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rhodielady_47
Apr. 11th, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC)
Once again, I'm sorry I rushed my answer and you are quite correct the west coast is full of lots of little microclimates--many of them are full of plants that just don't like to grow anywhere else.
The Med. climate I was thinking of is the one usually found from middle Calif. and on down.
As far as plant species go, the list is obscenely long!
There are west coast native irises that I'd gladly trade my eyeteeth to be able to grow here and many of the "tender perennials" that so litter the big box nursery centers these days hail from South Africa which has many microclimates that echo the ones found in southern Calif.
By way of contrast, the plants that flourish best for me here in the Midwest (and yes I do count Ohio!) come from Japan and China originally. Plants like: Daylilies, hydrangea's, azalea/rhododendron varieties, peonies. Lycoris species (Big Pink Naked Ladies in particular) and many others.
Often when I come across an unknown garden plant and wonder whether I could grow it or not, I ask where it originally came from and if the answer is NOT China or Japan, I know there's a strong chance it won't be happy with me OR it won't survive the winter here. (We had several spikes down to -16F this winter).
:)
(no subject) - virginiadear - Apr. 11th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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alison_in_oh
Apr. 10th, 2014 02:44 pm (UTC)
If you like old books and kitchen gardens, look for The Food Lover's Garden by Angelo Pelligrini! Only 1970, but still pretty lovely and almost vintage. Oh, his love for garlic! So inspiring. :)

I refer frequently to Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, Cass Turnbull's Guide to Pruning, and maybe Ann Lovejoy's Handbook of Northwest Gardening. I also have the big Sunset book, a big Rodale organic book, and a bunch of niche books about cottage gardens and coastal gardens and Northwest natives and such, but I don't look at them very often.
rhodielady_47
Apr. 10th, 2014 06:09 pm (UTC)
"... but I don't look at them very often."

My winter reading time is almost gone for this year.
:)
dark_phoenix54
Apr. 10th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
My oldest is a four volume set from around the turn of the century (er, the 19th to 20th turn); they have the most wonderful line drawings in them! And I do use them sometimes.

Not sure what my newest is; haven't bought any new ones in years. Probably one of the Christopher Lloyd ones.

My favorites change by season and intent, although the Christopher Lloyd ones are my favorites to read. I would have loved to have met him; he's my favorite garden writer. The two I've used most through the years are my 1970s organic gardening book- the big green book by the founder of Organic Gardening Magazine, and The Perennial Garden by the Coxes. Both of those are worn, dirty and disreputable from being consulted outdoors!
rhodielady_47
Apr. 10th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
" Both of those are worn, dirty and disreputable from being consulted outdoors!"

Books don't go to Book Heaven until they are worn, dirty and disreputable from being read often and lovingly---just like with the Velveteen Rabbit.
:)
dark_phoenix54
Apr. 10th, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
Do they become real and get souls if you read and consult them enough?
virginiadear
Apr. 13th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
H'rmmmm...... I've done a lot of commenting under this entry, but I haven't said what my favorite gardening books are.

Anything by Elliott Coleman.
Louise Riotte's "Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening" and "Roses Love Garlic" by the same author.
Stu Campbell's "Let It Rot!" about composting in easy-to-understand layman's explanations.
And a brand-new about-to-become-a-favorite, Rodale's Vegetable Garden Problem Solver (Just found this one at the library, but already it's looking like I'll acquire a permanent copy for my bookshelves.):
http://www.amazon.com/Rodales-Vegetable-Garden-Problem-Solver/dp/1594863083/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397399152&sr=1-1&keywords=Rodale+vegetable+problem+solver
yesididit
Apr. 14th, 2014 02:05 pm (UTC)
i'm very happy with my copy of rodales garden problem solver. now theres a VEGETABLE garden problem solver?!!? i must check that out from the library! have you read the original? can you offer any comparison of the two?
virginiadear
Apr. 14th, 2014 02:34 pm (UTC)
"have you read the original? can you offer any comparison of the two?"

I haven't read the original, and so can't offer a comparison of the two, I'm afraid.
Amazon has the "Look Inside!" feature for both books, though, and if you search their site for the original, "Rodale's Vegetable Garden Problem Solver," the vegetable garden solver comes up immediately below it on the page. Maybe that will be helpful?
yesididit
Apr. 14th, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
the square foot gardening books by mel bartholomew
the encyclopedia of country living by carla emery
backyard orchardist: a complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden by stella otto
fruit trees for the home gardener by allen swenson


Edited at 2014-04-14 02:22 pm (UTC)
rhodielady_47
Apr. 14th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
I keep hoping that the square foot gardening books will show up at the library book sale one of these days.
I never could catch up the TV show.
:)
( 67 comments — Leave a comment )

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