Books I refer to often:

Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An IllustratedEncyclopedia

[ILLUSTRATED] (Hardcover)    

This is a must-have reference volume in your library!  Anything by Michael Dirr is worth the investment.  This book is easily digestible reading with great illustrations.

The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques

by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

(Hardcover - Jul 1, 2006) – Illustrated

Tracy’s book is a necessity if you want to learn the right way to work with perennials. She lives in Ohio (you can see her on my blog) and has a vast knowledge of growing and caring for perennials in our planting zone.  This is a great investment for your reference book collection.

Armitage's Garden Perennials: A Color Encyclopedia

by Allan M. Armitage

(Hardcover - Mar 1, 2000) - Illustrated 

Allan has a very casual writing style and gives you his personal experiences with perennials.  This hardback is the ultimate go-to book for pictures and descriptions of some of the most commonly used perennials in today’s garden.

50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants

by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

(Paperback - 2008)

Tracy has done it again. Through her own gardening experience, she has developed a list of 50 plants she believes will deliver the highest return on effort in your garden with lowest maintenance.  You can bet this will be a well-used manual in my designs for years to come.

All New Square Foot Gardening

by Mel Bartholomew

(Paperback - Feb 14, 2006) – Illustrated

For those of you who dream of growing your own organic food, do not plant the first seed without first looking at this guide. Mel teaches how to plant by the square foot, basing your amount to plant by how many people you want feed.  If you don’t want to end the season with a gazillion zucchini or a ton of tomatoes, read this first!

Silent Spring

by Rachel Carson, Edward O. Wilson, and Linda Lear (Paperback - Oct 22, 2002) - Special Edition

If you want to be inspired by the efforts of one person, reading this book will surely suffice.  Rachel Carson braved an all-male world to point out the damage we are doing to the environment. This is a required read to understand the beginning of the environmental movement.

Possum in the Pawpaw Tree: A Seasonal Guide to Midwestern Gardening

by B Rosie Lerner and Beverly Netzhammer (Paperback - Nov 1, 1994)]

For both the novice and experienced gardener, this book takes you month-by-month through what you should be doing in the garden in the Midwest.  A nice approach that keeps even the most scattered individuals organized!

Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling,No Weeding, No Kidding!

by Patricia Lanza  (Hardcover - Aug 20, 1999)

Once you read this book, you will never think of removing sod to start a garden again!  This is the ONLY way to begin a garden – and saves what precious little topsoil we have on this earth.  Lasagna gardening will become an integral part of your garden regimen.

  Rain Gardens

by Nigel Dunnett and Andy Clayden

(Hardcover - 2007)

Nigel Dunnett & Andy Clayden have created a comprehensive guide to water management techniques for the garden and built environment. Filled with practical, manageable solutions for small and large-scale implementations and utilizing authoritative research with state-of-the-art case studies from all over the world, Rain Gardens is the first book on sustainable water management schemes suitable for students and professionals.

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