Top 10 Gardening Websites and Books For Western Gardeners
by High Country Gardens
David Salman's Favorite Gardening Resources
In the ever expanding world of horticulture, it's good to have reliable references to check plant and gardening information. A large number of gardening books have become outdated, but the books listed here have been especially useful to me.
A quick work about plant facts on the internet. As with any subject, information on the web is often not fact checked if it's not an official organization, so don't take the first source that comes up as gospel. Always reference a few different sources to make sure the facts are correct.
These are some of the sources I refer to when looking for information:
US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Plants Data Base - an excellent source for determining where a plant is native in the US: plants.usda.gov/
The Southwest Environmental Information Network (SEINet) - an invaluable source of native plant information for Arizona and adjoining states: swbiodiversity.org
The Undaunted Garden: Planting for Weather-Resilient Beauty, by Lauren Springer Ogden - an excellent read especially for gardeners new to the western US. Many useful plant lists.
Plant Driven Design, by Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden - a must read book for anyone embarking on a new landscaping project.
Durable Plants for the Garden, a Plant Select® Guide - a reference text with excellent photos of all the Plant Select (Denver Botanic Garden/Colorado State University) program's recommended plants.
Primarily focused on the western US.
Natural by Design: Beauty and Balance in Southwest Gardens, Judith Phillips - an excellent reference book on naturalistic landscape design. The companion book of plants is a favorite reference for information on propagation and cultural needs in the garden.
Sunset Western Garden Book, Sunset Magazine - an excellent resource for western plant information, especially California. Ignore their confusing zone system (unless you live in CA) as it doesn't jive with the USDA winter hardiness zones used by High Country Gardens and most other horticultural companies. They also have an excellent online version at: sunset.com/garden/sunset-plant-finder
The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses: Sedges, Rushes, Restios, Cat-Tails and Selected Bamboos by Rick Darke - an essential guide to ornamental grasses, their classification with descriptions of a huge number of specific species and cultivars.
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Soil Moist will make your plants more drought tolerant and reduce transplant shock. The non-toxic granules store over 200 times their weight in water, steadily releasing moisture as plants or grass plugs need it for 3-5 years. To help your new lawn or garden thrive, use Soil Moist as a root dip when planting.
Yum Yum Mix is a premium all natural fertilizer blended from the finest natural and organic ingredients. It has been specially formulated for alkaline, nutrient-poor Western soils and is a blend of premium ingredients that feed the soil to feed your plants. Use Yum Yum Mix at the rate of 4 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. in preparing a new bed area or use a handful in each planting hole. Yum Yum Mix can be combined with an equal amount of compost as a top dressing for established plants...