GMOs and Food

Books for your favorite gardener

First Posted: 10:55 am - December 1st, 2017 - Views

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By Sara Creamer

Fayette County Master

Gardener Volunteer Coordinator

WASHINGTON CH — It turns out that Master Gardeners have a wide variety of books on their bookshelves. It makes sense. All of us tend to specialize. One of the Fayette County Master Gardeners is our go to guy on fruit and vegetables but is not comfortable with flowers. Like all good MGs he knows where to go to find the answer to all flower questions.

The first list is ten books that are great books for a gardener’s library. They are in no particular order, although Dirr was the most mentioned author. Yes, I know that the top ten list has more than ten books, but some authors deserve multiple listings. Most of these books are on our library shelf at home. The lists that follow are on specific topics (we have a lot of these, too).

So, you ask, which books from this list will be on my Christmas list? I think, The Hidden Life of Trees, Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology, and The Forbidden Orchid will be on the list.

A Gardener’s Book List, Ten+ Must Have Books:

1.a Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses by Michael Dirr

b Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia or Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs by Michael Dirr

c The Reference Manual Of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed To Tissue Culture by Michael Dirr

2. Manual of Herbaceous Ornamental Plants by Steven M. Still

3.a The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: The Essential Guide to Planting and Pruning Techniques by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

b The Well-Designed Mixed Garden: Building Beds and Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals, and Bulbs by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

4.a Armitage’s Garden Perennials 2nd Edition by Allen Armitage

b Armitage’s Garden Annuals: A Color Encyclopedia by Allen Armitage

5. The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymore

6. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, 2nd Edition: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds, Deep Soil by Edward C. Smith

7. Pruning and Training, Revised New Edition: What, When, and How to Prune by Christopher Brickell and David Joyce

8. American Horticultural Society Pests and Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying and Treating Plant Problems by Pippa Greenwood, Andrew Halstead, A.R. Chase, and Daniel Gilrein 9.a American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening by Christopher Brickell

b American Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques by American Horticultural Society

10. Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs by Whitney Cranshaw and David Shetlar.


1. Tree & Shrub Gardening for Ohio by Fred Hower and Alison Beck

2. Perennials for Ohio by Debra Knapke and Alison Beck

3. Wildflowers of Ohio, Second Edition by Robert L. Henn

4. The Gardening Book for Ohio (2004 revised edition) by Denny McKeown

5. Midwest Fruit and Vegetable Book: Ohio Edition by James A Fizzell.


1. Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, Updated and Expanded by Doug Tallamy

2. Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West

3. Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards by Sara Stein

4. Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change by Thomas Christopher

5. The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden by Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy

6. Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition by Toby Hemenway

7. Armitage`s Native Plants for North American Gardens by Allen Armitage

8. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb, Gordon Morrison (Illustrator)

9.a The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants by Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz

b Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees: Gardening Alternatives to Nonnative Species by Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz

10.a Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide to Conserving North American Bees and Butterflies and Their Habitat by The Xerces Society

b Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects by The Xerces Society

11. Native Trees for North American Landscapes by Guy Sternberg with Jim Wilson.


1. Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots: The Stories Behind the Common Names of Some of Our Favorite Plants By Allen Armitage

2. Understanding Perennials: A New Look at an Old Favorite by William Cullina

3. Insects and Gardens: In Pursuit of a Garden Ecology by Eric Grissell

4. Botany for Gardeners, 3rd Edition by Brian Capon

5. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben (Author), Jane Billinghurst (Translator), Tim Flannery (Foreword).

Organic/Integrated Pest Management

1. IPM for Gardeners: A Guide to Integrated Pest Management by Raymond A. Cloyd, Philip L. Nixon, Nancy R. Pataky

2. How to Grow Vegetables and Fruits by the Organic Method by J. I. Rodale

3. All New Square Foot Gardening II: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More in Less Space by Mel Bartholomew

4.a The Ruth Stout No-work Garden Book by Ruth Stout and Richard Clemence

b Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent by Ruth Stout

5. Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich

6. The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way Edited by Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, and Deborah L. Martin.


1. Gardening for Beginners Publisher: Usborne

2. The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth by Anita Silvey

3. Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Cristina Bjork (Author), Lena Anderson (Illustrator), Joan Sandin (Translator)

4. The Seasons of Arnolds Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

5. The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons

6. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

7. Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

8. The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive by Joanna Cole (Author), Bruce Degen (Illustrator)

9. The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.


1. Gracia’s Herbs by Gracia Schlabach

2. Arborists’ Certification Study Guide, Third Edition by S.J. Lilly

3. The Color Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses: Sedges, Rushes, Restios, Cat-Tails and Selected Bamboos by Rick Darke

4. The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change by Ken Druse (Author)

5. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, with Camille Kingsolver and Steven L. Hopp

6. Garden-pedia: An A-to-Z Guide to Gardening Terms by Pamela Bennett and Maria Zampini

7. Great Gardens of America by Tim Richardson , Andrea Jones (Photographer)

8. Taylor’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables by Benjamin Watson

9. The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller (This is a novel).


1. Garden Gate

2. Birds and Blooms

3. Country Living

4. GreenPrints Magazine, The Weeder’s Digest

5. Ohio Gardener Magazine.

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