Karen Dardick, roses, Southern California gardening source, garden blog, California garden, garden California, garden ca, California plant and flower, garden newsletter, planting garden, plants, California landscape, patio gardens, garden tools, garden design, Cindy McNatt March 9, 2009

The best garden books that you can’t buy, well barely

Want to get some wizened garden know-how in a short amount of time? Be able to spout off botanical wonders about such subjects as wind, soil science, soft fruit and Sissinghurst Castle? Hugh Johnson’s “The Principles of Gardening” will provide you the horticulture head’s up that takes gardeners a lifetime to learn… and with jolly good dose of dry British humor.

“The Principles of Gardening” is one of those books that you’ve actually got to read, though. You won’t want it for the photos. But read you will if only for his amusing take on hose pipes, pea stakes and the backstory on that gun-toting garden crazy Ellen Willmott. 

Also out of print and a little tricky to track down is the best rose book ever for beginning rose gardeners – Karen Dardick’s “Simply Roses”. I will forever regret that I gave my copy to a garden friend and will never stop wondering what her ask-back policy is.

Still, if you buy a single book about getting started, it should be this one. You will “get” roses right off the bat, plus learn how to choose the right picks in the first place, prune and handle problems, all in an easy to read Q & A format.

Go to your favorite search engine, search for “Hugh Johnson, The Principles of Gardening”  and/or “Karen Dardick, Simply Roses”. Lots of used copies around the web for only a few dollars.

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The time is here to show off your environmentally correct landscapes. The contests begin. Win prizes! Gain recognition! No, really, we’re talkin some serious plant money. A brief background on California Friendly gardening.
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