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---Anne K Moore, December 2009---

This is a quick list of some favorite books residing on my bookshelves. I recommend them to gardeners and gardener wanabees.

Any book by Ken Druse. Making More Plants: The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation is perfect for the gardener who wants to know how to propagate just about any plant or grow any seed. The same for the American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual of Practical Techniques (Hardcover) by Alan Toogood. Both should be on an avid gardener’s shelf.

If you love lawns (I confess I do not) then a little book with big information and a long title is for you: What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About(TM)...Growing the Perfect Lawn (What the Experts May Not Tell You About...) by Tom Ogren. Even if you do not appreciate large grassy areas, you, like me, probably have a spouse that does. Tom has two other titles that fascinate me, Safe Sex in the Garden and Other Propositions for an Allergy-Free World and Allergy-Free Gardening: The Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Landscaping. These are not on my shelf yet but I would love to welcome them, especially since I garden with allergies.

Margot Rochester was a mentor and friend to not only me, but also hundreds of gardeners around the country. Her talks were well attended and loved. She traveled nationally to speak about the joy a garden can bring. Her writing was just like her speaking; she was a friend giving advice and admonishment, always with a twinkle in her eye and good humor in her voice.

Margot’s books bring her back to us with her practical gardening tips wrapped up in her witty and droll writing style. She speaks to all gardeners when she says, “Forget the rules and follow your vision…” “Work no harder than absolutely necessary,” both from Earthly Delights: Gardening by the Seasons the Easy Way. Margot left her beloved garden a little over a year ago. She didn’t live to see her second book, Down to Earth: Practical Thoughts for Passionate Gardeners, published. Curl up and savor both of these books. Listen to Margot, “Perennials I treasure are considerably more heat-tolerant than the gardener,” and “I abide by that revered gardening maxim: Too much is not nearly enough.”

The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy Without Chemicals by Barbara W. Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley is a new book to me, and has proved invaluable for recommendations of organic controls. It has plant guides, which explain the possible problems for each plant. Its photos are very helpful in identifying the culprits or pathogens munching and crunching the garden.

If you love tropical plants, then The Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plantsby Robert L. Riffle should be in your library. It is the priciest of the lot. The The Tropical Look is a little cheaper in paperback.

These gardeners are enjoyable and educational reads. Add one or more to your Must Haves this winter.

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