Winter Reading and Learning

The Garden Hotline staff share their favorite gardening books; also where to find great seeds.

Winter is here and this is a great time to sit down with those gardening books you always mean to read but are usually too busy with your hands in the soil to get to.  We want to share our favorite books, ones that we make use of for our personal gardening goals and to help answer your questions!

Rosie’s picks:

  • Sunset Western Garden Book – Editors of Sunset Press and Sunset Magazine; Sunset Press 
  • Botany for Gardeners – Brian Capon; Timber Press

Melissa’s picks:

  • Trees and Shrubs for Pacific Northwest Gardens – John A. Grant and Carol L. Grant; Timber Press
  • Pruning and Training: American Horticultural Society – Christopher Brickell and David Joyce; DK

Reingard’s picks:

  • Tilth Alliance’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide – Lisa Taylor and the Gardeners of Tilth Alliance; Tilth Alliance
  • Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades – Steve Solomon; Sasquatch Books

Selena’s picks:

  • Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning – What, Where and How to Prune for a More Beautiful Garden – Cass Turnbull; Sasquatch Books
  • Tilth Alliance’s Maritime Northwest Garden Guide – Lisa Taylor and the Gardeners of Tilth Alliance; Tilth Alliance

Laura’s picks:

  • Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast – Jim Pojar and Andy McKinnon; Lone Pine 
  • Attracting Native Pollinators – Xerces Society; Storey Publishing LLC

The Garden Hotline has a library in the office at the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle that you are welcome to come and use – we just ask that you read them onsite as these are our reference books we might need as we answer phone calls and emails. All of these listed books are on site at our office but make for great gifts for your loved ones or for you as a special treat.


A Word About Seeds

Now is also the time to be ordering seed catalogs or perusing online. Be sure to seek out some of the smaller seed companies that are specializing in culturally relevant seeds scattered across the U.S., especially in the southern states. Many of the tropical or semi-tropical plants favored by folks who have moved here from warmer climates are being propagated to make more widely available. Try them out – some can be successful in the northwest and others you can experiment with in a greenhouse setting or indoors. Search by looking for seeds for the plant you are looking for. For example – interested in growing Roselle? Look for seeds that sell Central and West African plants where Hibiscus sabdariffa is native. Though not winter hardy it grows through the summer and can bloom here – both the leaves and blooms are edible. Bring it indoors for the winter.

Many seed companies also offer biodynamic and organic seeds for your gardens. Look for local companies, companies that specialize in seed saving, ones that grow trial seeds in climates similar to ours.

Call us for some suggestions – there are too many to list!


Image by <a href="">kryciak</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Image by Kryciak on Pixabay