Monday, December 05, 2005

Under the influence

Well, I've finally decided to apply to the UBC Garden Design program.

As part of the application process, they ask that you list five books, journals, and/or magazines that you have found influential. I'm kind of struggling with it, because at different points during my life and growth as a gardener, I've required different information. When I was a "beginner," I dog-eared books I probably wouldn't give a second glace at now. Likewise, when I had my rooftop garden, I was drawn to books on container gardening, and of course, rooftop gardens.

That said, I have some favourite resources that I have found valuable at any stage/need:

Garden Design and Fine Gardening magazines are almost always inspiring. And GardenWise is great as a source of regional information.

As for books, I've enjoyed the second edition of 100 Best Plants for the Coastal Garden by Steve Whysall. Subtitled "The Botanical Bones of Great Gardening," the new edition lists complementary plant combinations for each featured "best plant."

Rosemary Verey's Good Planting Plans
was invaluable when I was planning my last garden. I especially love her potages.

Thomas Church's Gardens Are for People, is still good reading years after its initial publication, and, I think, important in understanding garden design from a historical standpoint.

Sunset's Western Garden Book by Kathleen Norris Brenzel is a good one-stop book, especially for looking up a particular plant.

Those are my picks so far, but I want to hear from you. What books, magazines or journals have influenced you as a gardener?


Blogger Takoma Gardener said...

Books about mixed borders and organic techniques by Ann Lovejoy. Also, Tracy diSabato-Angst (spelling?) on perennials.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I love the Taylor's Pocket Guides. They are now out of print, and they were never compreheensive, but they went with me to many an early buying trip and proved invaluable in thinning my selections.

I also have a very battered edtion of Perennials: How to Select, Grow and Enjoy by Pamela Harper and Frederick McCourty. This was my mother's book and is a classic, also out of print. It was my first garden book, and looking at it now, it still holds value with simple instructions for care of the garden, and a nicely illustrated plant index. A great basic reference.

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Jane Perrone said...

I swear by the HDRA's Encyclopaedia of Organic Gardening, edited by Pauline Pears. It's quite a pricey book but has been worth every penny.

9:15 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Thanks, everyone. Looks like I have to spend some time at the bookstore!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Good for you for signing up for the design course. I'm sure it will be very inspiring and alot of fun!

Some books that I've enjoyed over the years are Dirrs Hardy trees and shrubs and anything written by Canadian Garden writer Marjorie Harris. I own several of her books and have read them over and over. Penelope Hobhouse is other fav.

8:42 AM  
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