I have some exciting news for you: my dear friend and colleague Pat Munts and I have written a book! It is called The Northwest Gardener's Handbook and will be in bookstores as of Jan. 15, 2015.
It will be published by Cool Springs Press and covers all of Washington and Oregon, southern British Columbia and a bit of northern California.
But don't let that or the title put you off! As a longtime gardener in Eastern Wash., I know what it's like to read Pacific Northwest garden books that focus on weather conditions we don't deal with and list plants that we can't grow.
In my humble opinion, The Northwest Gardener's Handbook does a great job of addressing our LOCAL gardening conditions and challenges. And even better, 89% of the plants profiled in the book will grow in zone 5 or below!
Here's what you'll find in the book:
- Pat wrote an introductory chapter on the physical features and weather conditions that affect gardeners in each of the regions covered. She also wrote chapters on the plant hardiness zones, sustainable landscaping, and shared a wide variety of "gardening know-how" -- tips and tricks for being a successful gardener. This also includes information on fire-wise landscaping,
- Then the plant chapters begin: annuals, bulbs, edibles (including veggies, herbs, tree fruits and berries), groundcovers, lawns & ornamental grasses, perennials, roses, shrubs, trees and vines.
- Within each of those plant chapters, I wrote detailed plant profiles which include hardiness information, plant height and width, flower colors, what makes them special, how to care for the plants and information on problems that can arise. There are just under 300 of those plant profiles! (and yes, that was an incredible amount of work)
- After those chapters, there is information on planting and caring for trees, how to grow a vegetable garden, a list of internet resources, suggested gardening references, and a glossary of relevant gardening terms.
One of the things I'm really excited about, and proud of, is that there are nearly 100 of my photos in the book. I just love photographing gardens so I'm hoping my enthusiasm comes through in the photos you'll see on the pages.
Pat and I will be giving talks and doing book signings at various gardening events both in the Spokane area, and in Seattle and Portland. Be sure to keep an eye on this blog's calendar
so you can come say hello. I've already started penciling in some dates.
I hope you will share in our excitement and enthusiasm for this, our first book. Yes, it was a great deal of work and books take quite a while to produce, but Pat and I are very pleased with the finished product. We hope you will be, too.