Essential Gardening Books for your Bookshelf this Spring

Happy Spring! We’re kicking of the spring season by highlighting some of our essential gardening guides. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or a seasoned horticulture/landscape professional these gardening guides are a must-have for your bookshelf.

Climate Change Gardening for the South: Planet-Friendly Solutions for Thriving Gardens by Barbara J. Sullivan

“Sullivan just might change your perception of what makes a successful garden. Whether a suburban yard, a strip in an urban setting, containers on a patio, or an open field, it’s possible to create a vibrantly healthy garden that is part of a larger climate change solution.”—Coastline, WQHR

“Accessible to backyard beginners as well as specialists.”—StarNews

  • Surveys the science behind climate change and gardening
  • Covers USDA hardiness zones 5a to 9b, which include thirteen southeastern states
  • Gives advice on planning and installing gardens that will not only thrive but also help address critical environmental challenges
  • Covers key topics ranging from designing a climate-friendly garden that will attract songbirds and pollinators to weaning off gas-powered tools to using water wisely
  • Features a wealth of color illustrations, charts, and tables brimming with recommended native plants for the region

Pollinator Gardening for the South: Creating Sustainable Habitats by Danesha Seth Carley and Anne M. Spafford

“A delightful, easy to understand guidebook”—Lloyd Brinson, Briar Patch Books

Pollinator Gardening for the South offers a unique approach to creating pollinator gardens and habitats—no other book like it exists. . . . Truly a book for everyone, from beginners to seasoned landscape professionals.”—Patricia R. Drackett, director of the Crosby Arboretum at Mississippi State University

  • Explains what makes pollinators happy—bees, for sure, and many others, great and small
  • Provides step-by-step instructions for choosing locations, preparing soil and garden beds, selecting the best plants, considering seasonality in your garden design, managing your garden throughout the year, and much more
  • Brings science and art together in gardens of all types, including urban, food, container, community, school, and large-scale gardens
  • Richly illustrated with photographs, design plans, and handy charts and lists
  • Covers USDA hardiness zones 6, 7, 8, and 9, including twelve southern states

Color-Rich Gardening for the South: A Guide for All Seasons by Roxann Ward

“This accessible guide is worth a look for new gardeners with a penchant for color.”—Publishers Weekly

“Roxann Ward’s step-by-step system will allow almost anyone to have a beautiful garden.”—Barbara Fair, associate professor of horticultural science, North Carolina State University

  • Provides 10 beautiful and flexible templates to get you started
  • Features gardens with uniquely southern looks that will thrive in USDA zones 6b-8b, including 15 southern states 
  • Useful for both beginning and experienced gardeners, as well as for commercial landscapers
  • Highlights organic practices and solutions
  • Gives step-by-step instructions for choosing locations, preparing soil and garden beds, selecting the best plants, designing, landscaping, sustaining your garden through the seasons, and much more
  • Richly illustrated with photographs, plant lists, and other resources

Chesapeake Gardening and Landscaping: The Essential Green Guide by Barbara W. Ellis. Neil Soderstrom, Principal Photographer

“Offers helpful advice on assessing, designing, planting, and maintaining earth friendly landscapes.”—The American Gardener

“Both enjoyable reading and an invaluable reference. It lacks for nothing with elegant multiple entry points to satisfy a veteran or a novice gardener.”—The Association for Garden Communicators

The guide is built from the ground up around six simple but powerful principles that anyone can use:

  • Reduce lawn
  • Build plant diversity
  • Grow native plants
  • Manage water runoff
  • Welcome wildlife
  • Garden Wisely

Garden Perennials for the Coastal South by Barbara J. Sullivan

“Aware of the basic problems we face in day-to-day gardening. . . . An A-to-Z plant guide that is concise and useful. . . . Dipping into [this] book is a pleasant and educational experience.”—Free Lance Star

“A fundamental volume for gardeners in that hot and humid stretch from the Gulf Coast of Texas to Tidewater Virginia. This attractive and authoritative guide covers everything from companion plantings to ‘fail-safe’ perennials.”—American Gardener

  • Authoritative guide for gardeners from Tidewater Virginia to Florida and all along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas
  • Covers USDA Zones 7b, 8, 9, and 10
  • More than 200 color photographs illustrate individual plants and provide examples of beautiful landscape design
  • Provides information on the basics of landscaping, soil preparation, plant care, propagation, diseases, and pests

Successful Southern Gardening: A Practical Guide for Year-round Beauty by Sandra F. Ladendorf

“Here is a thoroughly generous, informative, and well-crafted book in the best tradition of superior garden writing.”—award citation, Garden Writers Association of America

“Accurate and delightful to read. . . . She counts on and quotes from a superb network of amateur and professional horticulturists, including those associated with the North Carolina Botanical Garden.”—Publishers Weekly

“A lively and practical handbook.”—Horticulture

  • Practical, how-to book on the problems and possibilities of gardening in the tricky environments officially known as zones 7 and 8
  • Draws on Ladendorf’s own experience, interviews, and research for her weekly newspaper column, and visits to hundreds of public and private gardens
  • Helpful to novice gardeners, newcomers to the area, and seasoned gardeners