Check out these books for gardening inspiration


I grew up surrounded by forests, and our gardens reflected and blended seamlessly with them. My first impression of the local gardens was quite different. Looking at them, I had no idea where or even where I was in the United States.

But everything changed when I became a master gardener and discovered that there were gardeners, books and resources that reflected a sense of belonging. So here are three books I use for inspiration and guidance. These books span 34 years and reflect the growing trend towards nature-inspired landscapes.

Sally and Andy Wasowski left a legacy with their books that encourage readers to garden with native plants. My first and favorite is “Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region”. This book packs so much information into a useful, concise format that will satisfy both novice and experienced gardeners. Chances are, if you have a question, the answer is right here. This book has it all: building on the whys of using plants native to your area, describing the 10 ecoregions of Texas, offering regional landscaping designs of actual gardens in each region, and ending with descriptions of individual plants. for 399 native Texas plants.

“Plant Driven Design: Creating Gardens that Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit” by Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden builds on this idea of ​​blending environment and plants when designing a garden. It makes sense that native plants thrive in the conditions in which they evolved. Although not specifically about Texas, the Ogdens’ book reflects their global experience and assumption that in a garden, plants come first. But, just as there is a relationship between plants, there is also a relationship between a garden and people. And when the choice and placement of our plants reflect the needs of a plant in its native region, the patterns that emerge connect us to the surrounding natural world and the design of the garden comes to life. The illustrations are beautiful and clearly emphasize their handwriting. I like plant listings for design elements, such as designing light or quirky features such as plants with beautiful faded flowers or trees with striking bark.

“New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient and Ecologically Vibrant Vegetable Garden” by Kelly D. Norris builds on the Ogden call to learn about your plant and its relationship to other plants in your garden. The book is divided into two parts. The first considers the relationship of plant to place: basic ecology minus the jargon. Using this knowledge, we can create gardens that truly thrive and come alive. The second section describes his method of garden design. There are no landscape plans in this book. Instead, he creates plant palettes based on the functional properties of plant associations in nature. He applies these palettes to different design situations, from open areas to areas close to a house. He thus shows that our “gardens can be both reservoirs of ecological goodness… and beautiful works of art”. His stunning photographs and inspired writings confirm this idea.

If you have any questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 432-498-4071 or in Midland at 432-686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.

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