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Three Top Woodland garden books

Three of the best woodland gardening books to help you create the garden of your dreams. The Wild Garden, The Living Landscape and the Ken Druse’s exceptional book The New Shade Garden are all books that will open a new world for gardeners looking for solutions and landscape ideas.

Three days of rain, cooler temperatures and a delayed spring makes me turn another page of my favourite gardening book.

There’s YouTube, other garden blogs and windows into our Woodlands that all let us experience gardening in some form, but there is nothing like a good garden book, a coffee and a comfortable chair.

Here are three gardening books (plus links to several more) that can turn wet spring days, winter days and sweltering summer days into gardening days. So many ideas, so much inspiration from a single chapter of your favourite gardening book.

So let’s get started.

If you are looking to purchase gardening books, or any books for that matter, be sure to check out alibris Books, (see ad below).

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

The Wild Garden: A Woodland bible

The Wild Garden might well be considered the bible of Woodland gardening.

(Link to Wild Garden from Alibris Books, Movies and Music)

With its roots going back to its first publishing in 1870, the new edition includes an introductory essay by award-winning photographer and landscape consultant Rick Darke (The Woodland Garden) who underscores the importance of not only the author’s original ground-breaking, and hugely influential approach to gardening at that time, but its importance to today’s environmental-conscious gardeners and more naturalistic, ecological landscape designs. It’s a message more gardeners need to embrace as our planet comes under new, and constant threats to its very survival.

A kindle version is also available for this book.

The Living Landscape explores how to take modern family needs and apply them to a natural landscape that feeds the soul of Woodland gardeners and those looking to bring nature back to their gardens.

The Living Landscape explores how to take modern family needs and apply them to a natural landscape that feeds the soul of Woodland gardeners and those looking to bring nature back to their gardens.

From the Chicago Tribune: “If there was but one book on our garden library shelf, William Robinson’s The Wild Garden would be the single tome, at once revolutionary and oozing charm. . . . With photographer and writer Rick Darke’s added chapters and insight, we understand more than ever the wisdom and urgency of Robinson’s garden gospel.”

The 356-page book includes more than 100 outstanding photographs taken by Darke that include images of modern “wild” gardens to give readers an understanding of how today’s gardeners and landscapers are interpreting the naturalistic garden. The Wild Garden includes the complete original text and illustrations from the fifth edition of 1895.

The hardcover book, published by Timber Press, is also available in a more economical Kindle edition.

The Living Landscape: A guide to backyard design

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden is another offering by Rick Darke and Timber Press. It’s for gardeners who want it all but need a little help bringing their wildest dreams to fruition. In this almost 400-page guide to backyard design, Darke teams up with author Douglas W. Tallamy (Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard) to create a blueprint for today’s ecological gardener looking to achieve a home landscape that satisfies their soul, their kids’ need to have a play area, some privacy and maybe even a little veggie on the side.

The Living Landscape is also available at Alibris Books, Movies and Music including used versions at excellent prices.

A tall order for sure, but one that is becoming increasingly in demand in backyards big and small all over the world.

The Living Landscape will guide homeowners in the creation of an outdoor space that provides both human needs while still feeding their desires to create a beautiful, wildlife-friendly space that connects them to their favourite natural areas. Along the way the authors provide ideas, richly illustrated with photographs, on incorporating outdoor rooms and entertaining areas.

The authors use favourite wild areas to guide home gardeners in methods they can use to apply these observations of natural areas to their own gardens to create and maintain a diverse, layered landscape that is so important in today’s Woodland gardens.

Available in both hardback and Kindle version.

The New Shade Garden: Druse sheds light on the beauty of shade

The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change is another important, comprehensive garden book from award-winning garden author Ken Druse ( The Natural Habitat Garden, Natural Garden, The Natural Shade Garden). For new gardeners looking to create their own ecologically-sensitive oasis, or an experienced gardener looking for help dealing with their ever increasing shade garden and wanting to become more environmentally aware, this book will set you on the right path to attain these goals.

Be sure to check out Alibris Books, Music and Movies for used versions of these books.

The 256-page, richly illustrated, informative tome on shade gardening and its importance in a changing world, could not be more appropriate for Woodland gardeners and Woodlanders in training looking for guiding principles. Druse explains the importance of creating shade gardens in the context of climate change and how to work with nature, including making the most of the constraints that may arise.

The New Shade Garden provides gardeners with a manual to begin down the Woodland path or methods to turn a less environmental, water-starved traditional backyard, into one that works with nature, climate change and ever-evolving garden aesthetics.

Published by Harry N. Abrams and available as both a hardcover and Kindle edition.

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