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Books I Haul to Master Gardener Clinics

Before I took the Master Gardener training in early 2010, I mostly bought gardening books full of beautiful pictures that I could “borrow” ideas from. After the training, I found myself picking out books that I could use to help ID plants, bugs and diseases. And because I was hauling too many heavy books when volunteering at clinics, I had to narrow it down to the essential books I referred to most.

Most of the books are specific to the Pacific Northwest. If you’re not fortunate enough to live around here, I’m sure you can find a similar book made for your neck of the woods. Here are my go-to books when helping people with their gardening questions:

1. The Pacific Northwest Gardener’s Book of Lists.  This amazing book provides a list of plants for practically every garden type/situation. It’s a MUST HAVE.

Book of Lists

2. Cuttings Through the Year. Everyone needs a book that tells them the best time to take plant cuttings for propagation, right?

Cuttings Through the Year

3.  Landscape Plant Problems. This WSU Extension publication helps me ID plant problems and provides pictures for comparison. I probably use this one the most when answering other people’s questions.

Landscape Plant Problems

4.  Sunset Western Garden. This book is especially helpful when making plant IDs. At times I find it hard to use if I don’t know the latin name of the plant but Google is helpful. Plus, it helps me learn the latin names of the plants out of necessity.

Sunset's Western Garden

5. Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning. This is a great pruning book full of pictures and easy to follow instructions.

Guide to Pruning

6. The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs; Garden Insects of North America. This was the biggest and most affordable bug book I could find and it’s full of pictures that span all life cycles!

Garden Insects

There you have it. Even if you’re not planning on answering people’s gardening questions, these books should at least help you answer some of your own. Enjoy. I purchased most of these books from Amazon, with the exception of #2 and 3 – I purchased those from the WSU Master Gardener office.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Have you bought these books or taken from library..? Here in my place(India) these books are rare and very expensive.

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    January 5, 2011
  2. I actually have this insect book, too! I need a good book on pruning – thank you for the recommendation. I just love books.

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    January 5, 2011
  3. Thanks for the list, I’ve bookmarked the page too. I only have the Western garden book of the books you showed. My plan is to start the master gardener program in 2012 so knowing what books are useful will help.

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    January 5, 2011
  4. Angela, you are so good! Thank you for sharing this list with us! It’s so kind of you!I hope 2011 will be kind and generous to you!

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    January 5, 2011
  5. The irony of this statement is that this book is written by a Ph.D. But it certainly doesn t read like an academic book. It is a hands-on practical book that will be a big help with identifying and deciding on a course of treatment for many plant problems in any garden.. . Co-Author David Deardorff is a plant pathologist and botanist who lives and gardens in Port Townsend Washington. Kathryn Wadsworth is a naturalist who shares her love and gardening and the outdoors through writing and photography. Although the authors hail from the Northwest the garden problems they describe are pretty much universal across the continent..Good books to help serious gardeners and Master Gardeners identify plant problems are really rare.

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    January 30, 2011

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