If you’re looking for Christmas gifts or if you are a gardener digging for good winter reading, the Timber Press Web site, www.timberpress.com, is a great place to treasure-hunt. And the good news is it’s offering a 30 percent discount on all books through Dec. 31, to folks on their e-mail newsletter list.
To qualify, just click on the e-mail offer on the home page and sign up, and they will send you the offer online. Timber offers great sales, including occasional 50 percent-off items throughout the year, so it’s well worth the effort. With an inventory of more than 3,000 titles on nature, gardening, plants and trees, there’s something there for everyone.
• “The American Meadow Garden: Creating a Natural Alternative to the Traditional Lawn” by John Greenlee, photography by Saxon Holt (Timber Press, $34.95) is the gold standard when it comes to meadow gardening.
I’ve read several books and endless articles on meadow gardening, and none have given me the depth of information — the whys and hows — that made me feel confident this would not be a maintenance nightmare. John Greenly spends an entire chapter explaining how to make a meadow and an additional chapter on establishment and maintenance. His dictionary of meadow plants and grasses includes spacing and is laced with planting tips that only a gardener with extensive hands-on experience, such as Greenlee would know. Saxon Holt illustrates the author’s writings with stunning photographs that bring the words to life.
Visit my Web site, nancysgarden.wordpress.com and check out my meadow garden photo at the top of the home page, taken on a frosty morning in November.
• “Teaming with Microbes: A Gardeners Guide to the Soil Food Web” by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis (Timber Press, $24.95) is a must read for any gardener looking to create a sustainable, healthy garden and landscape without chemicals. In the first half, Lowenfels and Lewis take you on a fascinating underground tour and introduce you to the critters that make our world green. In the second half, they explain how to cultivate the life in the soil using compost, mulches and compost tea.
• Most of the 75 plants included in the book “Black Plants” by Paul Bonine (Timber Press, $14.95) actually produce very dark purple leaves or flowers that appear black from a distance. Nonetheless, the addition of these striking shrubs, perennials and annuals will add depth and drama to the landscape and gardens and are worth searching out.