Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Book Review: 100 Easy to Grow Native Plants

The first book I bought on native plants was 100 Easy to Grow Native Plants: For Canadian Gardens. It is written by Lorraine Johnson who lectures on native plant ecosystems at York University and is the author of numerous books on gardening and environmental issues. She is well known for her bright sneakers (usually red) and funky earrings.



It was the perfect book for me, at the time a novice native plant enthusiast. The size is on the small side, with full colour photos on every page, and loads of practical information. It is divided in areas such as prairie, woodland and wet soil types, as well as, northeast, central and western. But of course since no plant exists on its own many cross over from one type of habitat to another. If, for example, you decide to check out Adiantum pedatum the maidenhair fern which is primarily an eastern fern, she will direct you to the western maidenhair fern (A. aleuticum) in case you live in the west. There are also multiple suggestions for good companion plants.

It is not a preachy book, just straight forward. The plants are easy to grow and easy to find at the nursery too. I have owned this book for more than 10 years and I still pull it out now and again for reference and ideas. So if you want to try your luck at growing native plants this is a great book with which to get started.

14 comments:

  1. Tej książki oczywiście nie mam, ale mam inne podobne w treści. Mam je w ogródku, żeby w razie potrzeby zajrzeć do nich. Pozdrawiam.
    Course of this book I have, but I have other similar content. I have them in the yard, so that, if necessary, refer to them. Yours.

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    1. Hi Giga, If I understand the translation correctly you keep some books in the yard for reference. An interesting idea and something to think about.

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  2. Seems like a great resource since we all need to think about plants more native plants for our insects to eat.

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    1. It is only one of a number of books on growing natives I own but it has served me really well. Providing food for the animals has become a priority for me in the garden.

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  3. This book is obviously very useful for you, you can know better your native plants and what's more important - you can easily identify the wild plants that are growing in your garden or in the nearby :)

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    1. I wish it could have helped in my garden - when we bought the property there were no ornamental native plants for me to identify!

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  4. I love books with easy to understand, unbiased info. This one looks like a keeper. I'm always looking for new natives to add to my garden. I hope your Bowman's Root works well for you. :o)

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    1. I look forward to those plants arrival! The ground is beginning to thaw, so we are getting closer.

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  5. I like how you characterize this as a practical book but not preachy. The issue of using native plants can get politicized or righteous sometimes! This sounds like a great reference for real gardeners.

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    1. I completely agree. As gardeners we naturally alter our preferences from time to time and as I mentioned in a previous post I have gone from trying to follow a purist route to a more relaxed approach with time and experience.(http://gardeningpomona.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-native-question.html)
      Someone dipping their toes into this area will find this book very helpful.

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  6. I have seen this book at one of the lectures I attended on native planting. The lecturer had it as one of her reference books. I skimmed it and it looks like a wonderful book to help out those of use using natives often in our gardens and our designs.

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    1. I should have mentioned it would be a good resource for American gardens as well Donna.

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  7. I have been reading another of Lorraine's books (The Ontario Naturalized Garden) and think that this may be a great follow-up. I went online to the Brampton library just now, but unfortunately they don't have a copy. I will have to keep my eyes peeled elsewhere for the book.

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    1. Yes, another good book by her. I hope you find it.

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