Our mission is to share the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. Grow with us.

Lederer_Burr_3DCover 300Latin for Bird Lovers uncovers the secrets behind more than 3,00 scientific names, delves into bird behavior, and reveals the fascinating discoveries of ornithologists. Here we take a look inside with author Dr. Roger Lederer.

More after the jump. Click images to enlarge.

____________________

The power of a good teacher: Roger Lederer began as a student most interested in fish but, he says, “I had a great ornithology instructor and learned that birds were fascinating to me.” That instructor inspired what became a life-long passion and career.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Author of The Plant Lover’s Guide to Dahlias, Andy Vernon shows us the dahlias in bloom at his home in England and shares his love for these spectacular flowers.

_____________________________________________________

{ 0 comments }

IMG_0421-WEB

In the spirit of experiential learning, a few of us from the Timber Press office headed out to Trillium Lake for an afternoon of foraging and bird-watching. Beside proper rain gear, we brought along several copies of Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Northwest Foraging. Do you sense a theme? That’s right, fun!

More after the jump.

[click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

Black huckleberries are among the most popular berries in the Northwest, traditionally picked by Native Americans in firemanaged settings in the high mountains and now quite popular with harvesters from all backgrounds.

Black huckleberries are among the most popular berries in the Northwest, traditionally picked by Native Americans in firemanaged settings in the high mountains. Image: Nancy and Robert Turner

Pacific Northwest Foraging author Douglas Deur outlines a year of foraging

Each year, the natural landscape and the plants within it go through cycles of awakening and dormancy that inevitably guide the food harvest. The exact timing of these cycles varies between elevations and latitudes, with most seasonal changes occurring later, and in more compressed timeframes, as one moves upslope or northward within the region. The timing of these cycles also changes along with our climate, so that winters are generally becoming shorter and spring arrives earlier than was the case a generation or two ago. Still, it is possible to outline general seasonal patterns that characterize the entire Northwestern region.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

20140614_150554-WEB

Martha Stewart was in Portland recently and caught up with her former head gardener and Living gardening editor, Andrew Beckman. For those of you who don’t know Andrew, he is now associate publisher and editorial director at Timber Press, and while he’s more comfortable in his garden than in the spotlight, we can’t help but share a bit about her visit with him. Martha was kind enough to allow us to post some of her pictures here and you can read her post on The Martha Blog.

More after the jump.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Pruning will keep your plants from taking over, such as this old kiwi vine has done here.

Pruning will keep your plants from taking over, such as this old kiwi vine has done here.

__________

Pruning is a complex subject, but with guidance and care—and a tall ladder—anyone can do basic maintenance pruning. For starters, always prune a woody plant in this order: dead, damaged, diseased, deranged. After you have removed material in that order, look at your plant to decide if it needs further pruning for shape, size, fruit production, or aesthetic appeal. Three rules will protect your plants from wanton pruning.

More after the jump.

__________

From What’s Wrong With My Fruit Garden? by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

A fresh combination of snowdrops and aconites. Image: Naomi Slade

A fresh combination of snowdrops and aconites. Image: Naomi Slade

From The Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops by Naomi Slade

In a garden setting, snowdrops always look loveliest when planted among congenial neighbours. When planning autumn-to-spring planting schemes, the trick is to treat it a bit like a relay race and include as much botanical joy as possible. As some plants give up the ghost, ensure that others are going strong and that new players are waiting in the wings ready to take over. Considered as part of a continuum, snowdrops are useful because they come into their own at the point where many plants are at their absolute nadir—when old foliage is flattened and brown and new leaves have not quite begun to break—so they are ideal for filling in gaps and bringing a sparkle to permanent structure.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Salvia ‘Sally Greenwood,' a wonderful salvia to use for softening the edges of paving and pathways or among large rocks. Image: John Whittlesey

Salvia ‘Sally Greenwood,’ a wonderful salvia to use for softening the
edges of paving and pathways or among large rocks. Image: John Whittlesey

Designing with salvias opens a world of possibilities. Considering the wide diversity of plants in the genus Salvia, it is not difficult to find one or many salvias for any type of garden, in any climate zone. Their use in the landscape is as varied as the genus. Salvias are seen as groundcovers, as lively companions for roses, and as superb container plants. They are as comfortable in a formal perennial border as in a cottage garden setting, a formal herb garden, or a wildlife garden. Salvias can lend a lush tropical flavor or a lean, dry garden look. For every gardener and every gardening style, there is a multitude of salvias from which to choose.

Read on to discover some of the many ways to use salvias. More suggestions (along with 150 plant profiles) can be found in The Plant Lover’s Guide to Salvias by John Whittlesey.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

A front yard full of self-sowers, spreaders, and keepers, the keys to a plantiful garden. Image: Gail Read

A yard full of self-sowers, spreaders, and keepers, the keys to a plantiful garden. Image: Gail Read

“Some say it takes at least twelve years to create a garden,” Kristin Green writes in Plantiful. “I don’t want to wait that long. I expect my garden to grow.”

By filling her garden with self-sowers, spreaders, and plants that winter inside and summer outside, Kristin maximizes yield while minimizing cost and maintenance. “Aside from some full days in spring preparing for the season,” she confesses, “I spend only as much time as I have.” Plantiful is her way of passing on her experience. “I would share every plant in my garden with you if I could. Instead, I wrote this.”

The following scenarios illustrate the unlimited potential of Kristin’s approach. Read on and see if you don’t recognize yourself.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Laura Crockett wanted an "obvious, interesting entrance" to her home. Including the curb strip in her garden design allowed her to begin the dramatic entrance at the street.

Laura Crockett wanted an “obvious, interesting entrance” to her home. Including the curb strip in her garden design allowed her to begin the dramatic entrance at the street. Image: Joshua McCullough

When Laura Crockett bought her property seventeen years ago, the front yard was entirely lawn. “I knew I wanted to make a private interior courtyard,” she says, “with an obvious, interesting entrance.” She laid out a linear garden 8 feet wide on either side of the 75-foot stretch of public sidewalk. One side is the parking strip; the other is bounded by a fence that masks the rest of her front yard. Her bold geometric design of concentric diamond shapes cuts across the public sidewalk, highlighting a wide gap in her front fence. This opening dramatically frames a large waterfall rushing down a colored concrete wall directly in front of Laura’s home.

Continue reading for more about Laura’s design choices and the challenges faced while hellstrip gardening.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }