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.

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

Plants with Style author Kelly Norris shares some of his favorite tree and shrub bark design ideas for all-season interest.

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178_preparing_herbs_6344_SL-WEBIn Culinary Herbal, authors Susan Belsinger and Arthur O. Tucker detail how to grow and preserve 97 of the most flavorful herbs. Here, they share a recipe for simple syrup, used in beverages and fruit salads, or on desserts from ice cream to cake.

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Plant-based medicines offer many healing possibilities for the body, mind, and spirit. JJ Pursell, author of The Herbal Apothecary, shares two of her favorite recipes, perfect for keeping your family healthy through the winter.

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by Timber Press on December 18, 2015

in Miscellaneous

Holiday-Card_FINAL

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Group-Draw-MASTER

An unfinished but colorful (and slightly skewed) group project, with staff members each coloring a different butterfly. Warning: Do try this at home!!

How Zoe Keller’s Color the Natural World inspired Timber Press to take a break.

Publishing coloring books may be new to us at Timber Press, but coloring is not. In fact, we’ve been doing it since we were kids! As an adult, however, it’s a different experience. For one thing, it often involves wine, which was reason enough for us to turn away from our screens and immerse ourselves in some peaceful, deep-focus coloring.

Continue on to see how we did.

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Art and the design process

by Timber Press on November 24, 2015

in Design

Conrad Hamerman’s design process for his own garden included his painting a sequence of abstracts, beginning with this still life of flowers in his studio.

Conrad Hamerman’s design process for his own garden included his painting a sequence of abstracts, beginning with this still life of flowers in his studio. All images courtesy of W. Gary Smith

From Art to Landscape author W. Gary Smith shows how art informed two gardens by the celebrated designer Conrad Hamerman.

I visited Conrad Hamerman, my design teacher from my undergraduate years, to talk about his west Philadelphia garden, which is bordered by a painted wooden fence with angular lines that look like they emerged from an early Piet Mondriaan painting. Conrad’s work illustrates the relationship between painting and garden design. We’ve talked a lot about abstraction over the years, and about how he paints as a way of fueling the creative process for his design work. He talked about how the early abstract painters, including Mondriaan, started with realistic images from nature and then developed layers of abstraction from them, and how their abstract paintings had much more depth than those by later painters who hadn’t first done the more representational studies.

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Van Dusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre

Van Dusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre. Image: Perkins+Will Architects

In The Inspired Landscape, author Susan Cohen details the creative process of 21 leading landscape architects. Here, she reveals how Cornelia Oberlander’s VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre came to be.

For the technologically advanced VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor’s Centre project, Cornelia Oberlander sought and found inspiration in pictures and stories from historical books in her own home library. Karl Blossfeldt’s stunning photographs in The Alphabet of Plants, images from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, provided an inspiration for architectural form, and Mr. Menzies’ Garden Legacy: Plant Collecting on the Northwest Coast, the tale of an eighteenth-century sea voyage, provided the inspiration for her planting palette.

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All images: Kathryn Aalto

All images: Kathryn Aalto

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh author Kathryn Aalto explains how the game of poohsticks came to be.

One day in the Enchanted Forest, Pooh is on a leisurely walk while lost in his own thoughts. It is an aimless pursuit, a journey of random inspiration. As he toddles along, he picks up fir-cones scattered about the forest floor. He is inspired to sing and make up pieces of poetry about them. The result is funny and nonsensical, his head full of fluff: “Here is a myst’ry/About a little fir-tree/Owl says it’s his tree/And Kanga says it’s her tree.” He arrives at a bridge over a stream, a place where he and Christopher Robin, Piglet, and Roo come to watch the changing river move beneath them. Many of us may be familiar with the scene:

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Plants have evolved to grow among other plants, not as lone specimens. Typha latifolia, several species of Scirpus and Carex, and Eupatorium perfoliatum mingle on the edge of this pond.

Plants have evolved to grow among other plants, not as lone specimens. Typha latifolia, several species of Scirpus and Carex, and Eupatorium perfoliatum mingle on the edge of this pond. Image: Tom Potterfield

To create resilient landscapes, write Planting in a Post-Wild World authors Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, focus on a plant’s ecological performance rather than its country of origin.

A designed plant community is a translation of a wild plant community into a cultural language. Why do plant communities need translating? Practicality, for one thing—urban and suburban landscapes are so drastically altered from the historic ecosystems that once existed. Think of your home and then think of the landscape that existed there a thousand years earlier. The process of urbanization has entirely altered the environmental conditions. So a designed plant community may reflect these changes by incorporating a narrower selection of the most adaptive species. Or it may include species from different habitats to supplement a native palette, particularly when an all-native selection is not commercially available.

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Small is beautiful: Muscari armeniacum, Narcissus ‘Hawera’, and Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ are in proportion with each other, and Phlox subulata off ers a horizontal plane from which these bulbs pop. All images: Rob Cardillo

Small is beautiful: Muscari armeniacum, Narcissus ‘Hawera’, and Tulipa clusiana ‘Lady Jane’ are in proportion with each other, and Phlox subulata offers a horizontal plane from which these bulbs pop. All images: Rob Cardillo

The Art of Gardening co-author Eric Hsu shares how bulbs are used to stunning effect at Chanticleer Garden.

Bulbs, like tropicals, are essential for the outsized floral expression that is quintessentially Chanticleer. Generally adaptable and colorful, hardy bulbs feature prominently throughout the garden, concentrating colors in sections. Despite being less easy to place, summer- and autumn-flowering bulbs like lilies, colchicums, and cyclamens extend the exuberance of spring bulbs. There is hardly a part of Chanticleer devoid of bulbs: Even in the largely native Bell’s Run, rogue clumps of snowdrops can be found. Our prevailing style of bulb planting is loose and informal, a naturalizing concept that originated with the self-styled Scottish ‘Daffodil King’ Peter Barr and was promoted in William Robinson’s The Wild Garden (1870). From early to midspring, the Orchard overflows with daffodils sparkling beneath flowering cherries, crabapples, and dogwoods. Chionodoxas, scillas, and Grecian windflowers unify the disparate groups.

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