Gotta get it now: Durable Plants

From Fulcrum publishing

This may be the book of the year for Rocky Mountain garden lovers. The Plant Select organization has showcased all 74 of their tried and true outstanding plants in one concise, beautiful volume.

This wonderful handbook includes:

* multiple color photos of each plant in various seasons
* plant characteristics and detailed descriptions
* background on why each plant was chosen
* recommended landscape use
* native range of each species
* exposure, soil, and elevation range recommendations
* advantages and disadvantages of each plant

I thought I was pretty well versed in plants available in our area. I have to admit, after reading this book front to back, in a single sitting, I have discovered at least three incredible new plants for my garden.

The delightfully named Moon carrot is a chubby looking version of Queen Anne’s lace. Seseli gummiferum will find itself showcased in my garden straight away.

I don’t believe I’ve ever come across the gorgeous Kintzley’s Ghost honeysuckle until reading this book. The flowers open pale yellow, with silver dollar size bracts, fade to pale orange, followed by orange to red berries.

I can’t get over this shrub: Mock bearberry manzanita. “Extremely tolerant of dry conditions,” and “low-growing glossy-leaved groundcover shrub” positively sets my hair on fire. Glossy-leaved? Do you know how hard that is to come by in the desert? Hard, I tell you.

Just when you think you can’t ask more of a garden book, several other great features should be noted: the inclusion of the drawing of a person, next to the plant, showing the relative size of each plant. Brilliant. Easy. Helpful. Included are lovely botanical illustrations for each plant, created by students at the Denver Botanical Gardens. A section on Design Considerations will help every gardener. Last but not least, the reference Table of Plant Characteristics detailing, name, seasons, height, water requirements, and exposure.

One last kudo: the authors repeat, over and over phrases like this: “too much water will cause the plant to be straggly; extremely tolerant of drought; very tolerant of drought; dry, not too wet”. This is music to my ears……and to any gardener in the sagebrush steppe of the American West. Ohhhhh, you are going to love this book.

Find this masterpiece at for $16.47 plus shipping.