Wildflowers of Turkey

Hillside by the Stream, Ugurtasi Istavri Village Turkey by steelskyblue

TheGardenLady received this question from Janan.

I am planning a spring trip to Turkey to see wildflowers – especially bulbs. Do you know of any good books or other resources that are in English?

How I envy your traveling to Turkey to see the flowers. Turkey is one of the most interesting countries to visit.  Though I never spent time visiting gardens in Turkey, I found the most amazing variety of wild flowers- especially on the Eastern part of the country and around the area called Cappadocia.  “Turkey is home to 9000 species  of flowers, out of which 3,000 are native to its varied geographical landscape.” (see here)

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More Good Gardening Books – Part II

In the last post, TheGardenLady wrote about Edible Landscaping, the American Horticulture Society’s pick for one of the top four best gardening books for 2011. To see the other books that the American Horticulture Society thinks are the best books for 2011 check out their website.They also list their gardening book winners for the past few years.

When looking at books, there are two authors whose books are always excellent. First there is Michael A. Dirr. Dirr is a professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia and the author of twelve books. Dirr has received the highest teaching and gardening awards from the University of Georgia, American Society of Horticultural Science, American Horticultural Society, American Nursery & Landscape Association, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Southern Nursery Association, and Garden Club of America. His most famous book seems to be “Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia,” but I recommend any of his books for any garden lover.

Another author with excellent books for gardeners is Dr. Allan Armitage (see here) who mostly writes about herbaceous perennial plants. His most recent book won the American Horticultural Award for best gardening book in 2011. This book is:

Armitage’s Vines and Climbers” by Allan M. Armitage Timber Press, Portland, Oregon

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Edible Lanscaping: Good Gardening Books – Part I

I am sure that many of the readers are busy shopping for the holidays. Getting the perfect gift is the challenge. What should you get for the gardener? If your friend still likes to read books, there are a number of good books to choose. What surprises me is that on the lists of best books for 2011, many of the top recommendations are classics – perhaps just newly republished.The book that really looks most fascinating to me was first published in 1982. Yet this edition was chosen by the American Horticulture Society as one of the top four best books for 2011.

The book is:

Edible Landscaping By Rosalind Creasy (see photo above): Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA ISBN: 978-1-57805-154-1

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Book Review: The Brother Gardeners

I believe TheGardenLady can make the statement that Everyone Loves English Gardens! And who is it who doesn’t love floral arrangements? Or are you allergic and love artificial flower arrangements or silk flower arrangements?

But have you ever wondered how this love started? And who started all this interest in flowers and plants, whether real or artificial?

An excellent, exciting book that tells the story of gardening and gardens and all the people involved in their creation, that you must read is “The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire & The Birth of an Obsession” by Andrea Wulf.

This book tells about the relationship and interrelationships of all the big characters who were involved in early plant history. These are people like the Ameican, John Bartram, who collected the plants from the American colonies that were sent to English plant lovers. And Bartram’s relationship with Ben Franklin and what Franklin had to do with plants in America that is an additional facet of an amazing multi-interest life.

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Review: New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques

I love to visit our local library to see what books are new in horticulture, gardening, landscaping, plants, insects, etc. During my last visit I found a book that I think readers of TheGardenLady will really find valuable. Put out by the American Horticultural Society, it is the “New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques” which calls itself  “The Indispensable Illustrated Practical Guide.” This book contains both photos, they say there are over 1000, and wonderful color illustrations that are very clearly drawn for understanding. The book tries to cover planting techniques for all Temperature Hardiness Zones.

Of course this book is not all inclusive, no single book can be. That is why every year more and more books are written about plants or landscaping or gardening. There seem to be more and more new plants each year, and more ideas or changes in landscaping or new techniques developed that gardeners want to learn about. But at 4 1/2 lbs, this book packs a lot of basic information. Some books are quite classic in that they give information that is always useful, always timely even many years after the publication. This “New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques” is one such book. It gives clear, explicit information about so many of the How to Do things with plants or in a garden. For example, do you want to reduce your lawn but aren’t quite sure what to plant in its place? There is a chapter devoted to this topic of lawn alternatives. Are you curious about the pests enjoying your fruit before you do? There is a chapter on Common Problems. Do you want to trim your shrub roses or wisteria? Check this book our of your library just to see how to prune with their clear illustrations. It explains things about your garden in a concise, simple and clear way with those wonderful illustrations.

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Great Gardening Book: Thoughtful Gardening by Robin Lane Fox

This winter has been a great time to curl up with a good book on gardening. I hope Santa Claus or whomever brought you good garden books to read in preparation for your own spring gardening.

For this year’s holidays, my daughter-in-law’s brother gave me the book “Thoughtful Gardening” by Robin Lane Fox. I had not heard about this book and when I saw that it was a book written by a British gardener about British gardens, my first thought was maybe I should exchange it. But I love to read and the more I looked through the book, the more interesting it seemed; especially since the President of the New York Botanical Garden and one of my favorite garden book writers, Penelope Hobhouse, highly recommended “Thoughtful Gardening.”

I am so delighted to have received this fantastic book of 80 essays on gardens and flowering plants. A book that is not only interesting to read once, but one that is a fantastic source of information to own. If TheGardenLady’s British readers have not read “Thoughtful Gardening”, I especially recommend your reading it.

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Great Gardening Books

Are you thinking of giving a gardening book as a gift this season?  Or are you asking Santa for a gardening book for yourself? There are some excellent books for people of all ages and all levels of gardening experience. Here is a list of some of the publishing houses that have published  gardening books that TheGardenLady recommends.  Check around for the best prices after you have chosen the books you want. The prices listed on their site might not be the cheapest price on the market.

DK Publishing House is one of my favorite publishers of books in general and has an incredibly good selection of books on plants and gardening.  I think that any gardener might want the “ RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” or the American version “AHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” (AHS stands for American Horticultural Society whereas  RHS stands for the Royal Horticultural Society).

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8 Things To Do For The Garden In December


                                      (Photograph by Daniel Starrason)

Here are 8 things you can do for the garden in December:

1. Plant bulbs until the ground freezes or during a thaw.

2. Put burlap on stakes for winter protection of broadleaf evergreens or shrubs like roses that you want to protect.

3.  Apply winter mulches to bulbs, perennials, strawberries or shrubs AFTER the ground freezes.

4. Divide spring and summer blooming clumping perennials (Those that are fall bloomers can be divided in the spring or season opposite to bloom time.)

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What’s in a “plant” name?

My nom de plume is Lilac.  So what’s in a name?  What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” from Romeo and Juliette.  But I wondered how many of my readers’s names come from flowers, shrubs or trees? Or, how many of my readers want to name their babies after flowers, shrubs or trees? Here is a fun website about names given to people that have flower, plant or tree origins: it’s a website of names with their definitions for both boys and girls. Check it out. Some of the names seem like they could be surnames as well as given names.