Inspiration sometimes comes from the most unlikely of sources. This has been sitting on our "to-blog list" for a while now, and somehow always gets bumped down. But with this summer's water rationing we pulled this to the top of the list. We had heard tale of the legendary East Bay Municipal Utility District (that's EBMUD to most folk) landscaping book, but we were skeptical. A utilities company with an eye for landscaping?
Fears be damned, it's the best darn gardening book we've laid hands on. We don't mean to knock the classic Sunset Gardening books, they were our first introduction to the world of plants, but we've always wished there were more photos. We're so novice that pretty drawings don't mean all that much...we need photos, and lots of them.
Plants and Landscapes has photos galore and a fantastic key indicating which plants and trees are California natives, drought-tolerant, clay-lovers, attractive to bees and butterflies, uninteresting to deer, etc. They've even broken down sections devoted entirely to specific needs: trees for small area and large areas, plants for dryish shade, hot areas...the list goes on.
We've had a blast wandering around, book in hand, trying to identify (almost entirely successfully) the random plants in our overgrown backyard. Many of the photos are purely inspirational; giving ideas on how and where to pair different plants together. Our copy is already dog-earred and muddy...