I bet many of you out there grew up with a few Sunset home and garden books around the house. They've been longtime staples of gardeners and DIYers throughout the years, presenting daydream-inducing photos with informative guidance for beginner and expert gardeners alike. This new digital edition takes everything I loved about Sunset publications and migrates it over to the iPad, integrating 30 how-to videos, interactive links, and more than a 100 slideshows of high res photos to swipe through before, during, and after planting...
* How-to videos: Watch almost 30 videos to get the dirt on gardening techniques that help you create a hardier, healthier and more beautiful garden.
* Interactive images: There are approximately 30 interactive images, including 15 Climate Zone Maps with tappable poptips to help with climate zone identification and key characteristics of each zone.
* Instructive slideshows: Tap through more than 100 high-res photo slideshows to learn how different plants will work together in your garden.
* Lush layouts: Browsing your book can be as colorful and delightful as wandering in your garden. Science and art go hand-in-hand with gorgeous layouts that automatically adapt for different screen sizes.
* Gardening notes: On every plant card, make notes about how that plant works in your gardens. Notes sync between devices automatically.
* Extra content: Use more plant listings, regional gardening calendars, and even a special new section on the history of the book itself.
* Search: Need to find something quickly? Search the book, your notes, and even Google and Wikipedia, while barely lifting a finger.
* Personal notebook: Highlight text and bookmark cards with ease. It’s all saved to a notebook that lives inside your book for easy reference.
Some of the navigation is a bit of a task to figure out at first (perhaps with the somewhat convoluted Inkling publishing platform's UI to blame), but once you figure out the lay of the digital land*, the New Sunset Western Garden Book is an evolutionary extension of the wealth of information for gardeners and home improvement types offered throughout the years by Sunset. Photos are optimized for ogling on a Retina display iPad, with nearly every section filled with links galore for further information related to preparing, planting, and caring of the garden.
*Tip: when in doubt, swipe to the right and usually additional content and options are revealed.
Content is divided into seasons, growing zones, by plant, with an A-Z guide for an encyclopedic look at all the plants and flowers you should be planting this year and beyond, with the ability to add your own notes for reference as you learn what grows best in your garden throughout the years. I'm hoping this 9th edition and 1st interactive edition is the first of many to add to my digital library collection. Now I just need to move beyond the balcony for gardening...
The New Sunset Western Garden Book: The Ultimate Gardening Guide is available at iTunes for $19.99.
(Image: Gregory Han; Sunset)