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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

Anna Pavord's The Naming of Names sets the groundwork for the system of nomenclature we use so freely today. More than just names, this book chronicles the development of human understanding of plants, how they live and propagate, but most importantly how we've come to identify and categorized them.

While beginning in the classical period, the core of this story is set in the revival of science during the Renaissance, from about 1400 - 1700. Pavord treats her human subjects as protagonists in a story of the development of the science of botany, and while supported with excellent scholarship, the writing is also very passionate.

The last hero of her narrative is the English scholar and plantsman John Ray (1627-1705), who she credits with the invention of the discipline of taxonomy. "No fireworks, no claps of thunder, no swelling symphonic themes mark Ray's achievement. It is a quiet, lonely, dogged consummation, and, in its insistence on the importance of method before system, critical in shaping future thinking on the subject to which he had devoted the whole of his adult life."

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Spring 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-08-14
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

Andrea Wulf, in The Brother Gardeners (2010), starts at the beginning of the 18th century. Up to that time gardening was "traditionally the preserve of the aristocracy...now, amateur gardeners began to take an obsessive interest in their smaller plots." Her focus is on the transformation in England, but much of this was fueled by the interchange with American gardeners and particularly the importing of American plants to English gardens.

Most compelling is the four decades of correspondence between Peter Collinson (1694-1768), a merchant and avid gardener in London, and John Bartram (1699-1777), a farmer and self-taught botanist near Philadelphia. Bartram regularly shipped boxes of seeds, pressed plants, and occasionally live plants, while in exchange Collinson would ship books and tools, and even clothes for Bartram's family.

Collinson would use his connections to introduce Bartram wealthy and learned Americans, hoping to find new and different plants. These introductions came with specific instructions, "'Pray go very Clean, neat & handsomely Dressed to Virginia' and don't 'Disgrace thyself or Mee.'" As time passed, however, the roles changed as the farmer from the colonies began to assert his importance in these exchanges, forcing Collinson and his clients from the English learned class to recognize Bartram's knowledge, skills, and importance to their endeavors.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Spring 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-08-14
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker: Traveler and Plant Collector (2001) by Ray Desmond is a marvelous travelogue, masking as a biography. Our hero took two multi-year expeditions (to Antarctica, New Zealand, and Australia from 1839-1843; and to India and the Himalayas from 1847-1851) as well as shorter trips to Morocco, Palestine, and the United States.

All the while he was observing, documenting, and collecting plants, leading to the publications of the native floras of these regions. Even better for us today, he was sketching the plants, landscapes, native peoples, and many other attractions. These sketches, and the botanical illustrations made by others from them, make this a richly illustrated book.

The text is engaging, detailing the trials of travel for both man and plants. Hooker "coped remarkably well with the rigours of botanising in the Himalayas. This he attributed to abstinence...a diet of meat and potatoes, and never over-eating."

"His problems as a plant collector did not cease with the boxing and parceling of plants and seeds. Sometimes they were lost or dropped into rivers on the journey to Calcutta; often they died before they reached the port." He tried wrapping seeds in "tins, oilcloth wrapping, paper packets. Sometimes he posted them in letters. But...too often they reached their destination damp or rotting or eaten by insects."



Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Spring 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

Philip Pauly was a professor of history at Rutgers University. His book, Fruits and Plains , was published by Harvard University Press. These are high academic credentials for a book that at first glance appears to be about gardening. But this is no ordinary gardening book. As suggested by the sub-title, The Horticultural Transformation of America, this is a serious study of the importance of horticulture to all aspects of American life particularly from the founding of the country well into the 20th century.

The key here is the term horticulture. To Pauly, "In general conversation it is an upmarket synonym for gardening" and includes the design, selection, and maintenance of plants in private and public gardens. But he uses the term more broadly and claims that in the 1800s, "horticulture was equivalent to what is now call plant biotechnology."

The early history he recounts is focused on utility of gardens, particularly fruit producing trees and shrubs. Later he turns to arboriculture, highlighting the arguments for and against native and exotics species; century old arguments that continue today.

But of perhaps greatest interest is chapter nine, "Culturing Nature in the Twentieth Century". Here are some keen insights to focus of gardeners today and the cultural environment at the time of the founding of the Washington Park Arboretum.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Spring 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime (2007) is not an easy book to read. The descriptions of the front lines, prison camps, Jewish ghettos, and Japanese internment camps from the first half of the 20th century are brutal, detailed, and very unsettling.

But this is also an important book to read. For those faced with the extremes of human suffering, "Gardens conformed to the expected cycle of seasons and growth and life; a garden was a demonstration of life in order, not a world turned upside down."

Author Kenneth Helphand is a Pacific Northwest author--a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Oregon. He was motivated to write this book by an image of French soldiers beside their small vegetable gardens created while dug in at the front of World War I. His extensive research led him around the world to visit many of the original sites, even if the gardens are long gone.

While these observations give perspective, the heart of this book are the many personal narratives the author found in his research. These tell of the efforts despite great odds to nurture a garden, of the importance these gardens gave both for sustenance and emotional well-being, and the amazing strength of the human spirit.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Spring 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

While addressing a global audience, the Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns by Sue Olsen is one of the very select treasures of Pacific Northwest garden writing and must not be missed, even if you garden on a sunny, dusty slope. In addition to the expected information on cultivation and propagation, Olsen covers the natural history and taxonomy of these fascinating plants, making it of interest to more than just gardeners. The many appendices are excellent, too, with the most intriguing a collection of lists of favorite species by a global who's who of fern specialists, whose gardens range from hardiness zones 4 to 11.

But the heart of the book is the tour of "Ferns from Around the World". At first glance, this resembles many A-Z listings, but there are some key enhancements not often found. Common names are listed, but these are real common names, not made up to fill a slot. The meanings of both the genus and specific epithet are given, the latter particularly useful with ferns. The description is thorough without the mind-numbing detail of many botanic writings. And the photographs are superlative, with almost all taken by the author.

This is all very good, but Olsen is at her best in the "Culture and Comments" sections. This is where you can tell what she knows is from first-hand experience, and shows of her skills as a writer, too. "Most polystichums are considered horticulturally hardy (which means temperate rather than "easy" as in some interpretations)."

Her stories will resonate with any gardener. "When my lone plant is threatened with sweeping arctic freezes, I cover it with horticultural gauze. My last carefully spread protective blanket for such nurturing was carried away by a presumably needy crow and found the following morning in the upper limbs of a neighbor's tree. The fern survived." And at carefully spaced moments, shares her passion. "This is THE species that inspired my interest in cultivation, propagation, and immersion in the wonderful world of ferns". This last sentence is in praise of Dryopteris erythrosora, the Autumn fern.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Summer 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

Bamboo for Gardens is written by Washington State resident, Ted Meredith. While most of the photos are close-ups of their subject, it's fun to see rhododendrons or a Douglas fir lurking in the background of wider shots.

Wherever you live, this would be an important and useful book. While there is the expected A-Z encyclopedia of species, it is unusual that the introductory material--such as culture, propagation, uses in the landscape--fills more than half the book. Some unexpected treasures can be found here, including the use of bamboo in both traditional and modern economies, and tips on eating bamboo.

You will learn, for example, that the shoots of Qiongzhuea tumidissinoda "are considered exceptional." The fun continues in the encyclopedia section as we learn that this same, nearly unpronounceable species, which hails from central China, is harvested for walking sticks, and "...is the subject of history, myth, and fable in Chinese culture, dating back to at least the Han Dynasty in the first or second century B.C."

While the author keeps the writing interesting, the more mundane information is very solid, including his discussions of how to deal with "...an attack from the demonic plant that invaded unexpectedly and ceaselessly, and could not be stopped or killed." With the voice of experience and fondness that one might expect to be used on an errant puppy, Meredith carefully explains the different methods of containment for running bamboo.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Summer 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Garden Tool:

Conifers of California is a delightful introduction to many of our native conifers, as well as the incredible diversity of these cone bearing trees to be found further down the coast. Author Ronald M. Lanner writes what could be best described as a biography of each tree, telling the natural history and the interaction of each with humans and animals. While there are helpful descriptions, (including "At a distance", "Standing beneath it", and "In the hand"), this is not primarily a field guide.

The photographs are excellent, but a bigger visual draw are the botanical paintings by Eugene Otto Walter Murman (1874-1962), which besides being beautiful, clearly show the distinctiveness of the cones, cone scales, seeds, needles in a single bundle, and a growing tip. Adding to the history are quotes by some of the great describers of trees, including Charles Sprague Sargent, John Muir, and, one of my favorites, Donald Culross Peattie.

I'm adding Lanner to this list. His descriptions of the relationship between the Clark's nutcracker and whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), or the unusual combinations of factors that lead to the long, long lives of the bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva), are detailed and lengthy but totally engaging.

Of incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) he explains how forestry practices have led to a population explosion of this tree little valued by the timber industry. This is "...good for those Americans who eschew the use of greasy-inked ballpoint pens, because incense-cedar is the unrivaled champion of available domestic pencilwoods. It may not be so good for those...who must past through thickets...for those thin dead, lower limbs seem always positioned to welt a cheek or poke an unsuspecting eye."

Many of the rarer California conifers can be found in the Arboretum and this book is a good introduction. Look for the Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri) but don't stand under its eight pound cones "with talonlike appendages", while from the Siskiyou Mountains comes the weeping Brewer spruce (Picea breweriana) with "long, dark-foliaged, pendulous branches."

Edward Anderson was for 30 years a biology professor at Whitman College in Walla Walla before finishing his career at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. The Cactus Family is the culmination of his life's work as, sadly, he died shortly after publication, but more importantly because it will be a long-time standard reference for these popular plants.

While not a gardener's book--a chapter on cultivation is included but is by a different author--this provides a superb view of the remarkable diversity of cacti, well captured by excellent photographs, most by the author and many in situ. Highly recommend, too, are the chapters on ethnobotany and conservation of cacti, which illustrate how important these plants have been and continue to be throughout their range in North and South America.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Summer 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

In Native Trees for North American Landscapes: From the Atlantic to the Rockies , the sub-title is very important as trees native only west of the Rockies are excluded. But almost all trees that are included can be found in the Arboretum, and many are widely planted in our region and are available in nurseries.

As the title suggests, authors Guy Sternberg and Jim Wilson address their book to gardeners and landscape designers, but there is also much here to interest those who love trees for their place in the natural landscape and as interwoven with human history. The quality and diversity of the photography is impressive, and well linked with the engaging text.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Summer 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

Many of the over 7,000 vascular plant species of California described in "The Jepson Manual" can also be found in the Pacific Northwest.

The name perhaps needs clarification. Willis Linn Jepson was an early 20th century botanist who published several books on California flora, including the first that was both comprehensive and statewide for vascular plants ("A Manual of the Flowering Plants of California"--1925). The 1993 first edition of "The Jepson Manual" honored his memory, and this new edition continues that honor while incorporating new discoveries and the many changes in botanical systematics of the last twenty years.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "Nonnative Invasive Plants of Pacific Coast Forests" is an unusual field guide that helps to identify plants you don't want to find--but you probably will--especially in the forests of Washington, Oregon, and California. In various ways, these plants are negatively affecting our native plants, animals, and ecosystems. The intent of the authors is to make these recognizable to a larger audience beyond highly trained botanists. Many selections, such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and herb-robert (Geranium robertianum), are all too familiar to gardeners and visitors to the Arboretum. Others will be less familiar, or you might not know they are a problem, such as some of our popular cotoneasters (Cotoneaster franchetii and C. lacteus).

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "Wild in the City" is an invaluable guide for an exploration of the parks and trails in the Portland metropolitan area, but it's quite readable even if you're stuck somewhere else. Scattered amongst the trail maps and descriptions of various sites and walks are essays about wildlife, history--both natural and human--and the complexities of disturbed ecosystems, with a good dose of philosophy on the value of having nature in an urban setting. Over one hundred writers and illustrators have contributed to this fine work.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool:

When first picking up the fascinating "Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies," I expected lots of lovely close-up photographs of our native butterflies. While I wasn't disappointed, the majority of the photos are of the early stages of their life histories, i.e., lots of caterpillars! The thoroughness for depicting each species is outstanding with typically five or more photos of the different larval stages. How did authors David James and David Nunnallee do it? By rearing the butterflies from eggs and photographing each stage of their development.

Robert Michael Pyle wrote the Foreword and he best describes the enormous scale of this work: "...this book is the apex of life history treatments to date. In the whole world, no other comparable region enjoys a work of this scale, ambit, and acuity for its butterfly fauna".

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Garden Tool:

Any reader of Connie Sidles' first book, ("In My Nature: A Birder's Year at the Montlake Fill"--2009) will be delighted to learn she has written and published a second collection ("Second Nature: Tales from The Montlake Fill") of her observations, insights, and quiet life lessons gleaned from her continuing visits to the landfill known officially as the Union Bay Natural Area (UBNA). The style of the second book is much like the first, but there are more great close-up photographs of birds, including rarities like a Lazuli Bunting or a Western Scrub-Jay.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Photos of the Union Bay Natural Area (UBNA) can be found in "Seasons of Life in the Union Bay Sanctuary" by Marilyn Smith Layton. This photo essay includes not only birdlife, but also landscapes, flowers, trees, and the people who come to observe it all.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "Four Seasons on Bainbridge Island" is a photo essay by Paul Brians celebrating the flora of the island, some from his own garden, and accented with a few shots of people, animals, and landscapes. Highly recommended for residents of Bainbridge, this book also captures the essence of semi-rural, island living anywhere around Puget Sound.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory" is one of the best examples I've seen of a book capturing the spirit of a public garden. Photographer Sara L. Chapman has created monthly visual essays, using both close-ups and panoramas to bring you into the page and remind you of a real life visit. But this is more than just a picture book. The subjects of the photos are carefully captioned, making this a useful identification handbook to conservatory plants.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "When Debra and David began interviewing and photographing people who grow and arrange fresh, seasonal flowers for local markets, I knew they were documenting a new movement...you could call it the slow flower movement." This quote, by Amy Stewart from the Foreword of "The 50 Mile Bouquet," well summarizes this forward-looking book by Debra Prinzing and David Perry, which leaves you with a wider perspective and appreciation of fresh cut flowers and other greenery. This is in sharp contrast to the international florist industry, making Stewart's 2007 book about that industry, "Flower Confidential," a good companion reading (Stewart--who lives in Eureka, California--almost qualifies as a local author).

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Valerie Easton's "Petal & Twig", tells how to find a source of material for flower arranging in your own garden. If--like me--you've ever struggled with getting your home arrangements just right, Easton will loosen you up and give you permission to just go for it, and open your eyes to more possibilities than you ever imagined a few feet from your back door. "After all, you're crafting performance art that changes hour by hour, day by day, as buds open, petals drop, and flowers droop. Imperfection engages us in the creative process."

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "Landscaping for Privacy" by Marty Wingate is very practical and addresses annoying issues like siting the recycle bins, and how to embrace wildlife or pets without letting them run amok, while empowering you to create a space that is very distinctly your own. Relatively few gardening books address fences and hedges in any depth, but for Wingate "screening hedges become more than shrubs planted in a line; they create a green, living wall, incorporating the design elements of sequence and repetition to pull together the landscape."

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Consider "The Intimate Garden" for very detailed examples of highly individualized garden spaces, with an emphasis on hardscape and ornaments. While both author Brian Coleman and photographer William Wright are from Seattle and the gardens are mostly on the west coast, examples from the east coast and even England are included, making this a very diverse selection of design styles and plant material.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Gardeners east of the Cascades will be pleased to have this addition to the limited collection of garden books for their region. "Native Plant User Guide" is published by the nursery Rugged Country Plants in Milton-Freewater, Oregon and, while self-promoting, there is far more descriptive detail and cultural help than you'd expect from a nursery catalog. With careful reading, gardeners west of the Cascades will pick up useful ideas, too.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: The grandparent of all gardening books for the Pacific Northwest and rest of the west remains the "Sunset Western Garden Book." Now in its new, ninth edition, the proven encyclopedic formula, along with essays, extensive plant selection lists for specific needs, and the much valued Sunset climate zones (all updated) continue to make this a must on any western gardener's shelf. The main addition since the last edition of 2007 is photographs in the encyclopedia--a nice update!

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: "Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees" is a biography of Dan Robinson, a bonsai gardener noted for his naturalistic style. While one could learn much from the examples, this is not a how-to book, but rather a celebration of one man's enthusiasm and perseverance for his art. This led to his establishing Elandan Gardens near Bremerton. His story is well told by the photography and writing of several of his admirers in the local world of bonsai.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: George Bingham is based in Olympia and had been engaged in bonsai for about nine years when "What I've Learned from Bonsai" was published in 2008. This very personal book shares his observation about both the art of bonsai and the life lessons he has gained while working with his plants and living with multiple sclerosis.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: A local garden and nursery that's not well known is Coenosium Gardens in Eatonville. Owner Robert Fincham has traveled widely in his quest for dwarf conifers and the book "Small Conifers for Small Gardens" catalogs the many fine dwarf firs, spruce, pines, hemlocks, and assorted other species he has collected and grown. If you have considered adding conifers that won't outgrow your garden, this introduction to the merits of over two hundred choices, along with anecdotes about each, is a must read.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Hulda Klager (1863-1960) was a Pacific Northwest pioneer. This Woodland, Washington farm wife survived numerous hardships, but is best remembered for the wonderful collection of lilacs she hybridized and introduced in the first half of the 20th century, and the garden now open to the public that displays those lilacs. The historical novel "Where Lilacs Still Bloom" by Jane Kirkpatrick is largely an accurate biography, with only minor liberties taken to amalgamate some of the real life personalities in Klager's life.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: A strong woman from the early 20th century was Elizabeth Colborne (1885-1948), who grew up in Bellingham. She was an artist that worked in several media with various subjects, but is best remembered for her color woodcuts of northwest forest scenes, with detailed and accurate renditions of our native trees and other plants. "Evergreen Muse" by David Martin is a catalog of her works displayed in an exhibit at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham during the summer of 2011.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Fall 2012 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-09
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Jessi Bloom is a strong advocate for chickens in almost any garden setting, and in "Free-Range Chicken Gardens," she provides detailed information on compatible plantings--including those that provide food for chickens--and structures that meet the multiple needs of fowl and flora. There is a lot of well-organized information in these pages on all other related topics, too, making this of value to chicken keepers at any experience level. But you can also just enjoy the profiles of gardeners and their chickens (many are local) or the many superb photographs (by Kate Baldwin) of contented hens in their gardens, proving their value as a natural compliment.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Winter 2013 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-21
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Keywords: Reviews

Garden Tool: Robert and Hannah Litt own the Urban Farm Store in Portland and wrote "A Chicken in Every Yard" from experience keeping their own chickens, and helping their chicken-keeping customers. While they don't disapprove of raising chickens for food, theirs are clearly pets and the book encourages this attitude with chapters like "Parenting Your Peeps." There is a lot of detail about different types and breeds, including recommendation lists such as "best for children." All stages of raising and caring are covered in depth, but the garden is only briefly mentioned. If your focus is solely on chickens, this book is an excellent choice.

Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson. Excerpted from the Winter 2013 Arboretum Bulletin.

Season: All Season
Date: 2013-10-21
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December 12 2014 11:33:49