Garden Reference Books

Golden Gate Gardening: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California

This book is an absolute must-have, as far as I’m concerned, for anyone gardening on the coast, in zone 17. The genius of this book is that it is very specifically directed at achieving year-round or nearly year-round food production from your zone 17 garden, so there is a thorough discussion of timing for those of us battling mildew rather than frost.

Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region

This book, often referred to as “The East Bay MUD book” because it was produced by the East Bay Municipal Utility District to promote water-wise plants. This can be much less critical on the coast, where even during the dry summers, the redwoods trap moisture and the rich soil often ensures your little Mediterraneans will rot. But for planting native edges, hedgerows, drifts, and especially right by the sea, many of these plants are extremely useful. And the pictures are SO much better than the little sketches in Sunset.

Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants – The Right Plants for Your Climate – Tips from Western Garden Experts (Sunset Western Garden Book)

This one’s a must-have for reference, if only for looking things up. The charts comparing varieties of fruit and nut trees within a species can be especially helpful, although most information related to edibles is covered in better depth in Golden Gate Gardening.

Edible Landscaping

Don’t want to look like you’re farming?

Rosalind Creasy, a long-time resident of Los Altos, wrote this definitive work on incorporating edibles into every landscape plan. Since my goal is ultimately to put not just my fenced vegetable garden, but every square inch of my acre to work producing something useful, this book has been invaluable.

Stay tuned, I’m just getting started…


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