Books we’d give



Amy has just purchased a magnificent antiquarian bookstore (I’m still amazed), but in our small way, we Northeasterners are also obsessed with books during these cold days. We’re reading them and we’re thinking about giving them. Here are some we think our gardening friends might like:

From Michele

For the vegetable growers,
Elizabeth Scheider’s Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

For the literary gardener, all the Henry Mitchell books, plus.Eleanor Perenyi’s Green Thoughts

For the stylish gardener, Dianne’s Benson’s Dirt.

For the ornamentalist, The Encyclopedia of Perennials by Graham Rice and Kurt Bluemel.

For the person who needs to put it all in context, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature.

Here are Susan’s picks:

Recent Faves:
Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Covering Ground by Barbara Ellis

What I’m reading:
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.

What I want:
American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn by Ted Steinberg and Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness by Guinness and Knox

Here are mine:

Botanica:The Illustrated A-Z of Over 10,000 Garden Plants and How to Cultivate Them
There are a few of these compendiums, but this one has worked well for me.

The Gardening Primer by Barbara Damrosch
Really a great resource for any level.

If they haven’t read Christopher Lloyd:
Christopher Lloyd’s Garden Flowers
This is probably the most practical for the American gardener, but still lively and fun.

To encourage someone to grow less lawn:
Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in our Gardens by Doug Tallamy.

Here’s one suitable for anyone, and they won’t already have it:
Extreme Horticulture by John Pfahl
This is a beautiful, witty coffee table book by a unsentimental photographer who loves gardening and gardens.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at