After over a month hiatus I am back at my computer with my yard in a deep freeze and wondering — is there anything worthwhile to write about? You bet there is!
How about book gifts for your gardening spouse, children or friends, or how about you? It's not too late to order online for Christmas.
Isn't it that time of year when your garden has been put to bed for the next several months and now you can curl up by a warm fire and answer some of those persistent gardening questions and solve some of your recurring problems?
I know you can always Google on your electronic device for answers but where is the fun of that? And yes, you can take your problems to the Master Gardeners at the Delta CSU Extension office during the growing season. One thing you can't do this winter is sign up for the Master Gardener course that usually starts in January. We are reorganizing the program and hope to have a course available later in 2014.
So, back to my book suggestions for you or as gifts for your aspiring gardener family and friends. Now a good general book to start with would be Sunset's "Western Garden Book." This tome contains more reference material than you ever will be able to digest.
Next would be three books we Master Gardeners find most helpful. These include "Weeds of the West," "Garden Insects of North America," and "Insects and Diseases of Woody Plants of the Central Rockies." The first two listed books can be purchased directly from the CSU Extension office in Delta. All three of these books have lots of color pictures and are easy to use even by the novice. These make up my core reference library.
Other books that address plant problems include: "Insect Management Recommendations for Turf and Ornamentals" and "Aspen: A Guide to Common Problems in Colorado." Both of these books are available at the CSU Extension office. And in case you think you have problems with deer, there is always "Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden" by Rhonda Hart. But don't expect any easy miraculous answers to the problems with deer short of an eight-foot fence.
Since we live in a relatively dry environment, I have a long list of books that deal with xeriscape (not gravel zeroscape) gardening. These would include: "Xeriscape Flower Gardener" by Jim Knopf; "WaterWise Landscaping with Trees, Shrubs and Vines," also by Jim Knopf; "Xeriscape Plant Guide" by Denver Water; "Xeriscape Colorado, the Complete Guide," by Connie Ellefson and David Winger; and "High and Dry, Gardening with Cold-hardy Dryland Plants" by Robert Nold. One last book in this category that I found useful (I bought it didn't I?) is Ortho's "Dry Climate Gardening."
If you are particularly interested in planting natives and/or a more wild landscape I would recommend "Colorado Wildscapes, Bringing Conservation Home by Audubon At Home In Colorado" and "Landscaping on the New Frontier, Waterwise Design for the Intermountain West."
Last but not least are "Durable Plants for the Garden," "A Plant Select Guide," "Best Perennials for the Rocky Mountains & High Plains" and "A Guide to Plants for Western Colorado Gardens & Beyond." These last two books are available at the CSU Extension office.
So what are you waiting for? Time is short. Buy that gardening book and gift it to someone who has more questions than answers. Is that perhaps you? Any of these books will keep on giving long after a murder mystery or sci fi book is finished. And don't expect to find these as e-books on Kindle. Their numerous color pictures are worth the price of purchase alone. Until next time, stay warm and dream of gardens to come.
Jim Leser retired to Cedaredge after a career with Texas A&M University Extension in entomology. He is a member of the Cedaredge Tree Board and a master gardener.blog comments powered by Disqus