I started this post thinking I would list the New Sunset Western Garden Book, the old standby through the years of amateur and professional gardeners alike. It is still one of my sentimental favorites, and – as you will see if you click on the link – the brand new, just out edition looks to be updated with pertinent sustainable garden topics and is even more useful visually than the older versions. Definitely worth the investment for a handy reference library.
Then I realized, I often use online sources for information. The convenience and photo quality of online sources is just too easy to get used to – especially if you’re already writing something on your computer. So, here’s to the www…sometimes, anyway.
Two favorites for plant advice, growing info, mature size of plants, tips on what’s interesting, and photo ops:
OSU Landscape Plants - Encyclopedic in its scope and local to the PNW, its focus is educational. Each entry has photos plus growing information, and i.d. tips all conveniently accessible, even though it’s not a flashy site. It is produced by the Master Gardeners through OSU Extension. The extension service is one of the best Congressionally mandated government programs ever devised, linked up since the early 20th century with land-grant colleges and universities.
Great Plant Picks – Every year this site adds a list of new plants that have proven to be good garden subjects in our climate. Based on a theme (sun, shade, color, etc), and chosen by a panel of horticulturists. Each year at the NW Flower and Garden show, a poster of the new plant picks is available at their booth, and can be ordered from the website too. It’s a good way to find new and interesting material for your garden, as some of the plants are not widely sold or used; others are old standbys that are always in fashion.