If your winter “gardening” is usually comprised of bulb and perennial catalogs, highlighters, and very little in the way of actual outdoor gardening, then I have a new tool to make your winter plotting that much more exciting.
It’s organized by state, which initially gave me a feeling of overwhelm (hey, California’s pretty big!), until I discovered the clear state-by-state maps in the back which show where each of the gardens is located. Using that guide, I was able to quickly compile a list of gardens within a reasonable distance to me.
Because she gives a synopsis of each garden’s specialty, whether it’s a historic garden, conservatory, or native plant garden, I was able to calculate the best times to visit and start coordinating whether any would be in season at the same time as some of the garden shows and tours in the area.
The book also has QR codes and website addresses, so it was easy for me to find more info online, and there’s a quick legend of symbols which tells whether the garden has food, events, plant sales, etc. that we might want to check out.
Because it’s small enough to pack in one’s luggage, this isn’t a coffee table book with lots of photos. Nor it is exhaustive – there are 42 gardens listed for California and six in Oregon, for example. But if you want to plan out a great garden trip, with a stop at a garden show and a few notable gardens along the way, this is a fantastic reference to get you started. It even has brief listings for Canada and international locations as well.
If you want to make the most of your holiday travel by squeezing in a visit to a conservatory, or just enjoy some contented time in winter dreaming of the gardens you’ll visit come spring, then this is an excellent book to get you inspired with all of the possibilities.
Want to win a copy of your own? Cool Springs Press has offered a copy to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on this post and I’ll randomly pick a winner on Friday December 2nd (US only). Good luck!
EDIT: Mike Mindel has won the book. Congrats, Mike!