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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:14 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Keller,TX
You are probably looking for that just right gift for someone this holiday. I thought I’d give you a few gift suggestions for all the garden lovers on your list.

One of my favorite herb books is “The Herb Garden Cook Book” by Lucinda Hutson. This book is as colorful and eclectic as the author herself. This beautiful book has color pictures of many of the most popular herbs. It is not only a great cookbook, but it tells you how to grow each herb and what you can do with them.

Another good book about herbs is Howard Garrett and Odena Brannam’s “Herbs for Texas.”Garrett uses his knowledge of landscaping to show how herbs can be used in the landscape. There are instructions on how to plant, grow, harvest and store herbs. Medicinal uses are given for many of the plants and there are instructions for making herbal teas.

“Roses in the Southern Garden”is written by the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium, Michael Shoup. This is one of those gardening books that can be left out on your coffee table. Mike’s knowledge of roses and the wonderful pictures, make this book a valuable addition to any gardener’s library.

For gardeners who enjoy having butterflies in their garden,”Butterfly Gardening For The South”by Geyata Ajilvsgi is another good coffee table book. This book will help anyone plan a butterfly garden. There are detailed descriptions of all the different butterflies and great pictures of butterflies from our area. There is a section on where to get seeds and plants for your butterfly garden. There are even instructions on how to photograph butterflies.

The next few books are all authored by Howard Garrett, known as “The Dirt Doctor.” If you were to only have one book on natural gardening in Texas, “Texas Gardening The Natural Way” would be the one to have. This book gives you the total natural gardening program. It tells you how to design a landscape, how to plant it, and how to maintain it. There are formulas for several garden-related remedies and other ailments. It has a reference guide section on different organic fertilizers and soil amendments. There’s a section on insects that helps with symptoms and identifications of different pests. The book has pictures of all sorts of plants, from trees to groundcovers, with comments from Howard on how well the plant will grow in certain areas of Texas.

One of the first books that The Dirt Doctor wrote was “The Organic Manual.” This book is an easy read for all those starting on a natural gardening program. It tells you all about the basics of organic gardening and would make a great gift.

For anyone interested in nature, the “Texas Bug Book” is sure to be one they’ll want to have. This has to be the best book I’ve ever seen on bugs in our area. There are color pictures and great information on bugs and how to naturally get rid of them. One interesting aspect of the book is the personal stories that the two authors share about certain insects. For this book, Garrett has paired up with the grandfather of organic gardening, Malcolm Beck, co-author.

Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, Texas 77902
December 13, 2007

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