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Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts

4.44  ·  Rating Details ·  830 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Gardeners throughout the region will be welcoming a thoroughly updated and fresh-looking 8th edition of the "bible of Western gardening." With a new, easy-to-read design, more plant photography, larger illustrations, and more than 8,000 plant listings--500 of them new--it's THE essential book for gardeners in the Western states. What plants to grow, how to nurture them, an ...more
Paperback, 768 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Oxmoor House (first published June 28th 1986)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mike Muse
Jul 11, 2008 Mike Muse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
every... last... detail...
great for california...
worthless in Norway.
trust me.
Jeremy C.
Feb 21, 2014 Jeremy C. rated it really liked it
A great resource! I really like how thorough it is the especially useful Plant Selection Guide it has. I really like how it breaks down it's guide into the chosen categories it lists. I think it's a great resource for planning a flower garden and I was excited to find some really cool local plants that I'd like to start growing! My only complaint is that while it's actually a really big and colorful book with great photographs of the plants, for me it left something to be desired in the encyclop ...more
Molly Hansen
I have enjoyed this book since I bought my first house out of foreclosure back in the early 1990's. In an effort to save maintenance costs, the bank had turned the water off over the summer, so the only thing left alive in the yard were the beautiful well-established trees. This book was highly recommended by other homeowners, so I picked it up and it did not leave my side while I was re-landscaping the yard. I even took it out to the yard and to the local nurseries with me to make sure I made e ...more
Gang Chen, Author of "Planting Design Illustrated"
This is it!

Most of the existing books on landscaping can be put into one of the three categories:

a. Coffee table books with pretty photos.
b. Encyclopedia of plants.
c. Horticulture books.

Only a few of the books on landscaping actually discuss design.

"Sunset Western Garden Book" is the best book for plant selection, a very important aspect of Planting Design. I have used it for many, many years. Every landscape architect that I know owns a copy of this book. Each new edition is getting bette
Dec 13, 2008 Melanie rated it really liked it
Great reference book for specific plants. Definitely check with your UC Extension office for specifics and more detailed information on what does / doesn't work for your area. Wish the index in the back or list of plants grouped by category was more user-friendly. The index is only helpful if you know the scientific name of the plant, while the index you must resort to looking through categories like "Small deciduous patio trees" for what you are looking for specifically (not the best if you are ...more
Diane Anderson
Oct 25, 2012 Diane Anderson rated it it was amazing

I don't know how I would have planted my gardens in western Washington without this book. It's like a bible for gardeners! The book has both botanical names and common names listed, so you can always find what you need. If you don't know the name at all, there are many photos and drawings, so you can often find what you need by visual reference. Plus I like the beginning of the book where planting suggestions are made for specific concerns, such as deer resistant plantings, plants for sun, shad
Oct 30, 2010 Joey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, garden
A wonderful and essential resource for all gardeners in the West from the Rainy Pacific Northwest to the Arid Southwest! I constantly use this book for information on a particular species of plants. The best part of course are the climate zones that are very helpful in choosing appropriate plants for ones garden. For example I live in zone 15 that is 85% influenced by Ocean Air. Fuchsias that hate low humidity thrive here more than in a zone 9 garden that is dominated by inland air. However, Fuc ...more
Aug 12, 2007 DumDum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gardeners
Shelves: reference
This is the best garden book ever! My edition is over twenty years old, still very good but need the latest just because it includes hundreds of new plants and more environmentally friendly practices. I've tried to use other plant references but have not found one to be so inclusive of plants specific to the North West.

Trust this review. I was the Oregon State FFA Champion in Ornamental Horticulture in 1981. This is the basis for my entire life. Aren't I the greatest?
Sep 10, 2014 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Found this at the Monday sale (like a big garage sale!) and was so glad. In the store they are around forty dollars. I use it all the time for any kind of plant I'm either looking for or having trouble maintaining. Also shows a lot of climate tolerant plants. Has anything from trees, to flowers, foliage, ground cover. What attracts birds, or butterflies. Or what deters deer, rabbit, other wildlife. My book is bookmarked all over with my favorite sections!!
Feb 17, 2008 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in landscaping or gardening
The most helpful and easy-to-use book on western flora I've seen. We got this when we were planning the xeriscaping of our front yard, and it was very helpful in choosing plants suitable to the conditions here. Lots of pictures, lots of data about conditions in many parts of the country and which plants do best in which kinds of places.

If you're considering any gardening or landscaping projects, take a look at this book. It will be time well spent.
Jul 25, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up as a resource for growing a garden. I do not even live in the region that the book was directed towards, and I have found so many very helpful gardening tips as well as an awesome resource for deciding which types of plants to grow. It has a very good description of plants and the specific care that they need. I recommend it to anyone who needs a good resource for gardening.
Renee Wilkinson
Jul 12, 2011 Renee Wilkinson rated it really liked it
This has been a great reference for my modern homestead for many years. I am always surprised at how many unusual edibles they cover in the book as well. One summer I spent months just combing my way from cover to cover to learn more about plants. This is a great general audience guide to plant care, from ornamentals to edibles.
Tracy Shew
May 09, 2011 Tracy Shew rated it liked it
This isn't the actual edition - the one I have is from 1960s. Huge amount of data on edibles & ornamentals. Lists every conceivable plant you could grow from here to S. California, and gives horticulture of each. However, leaves a lot to be desired in the "what is that plant" department, since the drawings of plants are small and unclear.
Nov 17, 2007 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gardeners on the west coast
Shelves: the-west-is-best
Sunset always makes me feel so special about living on the west coast. I don't know why, but this book sort of makes me believe that plants simply don't exist east of the rockies. Or, if there are plants there, they exist purely by accident because clearly no one over there knows anything about gardens.
Aug 12, 2007 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
My gardening consists mainly of buying whatever is bloomming at farmers market at the time, smashing it in (or letting slowly die in the pot) wherever their is a spot and seeing what happens - that being said. I LOVE this book. I refer to it frequently and wish I were the organized thoughtful gardener that knew how to utilize it properly.
Oct 10, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outdoors
If you live west of the Mississippi there is no substitute for this book. Everything you need to know about plants and more. If I can still remember the Latin for Ash trees (fraxinus) you know it must be good.
Mar 30, 2010 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Excellent book for reading about the pros and cons of plants in our area. Thanks, Pat, for recommending it. A little difficult to navigate if you don't know all the scientific names for the plants you want to look up. Also, gets a little heavy when carrying it around the nurseries... :).
Jul 10, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I have had it for a couple of seasons now (in hardbook) and I love referring to it. It's great to be able to see a plant in the book, know I have seen it before, and identify it. Plus, it makes me feel smart to know the names of a lot of plants! :)
Jan 22, 2009 Grant&Mimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of my main Plant Bibles, but my best gardening tip=do not rely on any of the USDA climate zones in the west, get your local Co. Extension Agent/Cert. Master Gardener to give you a local frost map, it really helps:P
Katy Dickinson
Apr 25, 2008 Katy Dickinson rated it it was amazing
The best reference book on western US gardens, gardening, and plants. Easy to use and understand. The reader must have some idea of the name of the plant in order to look it up. The first book for your gardening shelf.
Feb 29, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gardeners who live in the areas covered by the book.
Recommended to Becky by: Found it in a bookstore
Living out in the desert, it's important to plant things that are appropriate to the area. It's a great little (OK, not so little) guide to planting. This is the most frequently used book in the house next to the dictionary and thesaurus.
Jan 22, 2010 Jennifer rated it did not like it
In some parts of the west this may be a great gardening book but here in the Pacific NW, it is not. This one is going to the Goodwill today.

The Seattle tilth Guide for maritime gardening is waaaaay better!!
Aug 28, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, school
This book made me feel like I had all the tools to garden. Of course, me being myself, my garden promptly died, but at least I finally knew that my plants die because they hate me, not because I am mistreating them.
Mar 26, 2008 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-have in every household where anyone takes care of their own garden.
Susan Mazur Stommen
Jan 27, 2009 Susan Mazur Stommen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeandgarden
I use in the library. Kinda big.
Jun 25, 2011 Rook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are in the western US this is a required gardening book.
Jul 08, 2009 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Any plant lover needs to read this.
Sep 11, 2008 Hanako rated it really liked it
This is the textbook for my introduction to horticulture stoked am I?
Oct 01, 2007 Cadillacrazy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really there's not too many ways to improve on this book. A must for any California (or Arizona, Washintgton, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Idaho or Colorado...)gardener
Mar 21, 2009 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gardening
Classic. Indispensable.
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