Under the influence
Andrea Bellamy |

Well, I’ve finally decided to apply to the UBC Garden Design program.

As part of the application process, they ask that you list five books, journals, and/or magazines that you have found influential. I’m kind of struggling with it, because at different points during my life and growth as a gardener, I’ve required different information. When I was a “beginner,” I dog-eared books I probably wouldn’t give a second glace at now. Likewise, when I had my rooftop garden, I was drawn to books on container gardening, and of course, rooftop gardens.

That said, I have some favourite resources that I have found valuable at any stage/need:

Garden Design and Fine Gardening magazines are almost always inspiring. And GardenWise is great as a source of regional information.

As for books, I’ve enjoyed the second edition of 100 Best Plants for the Coastal Garden by Steve Whysall. Subtitled “The Botanical Bones of Great Gardening,” the new edition lists complementary plant combinations for each featured “best plant.”

Rosemary Verey’s Good Planting Plans
was invaluable when I was planning my last garden. I especially love her potages.

Thomas Church’s Gardens Are for People, is still good reading years after its initial publication, and, I think, important in understanding garden design from a historical standpoint.

Sunset’s Western Garden Book by Kathleen Norris Brenzel is a good one-stop book, especially for looking up a particular plant.

Those are my picks so far, but I want to hear from you. What books, magazines or journals have influenced you as a gardener?

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