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Our Bookshelf

As a program, we make a commitment to continued learning. Listed are a few resources we recommend and several reads we have found particularly inspiring.

Native Plant Information & Guides

Plant Selection Guide: Heritage Gardens of the Columbia Basin

Donna Lucas & Heather Wendt

The Columbia Basin Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society and Benton Conservation District partnered to publish this guide. This beautiful full color, 164 page, spiral bound book contains descriptions of over 100 native and low water-use plants. In addition to plant profiles, the book provides information on the cultural and natural heritage of the plants along with stunning photos.

Waterwise: Native Plants for Intermountain Landscapes

Wendy Mee, Jared Barnes, Roger Kjelgren, Richard Sutton, Teresa Cerny, Craig Johnson

A wonderful guide co-written by Wendy Mee of our Heritage Garden team! Emphasis on gardening with plants native plants of the intermountain west.

Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest

Mark Turner & Phyllis Gustafson

Excellent wildflower guide for the whole of Washington State. Great for visual learners with photos of flowers broken down by color and petal count.  

Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary

Ronald J. Taylor

Excellent Plant ID reference for the shrub-steppe. Friendly for those new to plant ID with helpful pictures and introduction to soils of our region.  

Native Plant Landscaping Movement

Garden Revolution

Larry Weaner & Thomas Christopher

Excellent read on building resilience in our yards and gardens.  

Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes

Thomas Rainer & Claudia West

How wild and cultivated spaces can work together for a more resilient future.

Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit

Scott Ogden &Lauren Springer Ogden

Design with the plants in mind. Ogden shares how plants in their native habitats influence his designs and philosophizes about what a garden is. Lovely photos include many shrub-steppe inspired designs.  

Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants

Judith Phelps

Excellent overview of the design process, how to grow your own native plants and species descriptions. Many Southwest natives overlap with our local flora.

General Reading

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard

Doug Tallamy

Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest

Suzanne Simard

Gardening with Less Water

David A Bainbridge

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