It's that time again to get out of the heat (and wind!) and curl up next to the swamp cooler and read a book or two! Eric A. Johnson, co-author with Scott Millard on two of my favorite books. How to Grow the Wildflowers and The Low-Water Flower Gardener, has come out with another excellent addition to the Plants for the Arid West series with Pruning, Planting & Care, How to Grow More Than 300 Native and Adapted Trees, Shrubs, Ground Covers, Vines and Flowers. This guide thoroughly covers everything you want to know about gardening for the Southwest region. This book is destined to become a dog-eared favorite in my library and I highly recommend it for everyone. If some of the photos look familiar that's because many shots are from Tohono Chul Park in Tucson.
Lavender lovers-there's finally a book dedicated to lavenders. The Lavender Garden, by Robert Kourik, is a sweet little book profiling sixteen of his favorite lavenders including lavender botany, planting and care, and lavender in fragrances, crafts, and cuisine. If you're thinking of installing a drip system, check out one of the author's other books, Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates.
Sunflowers have been gaining popularity in the past few years and two books are out celebrating the happiest flower in the garden. Lucy Peel's The Ultimate Sunflower Book has beautiful pictures of the many varieties available and many craft and cooking ideas. The Great Sunflower Book by Barbara Flores is a wonderful little book brought to bloom from the horticulturists from Seeds of Change, an organic seed company in Santa Fe, New Mexico.