Useful References

Select one of the categories below to find our listings of Useful References.
Please note: This is by NO means an exhaustive list, but these are books we find very useful and use almost every day.



The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy Disabato-Aust, 1998

An excellent book with detailed instructions and photographs. There's no other reference like it. Serves well as an encyclopedia of perennials too. Timber Press.

Rodale's Chemical-Free Yard and Garden 1991, Rodale Press

Indispensable reference for understanding soils as well as insect, disease and weed control.

Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Perennials by Ellen Phillips and Colston Burrell

One of the best all round guides to perennials, maintenance, and culture.

Pruning: A Practical Guide by Peter McHoy
The Pruners Handbook by John Malins

Both are excellent -- the best around. Good pruning books are hard to find.

The Organic Rose Garden by Liz Druitt

Excellent practical solutions to the problems of growing roses in hot humid climates


All the books by Ann Lovejoy, Penelope Hobhouse, Rosemary Verey, John Brookes are indispensable to garden design.

The Outdoor Room by David Stevens

Great photographs, really interesting ideas for outdoor spaces.

Perennials: Vol I and II by Phillips and Rix

Excellent pictures, great information about plants, where they came from, etc.

Perennials for Today's Gardens by C. Colston Burrell

Great new book with exhaustive information about perennials including many lesser known plants and a really useful design section.

Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start

The Shady Border

Encyclopedia of Annuals and Perennials

The Wildflower Gardens: 60 Spectacular Plants and How to Use Them in Your Garden

(All of Cole Burrell's books and articles are great. Thorough, well written, full of information on specific plants as well as design and maintenance.)

Bold Visions for the Garden by Richard Hartlage

Neat if you want to try something different: tropicals, sub-tropicals, bold foliage. Really a fun book.

Herbaceous Perennial Plants by Allan Armitage

Another good encyclopedia of perennial plants

Perennial Garden Plants by Graham Stuart Thomas

All of Thomas's books are classics. This is one of many.

Top of Page


Second Nature by Michael Pollan

A wonderful, wonderful collection of essays which will help you keep your sanity when deer, voles, rabbits, heavy clay, southern blight (and other horrors you probably haven't even heard of yet) threaten to make you throw in your trowel

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

One of the most interesting books I've ever read on the relationship between humans and plants

The Essential Earthman by Henry Mitchell

Terrific essays. A must to read.


Top of Page



A Southern Garden
A Rock Garden in the South
The Little Bulbs
Gardens in Winte
r by Elizabeth Lawrence

These are the classics on gardening in the Piedmont. Full of information and wonderfully readable. Particularly good to read in the midst of a dreary January.

Field Guide to the Piedmont by Michael Godfrey

Excellent reference for understanding our geology, climate, soils, flora and fauna. Has been reissued from the original Sierra Club guide. Available at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Color Echoes
Designing with Perennials
Perennials: How to Select, Grow and Enjoy
Time Tested Plants: Thirty Years in a Four-Season Garden
by Pamela Harper

Pam Harper lives in tidewater Virginia and always discusses how our hot humid climate affects plants and gardening. Most writers don't understand our unique challenges here. The newest book, Time Tested Plants, is particularly terrific.

Antique Roses for the South by William Welch

Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas by Radford, Ahles and Bell

A classic scholarly reference.

Garden Bulbs for the South by Scott Ogden

Very well written and a great guide to heirloom bulbs as well as modern.

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs by Michael Dirr

The bible for gardeners interested in woody plants. The second volume has great photographs.

The Year in Trees by Kim Tripp & JC Raulston

Wonderful book on trees and shrubs throughout the seasons.

Sunbelt Gardening: Success in Hot-Weather Climates by Tom Peace

A neat book with great photos. Tom gardens in Texas and so many of his plants are either not hardy here or cannot withstand our humidity, but there is plenty of useful information and good ideas.

Attracting Birds to Southern Gardens by Thomas Pope, Neil Odenwald, Charles Fryling, Jr.

One of the best things about gardening!

The Winter Garden: Planning and Planting for the Southeast by Peter Loewer and Larry Mellichamp

Winter gardens are a challenge, and rewarding! A tiny bloom in the midst of dreary cold is worth 30 blooms in July.



708 W. Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510 • ph: (919) 949-6872 • email: