Handbooks

"A brilliant collection of gardening handbooks." —New York Times

Since 1945, BBG's award-winning horticultural handbooks have offered practical information in a compact, easy-to-read format. Written by top gardening experts and packed with spectacular color photos, BBG guides are full of ideas on how to make your garden beautiful, bountiful, and ecologically sensible.

  • Published by the trusted source for gardeners across North America
  • Information packed, easy-to-read format
  • Superb color photos and illustrations
  • Featuring organic and sustainable practices
The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature

The Kid’s Guide to Exploring Nature

This gorgeously illustrated book, created by BBG educators, will inspire kids to look closely at the world around them.

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Easy Compost

Easy Compost

Compost provides important plant nutrients; offers habitat for beneficial fungi, earthworms, and other creatures; and helps improve soil structure. Composting can be done in urban community and school gardens, pocket backyards and courtyards, and even indoors. This all-new edition of BBG's bestselling Easy Compost guide is completely updated with a focus on urban composting.

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Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens

Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens

Living roofs cool the air, reduce water pollution, extend roof life, and cut energy costs. They also provide green space for city dwellers and habitat for birds and insects. Green Roofs and Rooftop Gardens tells the stories behind some of the city’s most interesting green roofs and offers tips for starting your own.

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A Native Plants Reader

A Native Plants Reader

Complementing Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s top “how to” guides like Great Natives for Tough Places, A Native Plants Reader offers a set of engaging narratives on the importance of native plants.

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Edible Gardens

Edible Gardens

Bring great-looking food plants into your garden with a portfolio of delicious designs for an edible front yard, native food forest, children’s garden, and more! A plant encyclopedia profiles the origins, ornamental qualities, growing requirements, and culinary uses of more than 100 edible garden plants.

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The Climate Conscious Gardener

The Climate Conscious Gardener

Gardeners can make a difference! This step-by-step guide to offsetting climate change through gardens and landscaping explains what happens when the atmospheric balance of carbon and nitrogen goes awry, and how plants, soil, and synthetic gardening aids (such as fertilizer and pesticides) affect climate.

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Great Natives for Tough Places

Great Natives for Tough Places

Find native plants that thrive in challenging growing conditions! This comprehensive guide offers portraits of more than 120 gorgeous and low-maintenance plants, as well as strategies for selection and care.

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Fragrant Designs

Fragrant Designs

Fragrant flowers and foliage can make the difference between a pretty garden and an unforgettable one! Let this enticing guide take you on a tour of some of nature's most compelling scents.

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Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens

Healthy Soils for Sustainable Gardens

Create a resource-wise garden! This hands-on guide helps you understand the unique characteristics of your garden's soil and shows you how to build its natural fertility with organic and sustainable methods.

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The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-ups

The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-ups

SPECIAL PUBLICATION
Hardcover | 9“ x 11“ | 96 pages | 100% postconsumer recycled paper
The Tree Book's beautiful illustrations show buds, leaf, flower, fruit, and seed of 33 trees that grow in North America. Histories of each tree bring to life its character and significance to us, while introductory chapters explore the science and magic of these gentle green giants.
Winner, Garden Writers Association Gold Award

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Growing Bonsai Indoors

Growing Bonsai Indoors

An introduction to beautiful tropical and subtropical bonsai that can thrive inside your home year-round. Tailored to the needs of first-time bonsai growers, this hands-on guide explains step-by-step how to make indoor bonsai flourish. You'll find a thorough overview of the most common bonsai styles-fully illustrated with color photos and line drawings-along with advice on wiring and pruning from renowned experts.

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Community Gardening

Community Gardening

Today, new concerns about food safety and sustainable practices, greater isolation from neighbors, and the loss of gardening space have made the age-old practice of community gardening more relevant than ever. Whether you are already a member of a community garden, want to get involved in one, or are just curious, this guide offers valuable lessons about cultivation and cooperation-as well as dynamic gardens and great food!

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The Wildlife Gardener’s Guide

The Wildlife Gardener’s Guide

If you can have only one book about attracting wildlife to your garden, this is it. This concise guide recommends ten specific wildlife-garden projects and provides countless tips that will make your garden a refuge for wild creatures. Inside you'll also find helpful information on the best bird foods and feeders, lists of plants that are attractive to the wildlife in your region, garden plans, and much more.

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Buried Treasures: Tasty Tubers of the World

Buried Treasures: Tasty Tubers of the World

Take a culinary global tour of more than 30 edible plants that match their underground bounty with a fabulous aboveground display. Feature them as showstopping house or garden plants, or harvest a few and cook up tasty dishes.

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Wildflower Gardens: Sixty Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them in Your Garden

Wildflower Gardens: Sixty Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them in Your Garden

The wildflower garden is evidence of a new garden aesthetic based on regional landscapes and plants, a blend of nature and nurture, and a partnership between a gardener and the forces of nature. Each home landscape is part of the system and each gardener has a part to play. Ecology can be beautiful.

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Gardening With Children

Gardening With Children

What better way to connect children with the natural world than through gardening? Team up with the youngsters in your care on scores of fun outdoor and indoor garden-related activities. Share the joy of watching plants and the animals that live among them grow and flourish as you guide children in the discovery of nature's cycles and communities.

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Hummingbird Gardens: Turning Your Yard Into Hummingbird Heaven

Hummingbird Gardens: Turning Your Yard Into Hummingbird Heaven

Hummingbirds enliven your garden with their glittering colors and bold, inquisitive personalities as they dash from one tempting bloom to the next. This book shows you how to attract hummingbirds to your yard by planting the flowers they love. You can add vibrant color to your small piece of the planet and at the same time ensure a brighter future for North America's tiniest birds.

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Butterfly Gardens: Luring Nature’s Loveliest Pollinators to Your Yard

Butterfly Gardens: Luring Nature’s Loveliest Pollinators to Your Yard

Detailed, practical information on dozens of butterflies—all spectacularly illustrated in color—plus an encyclopedia of the best plants for attracting these beautiful pollinators to your garden.

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The Tree Care Primer

The Tree Care Primer

In this indispensable guide you'll learn to assess your trees' health and understand what they need as you pick up the basic concepts and essential techniques of common-sense tree care. Whether you are preparing to plant a tree, maintaining a few mature beauties, or deciding on the best course of action to support a long-neglected specimen, you'll find the information you need to promote your trees' long-term well-being in this compact book.

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Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants

Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants

A reference guide for everyone who loves dazzling gardens and cares about the health of North America's remaining wild spaces. In this handbook, plant professionals and home gardeners alike will discover hundreds of spectacular native plants for every region, specially chosen as alternatives to the invasive species that are degrading the continent's natural habitats. SPECIAL FORMAT: 240 pages
Note: This title is out of print. The "purchase" link will help you find used copies.

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Crazy About Cacti and Succulents

Crazy About Cacti and Succulents

What is it about cacti and other succulents that compels their admirers to go well beyond the lonely windowsill specimen or rock-garden sedum? In this delightful guide you'll learn about stapeliads, ceropegias, and other jewels of the botanical world from people whose passion for these fascinating plants has led them to the art of bonsai, to competitive exhibition, and to growing them outdoors in frigid climates and on roofs.

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Designing Borders for Sun and Shade

Designing Borders for Sun and Shade

A boon for even the most artistically challenged, this book shows how to design dazzling flower borders that include beautiful shrubs, grasses, bulbs, and annuals-not just high-maintenance herbaceous perennials. Garden writer, nurseryman, and designer Bob Hyland, who has gardened on both coasts and in between, describes how you can create a gorgeous border in sun or shade and offers design styles and plant suggestions suited to North America's many diverse regions and climates.

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100 Garden Tips and Timesavers

100 Garden Tips and Timesavers

100 Garden Tips and Timesavers has color-coded chapter bars for quick reference to general topics like gardening techniques and vegetables, and each tip is described with step-by-step instructions. Keep it handy for inspiration—it can even go with you to the garden, perhaps nestled in your golf-bag tool carrier!

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The Best Apples to Buy and Grow

The Best Apples to Buy and Grow

Your indispensable field guide to the crispy, crunchy, intensely flavorful apples increasingly available at supermarkets, farmer's markets, farm stands, and orchards. Use this handbook to discover some of the tastiest antique and modern varieties, and how to use them for cooking, baking, cider making, or eating fresh.

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Intimate Gardens

Intimate Gardens

Garden design doesn't have to be mystifying! This information-packed guide will help you transform your yard into a magical, intimate place. The trick is to combine a few important elements in a harmonious design; well-proportioned spaces, a comfortable sense of enclosure, and just the right plants to weave it all together.

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Designing an Herb Garden

Designing an Herb Garden

Endlessly adaptable and easy to grow, herbs are the perfect plants for designing a garden that's ornamental, practical, and intoxicatingly fragrant. This inspiring guide walks you through the project from plan to planting and harvest. Written by expert herb gardeners, this beautifully illustrated volume has everything you need to design a dazzling herb garden—simple garden plans, plant recommendations for each design, and indispensable growing tips.

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The Gardener’s Guide to Growing Orchids

The Gardener’s Guide to Growing Orchids

Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is no magic recipe for growing orchids. The key to growing spectacular tropical orchids indoors lies in identifying the needs of individual plants and finding the combination of conditions that makes them thrive—from amenable potting mixtures to adequate humidity levels. This volume, a companion to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden handbook The Best Orchids for Indoors, provides an in-depth look at the basics of successful orchid growing, whether you are cultivating a few plants on a windowsill or nurturing an ever-expanding collection in a greenhouse or under lights.

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The Best Orchids for Indoor

The Best Orchids for Indoor

With their fabulous flowers in brilliant colors and bizarre shapes, tropical orchids are the showstoppers of the indoor-gardening world. Some orchids grow several feet tall and wide and bear stunning flowers the size of dinner plates. Others are teacup-size plants that vanish under a frothy display of intricate flowers for several months a year. In between are hundreds of sensational plants that make perfect houseplants. In this book, written in cooperation with the American Orchid Society, you will discover a remarkable selection of gorgeous tropical orchids that will thrive in your home.

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The Butterfly Gardener’s Guide

The Butterfly Gardener’s Guide

Butterflies are among nature's loveliest pollinators, and the plants they favor are some of the most beautiful garden bloomers. In this book you'll learn how a few simple changes can transform your yard into a miniature wildlife refuge that's a perfect habitat for butterflies in all their intriguing life stages. No matter where you live, you can create an oasis where butterflies can thrive as they develop from eggs into caterpillars, pupae, and finally into the dazzling creatures that grace the garden as they flit from flower to flower.

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Annuals for Every Garden

Annuals for Every Garden

Dazzling with an infinite variety of colors and forms, annuals are some of the most versatile garden plants. In this book you'll encounter hundreds of enchanting classic and cutting-edge bloomers for a long season of brilliant color and fragrance. Whether you'd like to create a spectacular ever-changing annual border, design a drought-resistant display, lighten up a shady border, or enjoy an evening garden, you'll find the plants that are just right for the job—plus suggestions on how to combine them for the most unforgettable displays.

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The Sunny Border: Sun-Loving Perennials for Season-Long Color

The Sunny Border: Sun-Loving Perennials for Season-Long Color

From a classic perennial border to a serendipitous planting of prairie or meadow wildflowers and grasses to an informal mixture of old-fashioned cottage-garden favorites, there are many ways to create a profusely blooming garden of sun-loving plants. In this book you'll learn how to make the most of the colors, forms, and textures of perennials in stunning combinations that keep your garden in flower from spring to frost.

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Essential Tools: Equipment and Supplies for Home Gardeners

Essential Tools: Equipment and Supplies for Home Gardeners

Faced with the abundance of good-looking equipment in stores and catalogs, it's easy to believe that you need it all. If you don't want to end up with a shed full of untouched gizmos and gadgets, you need to choose wisely. This no-nonsense guide will help you distinguish between the unnecessary and the essential. You'll learn to recognize the basic features of tools that will last you a lifetime. You'll find out exactly what you need to take care of everyday gardening chores, such as digging, cultivating, raking, pruning, and watering, and what it takes to accomplish more ambitions projects, such as installing a pond.

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Gourmet Vegetables: Smart Tips and Tasty Picks for Gardeners and Gourmet Cooks Everywhere

Gourmet Vegetables: Smart Tips and Tasty Picks for Gardeners and Gourmet Cooks Everywhere

Picked when they are fresh, ripe, and full of the power to impart health, homegrown vegetables are a culinary joy bar none. This handbook invites you to experience the pleasures of growing and eating gourmet vegetables. Renowned gardeners, growers, and chefs offer expert advice on scores of classic and little-known vegetable varieties, from artichokes, asparagus, and the tastiest tomatoes to ancient crops like quinoa and amaranth. They also share their favorite recipes, enticing you to savor the unsupassed flavors of sun-ripened produce from your own backyard.

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Spring-Blooming Bulbs: An A to Z Guide to Classic and Unusual Bulbs for Your Spring Garden

Spring-Blooming Bulbs: An A to Z Guide to Classic and Unusual Bulbs for Your Spring Garden

Delight your winter-weary, color-starved eyes with an exuberant display of spring-blooming bulbs. In this spectacularly illustrated guide you'll encounter scores of classic and unusual spring beauties from tiny squills to statuesque Sicilian honey garlic to striking crown imperial. You'll also discover gorgeous hybrid varieties of tried-and-true tulips and daffodils, delightful heirloom flowers, and enchanting North American woodland bulbs. No matter where you live, you'll find bulbs that will thrive in your garden.

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Gourmet Herbs

Gourmet Herbs

By growing herbs in your garden, in pots on your terrace, or on a sunny windowsill, you can ensure a steady supply of even hard-to-find varieties for your kitchen. This indispensable guide offers a taste of the classic and exotic herbs for backyard gardeners and gourmet cooks. Take a guided tour of herb gardens around the world, peek into the pots of cooks everywhere, and savor the fragrance and flavor of delicious culinary herbs.

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The Potted Garden: New Plants and New Approaches for Container Gardens

The Potted Garden: New Plants and New Approaches for Container Gardens

Anything that can hold soil can become a home for plants—from classic terra-cotta pots to leaky soup tureens, from precious vases and antique urns to discarded tubs and heirloom baskets. Imagine a vast patio landscape, a small vernada planting, a miniature alpine roof garden, a luxurious water garden, some strawberry jars brimming with herbs, or one solitary pot. This book tells you everything you need to know to design, plant, and maintain a beautiful potted garden planted with annual flowers, ornamental perennials, herbs, mini-vegetables, shrubs, or even small trees.

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Summer-Blooming Bulbs: Scores of Spectacular Bloomers for Your Summer Garden

Summer-Blooming Bulbs: Scores of Spectacular Bloomers for Your Summer Garden

After the riotous spring blooms of tulips and daffodils fade, make your summer garden sizzle with spectacular summer-blooming blubs?beauties such as South African Galtonia and Tulbaghia and Near Eastern and Asian Eremurus and Colocasia, as well as more familiar lilies and gladioli. This colorful guide invites you to discover scores of stunning bulbs, the favorites of bulb experts from around the country, and provides foolproof advice on cultivation and year-round care.

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Landscaping Indoors: Bringing the Garden Inside

Landscaping Indoors: Bringing the Garden Inside

Why grow just a few lonely houseplants when you can transform your living space into a lush indoor garden? Fill a Wardian case with your favorite ferns and orchids. Grow an indoor orangerie or bamboo grove. Or how about a spectacular water garden for the great indoors? This groundbreaking guide tells you everything you need to know to design, plant, and maintain a beautiful indoor landscape. You'll never look at houseplants the same way again!

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Natural Disease Control: A Common-sense Approach to Plant First Aid

Natural Disease Control: A Common-sense Approach to Plant First Aid

Adopt a commonsense approach to the plant diseases that plague your plants: Dispense with poisons and practice prevention. This concise guide tells you all about the simple gardening techniques you can use to suppress plant problems while improving the overall health of your garden. In these pages, expert pathologists from across the continent explain how to identify diseases that do crop up—and how to treat them effectively using the least toxic controls available today.

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Chile Peppers: Hot Tips and Tasty Picks for Gardeners and Gourmets

Chile Peppers: Hot Tips and Tasty Picks for Gardeners and Gourmets

The chile pepper is moving out of the shadow of its sidekick, the tomato, to become a staple crop in the American kitchen garden. Sweet bell peppers in every color of the rainbow, mild jalapeños, novel ornamental types, and fiery exotic chiles from around the world are inspiring new interest among gardeners. This indispensable guide tells you everything you need to know to grow and enjoy these tongue-tingling pods, whether you live in Philadelphia or Phoenix, whether you garden in containers or on a quarter acre.

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Easy Lawns: Low Maintenance Native Grasses for Gardeners Everywhere

Easy Lawns: Low Maintenance Native Grasses for Gardeners Everywhere

It is possible to have a great-looking lawn without hours of mowing, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and reseeding—think native! Native grasses are easier to care for than conventional high-maintenance turf, and they help restore biodiversity because they don't disturb the surrounding natural habitat. Best of all, native grasses create a beautiful lawn. This groundbreaking guide tells you everything you need to know to choose, buy, plant, and maintain native lawns in every region.

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Flowering Vines: Beautiful Climbers

Flowering Vines: Beautiful Climbers

Beautiful climbers cover a multitude of sins—from rusting downspouts to ugly antennas. But they're also spectacular in their own right, adding vertical drama to an otherwise earthbound landscape. This fully illustrated, easy-to-use guide includes everything you need to know to grow flowering vines that clamber over the garden wall, blanket fences, bestride gateways, twine up pillars, and cast cooling shade beneath an arbor.

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Starting From Seed: The Natural Gardener’s Guide to Propagating Plants

Starting From Seed: The Natural Gardener’s Guide to Propagating Plants

Starting from seed gives you access to the world's vast storehouse of edible, ornamental, and wild plants. This fully illustrated, easy-to-use guide includes everything you need to know to collect, store, and grow seeds successfully.

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Bird Gardens: Welcoming Wild Birds to Your Yard

Bird Gardens: Welcoming Wild Birds to Your Yard

In this beautifully illustrated guide, National Audubon Society staffers from across the country show you how to enhance your garden with wildflowers to attract wild birds that delight with their flashes of color and cheerful song.

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The Shady Border: Shade-Loving Perennials for Season-Long Color

The Shady Border: Shade-Loving Perennials for Season-Long Color

While much has been written in recent years about sunny borders, this book is the first about how to create a spectacular flower bed in low-light areas of your garden. Some of the most bewitching plants available today grow luxuriantly in shade, allowing you to design intricate, layered tapestries of bloom and foliage for year-round beauty.

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Kitchen Gardens: Beyond the Vegetable Patch

Kitchen Gardens: Beyond the Vegetable Patch

A kitchen garden is no mere vegetable patch—with a perfect blend of aesthetics and utility, it's a stylish garden offering both edible and visual delights. The fruits, flowers, herbs, and vegetables you grow and harvest there will feed you and your family—and your spirits.

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Growing Conifers: Four-Season Plants

Growing Conifers: Four-Season Plants

Conifers are the most underrated plants in the landscape world! These versatile, low-maintenance plants come in an array of shapes other than the ubiquitous pyramid and in umpteen colors—yellows, blues, grays, and maroons. This essential guide covers selecting, growing, and designing with conifers, and includes an encyclopedia of scores of spectacular candidates for your garden.

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The Natural Water Garden: Pools, Ponds, Marshes & Bogs for Backyards Everywhere

The Natural Water Garden: Pools, Ponds, Marshes & Bogs for Backyards Everywhere

There's more to water gardening than the conventional water-lily in a tub. This book divulges the secrets of growing the delicate aquatics that float on the still, smooth surfaces of ponds, the brilliant cardinal flowers that grace marshes with startling splashes of color, the intriguing carnivorous pitcher plants that live in spongy quaking bogs—and much more.

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Tantalizing Tomatoes: Smart Tips and Tasty Picks for Gardeners Everywhere

Tantalizing Tomatoes: Smart Tips and Tasty Picks for Gardeners Everywhere

From planting tips to pruning hints, from instructions on starting seeds to scrumptious recipes, this indispensable guide includes everything you need to know about growing America's favorite vegetable. You'll be harvesting plump, juicy, mouth-watering—and pesticide-free—tomatoes in no time!

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Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden

Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden

Hundreds of horticultural plants have jumped the garden gate, threatening native species. This ground-breaking book tells you which plant invaders are problems in your area and how to control them. It ought to be in every library, and on every gardener's bookshelf!

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Bulbs for Indoors: Year-round Windowsill Splendor

Bulbs for Indoors: Year-round Windowsill Splendor

Flowering bulbs are the perfect antidote to the winter blahs. Learn how to force tulips, hyacinths, and other hardy bulbs for a head start on spring, and how to grow rare, tender bulbs that bloom year-round.

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Native Perennials: North American Beauties

Native Perennials: North American Beauties

Why grow foreign delphiniums when you can have beautiful lobelia? Native wildflowers can play a variety of roles in your garden and create a regional feel so your yard doesn't scream "Anywhere USA!"

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Growing Fruits: Nature’s Desserts

Growing Fruits: Nature’s Desserts

Fruits that you grow yourself can ripen on the plant until they're bursting with ambrosial juices. This great guide covers strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches, pears, apricots, raspberries, grapes, and offbeat and unusual fruits.

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Woodland Gardens: Shade Gets Chic

Woodland Gardens: Shade Gets Chic

Shade has often been the bane of gardeners, but it sure doesn't have to be! Learn how to select and grow the best plants for lush, lovely gardens in every region and all kinds of shade—from cool woodland retreats to shaded urban lots. Covers scores of wonderful woodland plants for every region.

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Easy-Care Roses: Low-Maintenance Charmers

Easy-Care Roses: Low-Maintenance Charmers

Don't be a slave to your roses! Experts from every region tell you how to select, plant, and maintain gorgeous roses without pampering—including how to ward off insects and diseases while avoiding routine doses of chemicals. You'll find scores of fabulous—and unfussy— recommended roses.

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Ferns: Wild Things Make a Comeback in the Garden

Ferns: Wild Things Make a Comeback in the Garden

Who needs flowers! The first fiddleheads of spring unfurl a world of green for the garden. Here's information on propagating, dividing, and growing, with an encyclopedia of 65 easy-to-grow species.

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Shrubs: The New Glamour Plants

Shrubs: The New Glamour Plants

For too long, shrubs have taken a backseat to more popular perennials and glitzy annuals. This book tells you everything you need to know about selecting and growing these indispensable plants for shape, color, texture, fragrance, screening, and privacy.

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Going Native: Biodiversity in Our Own Backyards

Going Native: Biodiversity in Our Own Backyards

Top designers show how to combine exquisite wildflowers and other native species in spectacular plantings that provide a refuge for beleaguered plants and animals. Features scores of spectacular native plants and garden plans for every region.

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Natural Insect Control: The Ecological Gardener’s Guide to Foiling Pests

Natural Insect Control: The Ecological Gardener’s Guide to Foiling Pests

This indispensable book makes natural pest control as easy as possible. It includes a beautifully illustrated Encyclopedia of Pests to assist in identification. A variety of "safe" controls are recommended.

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