Friday, December 30, 2022

Top Garden Books of 2022

Here is a list of the best gardening books that were reviewed in 2022 in the Washington Gardener Magazine. 
(These 10 selections are listed below 
in no particular order.)

Buy a few of these for yourself and for the plant geeks, garden lovers, and horticultural nerds in your life! (Note that if you click on the links, it takes you to the book's Amazon page and we get a few pennies if you order it from there through our affiliate link.)

1. The Elegant & Edible Garden: Design a Dream Kitchen Garden to Fit Your Personality, Desires and Lifestyle

Author: Linda Vater

Publisher: Cool Springs Press

List Price: $30.00

Order Link:

Reviewer Andrea Siegel wrote, "This book doesn't break new ground, but it can be inspiring and instructive: The writer is a self-taught gardener and landscape creator.  She shares not only her successes and beautiful grounds, but her miscalculations and mistakes. And she methodically shows the steps to take to create a lovely garden that reflects your individual taste and style."

2. The Regenerative Garden: 80 Practical Projects for Creating a Self-Sustaining Garden Ecosystem

Author: Stephanie Rose

Publisher: Cool Springs Press

List Price: $30.00

Order Link:

Reviewer Andrea Siegel wrote, "This book stood out because it goes beyond organic gardening to teach us about improving the soil naturally, and then takes us beyond that toward building an ecosystem that is self-sustaining, productive and good for the environment. There are projects for all skill levels -- even for a toddler --  and the author shows us how to take each backyard project, such as making a simple trellis, from being environmentally good, better, and best. This shows us that baby steps matter, and it offers encouragement to all of us, as we ask what else can we do to improve our sliver of the ecosystem."

3. The Vegetable Gardening Book: Your Complete Guide to Growing an Edible Organic Garden from Seed to Harvest

Author: Joe Lamp’l

Publisher: Cool Springs Press

List Price: $28.99

Order Links:

Reviewer Jaime Breeden wrote, "Joe Lamp’l’s The Vegetable Gardening Book bills itself as a one-stop shop for your vegetable garden needs and comes as close as anything I’ve seen to actually offering it. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or someone who’s never touched or planted a seed, this book’s ability to display so much information, while making it easy to digest, is no small feat. It could easily become a modern mainstay on a gardener’s shelves."

4. 100 Plants to Feed the Monarch: Create a Healthy Habitat to Sustain North America’s Most Beloved Butterfly 

Authors: Eric Lee-M├Ąder, Stephanie Frischie, Emma Pelton, Sarina Jepsen, Stephanie McKnight, and Scott Hoffman Black

Publisher: Storey Publishing

List Price: $16.95

Order Links:

Reviewer Brandie Bland wrote, "100 Plants to Feed the Monarch is a breezy, sturdy quick reference that you can toss into your favorite gardening tote. It gets high marks for its easy-to-understand plant profiles and plenty of helpful reference photos and colorful graphics. If you like to read books with a more theoretical tilt, this may not be the book for you, but if you enjoy a straight to the point, hands-on reference, then look no further. This is a beginner-friendly book for both gardeners and monarch conservationists alike—a great addition to any bookshelf. Whether you are worried about the monarch’s plight or an avid gardener making a planting plan for your backyard garden to join the conservation fight, 100 Plants to Feed the Monarch is a great resource that you’ll find yourself reaching for over and over."

5. The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Guide: How to Combine Shape, Color, and Texture to Create the Garden of Your Dreams

Author: Jenny Rose Carey

Publisher: Timber Press

List Price: $29.95

Order Links: 

Reviewer Jim Dronenburg wrote, "It is a good book for beginners, but also has a lot to say to those who are (ahem) longer in the tooth... Carey’s writing style is wonderful, and the pictures are good enough that this would be a coffee table book if there were not such good text/captions/information. In short, get this book. Your reviewer is a plant collector, not a designer, but I still very much like what Carey has to say."

6. Houseplant Warrior: 7 Keys to Unlocking the Mysteries of Houseplant Care

Author: Raffaele Di Lallo

Publisher: The Countryman Press

List Price: $25.00

Order Links:

Reviewer Dorvall Bedford wrote, "If you’re an aspiring plant person who is looking for guidance on taking care of an indoor plant, then Houseplant Warrior by Raffaele Di Lallo is the perfect place to start. Whether you’re confused about proper lighting or watering, this book has all the information you need to begin.... I highly recommend this book. Houseplant Warrior is perfect for anyone who is just starting out as a plant parent and looking for quality advice. It will give you the necessary essentials and more so you are prepared to adopt your new houseplant."

7. Lilacs: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden

Author: Naomi Slade

Photography: Georgianna Lane

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

List Price: $22.99

Order Links: and

Reviewer Tori Vandergriff wrote, "Lilacs is a jaw-dropping piece of literature due to Slade’s elegant and informative language, as well as Lane’s incredible photography. This book would be perfect for anyone seeking to learn more about the history of lilacs, the differences in each variety, and how to care for them in the garden. I would highly recommend this book to any gardener (beginner or otherwise) and anyone who loves gorgeous flowers!"

8. Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Revised and Updated Second Edition)

Author: Jessica Walliser

Publisher: Cool Springs Press

List Price: $27.99

Order Link: and

Reviewer Erica H. Smith wrote, "This is the rare gardening book that you just want to sit down and read straight through, including all the details about big-eyed bugs and mountain mint, phenology, and farmscaping, and then study the handy chart about what eats what and what you should plant to attract them. And then start ordering seeds. Maybe it’s even the book that will convince your insect-phobic neighbor to stop spraying and start planting, but at the very least, it will help you serve as a good example of how gardens can be beautiful, healthy, and full of bugs, at the same time."

9. A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War

Author: Barbara Carrol Roberts

Publisher: Candlewick Press

List Price: $18.99

Order Link: and

Reviewer Beth Py-Lieberman wrote, "

10. The Garden Refresh: How to Give Your Yard Big Impact on a Small Budget

Author: Kier Holmes

Publisher: Timber Press

List Price: $27.95

Order Link: and

Reviewer Jamie Oberg wrote, "The Garden Refresh inspires readers to view gardening in a new, aesthetic way. It engages the reader and makes incredibly designed gardens feel more feasible, regardless of your situation. Holmes touches on every aspect of garden design, keeping each step of designing, creating, and maintaining a garden easy to follow. She makes gardening an art medium, highlighting how to work with all five senses in a garden design. Overall, the book embodies what Holmes would call 'creative gardening.' "


We had to include our own book here, which we are extremely proud of and hope you will consider purchasing. The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City is by Kathy Jentz and Teresa Speight (Publisher: Cool Springs Press, List Price: $26.99, Order Link: Garden writer Toni Gattone wrote, "The Urban Garden book is jam-packed with 101 great ideas, that beginner and experienced gardeners will learn from. This book is beautifully laid out with gorgeous, colorful photographs that will inspire you to create the garden of your dreams, no matter if it is a small space or a large plot. It’s well thought out and an easy read."

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

2023 Garden PHOTO CONTEST Kicks Off!


The 17th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest kicks off now! The entry period is January 1-21, 2023. 

Note that eligible entries must have been taken during the 2022 calendar year in a garden setting within 150-mile radius of Washington, DC.


~ Garden Views (landscape scenes)

~ Garden Vignettes (groupings of plants in beds or containers, unusual color or texture combinations, garden focal points, and still scenes)

~ Small Wonders (flower or plant part close-ups)

~ Garden Creatures (any living creature in a garden setting)

Remember that garden photos need not all be taken during the first week of May nor should they all be tight close-ups of a red rose. Look for the unusual and for beauty in the off-season too. Our judges give equal weight to the following criteria when evaluating the entries: technical merit, composition, impact, and creativity.

Anyone can enter: professional or amateur, adult or student, local area gardener or visiting DC tourist. Past winners have included teenagers entering their first-ever photo contest and home gardeners trying out their new digital cameras. Our next Grand Prize Winner could be YOU!


Also, here is the entry form text:

Washington Gardener Magazine Photo Contest Entry Form
• Name -      
• Full address-
• Phone number –
• Email –
• Years of photography experience-
• Whether you are a Pro or Amateur-
• Image File name and title-
• A brief description of each image-
• The category each image is to be entered in -
• The location where each image was taken -
• All available photographic information regarding the image (i.e. camera type, lens, lighting, etc.)

For any contest inquiries, contact

*A PDF of the rules is available on request to the email, if the JPG above is not legible for you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Win a Copy of Groundcover Revolution by Kathy Jentz in our December 2022 Washington Gardener Reader Contest

For our December 2022 Washington Gardener Reader Contest, we are giving away a copy of Groundcover Revolution by Kathy Jentz (value $27, 

   Tired of spending your weekends mowing, trimming, and edging? Then it’s time to say goodbye to your standard grass lawn and join the Groundcover Revolution! Turns out you’re not alone in your desire to ditch the lawn and replace it with something prettier, more diverse, lower maintenance, welcoming to pollinators, and good for Earth’s climate health. Reducing the lawn is among the biggest trends in homeownership, with an endless stream of homeowners looking for an eco-friendly alternative to a traditional turfgrass lawn. In the last few years alone, over 23 million American adults converted part of their lawn to natural landscapes, and now they’re looking to do even more.

   To enter to win a copy of Groundcover Revolution, send an email to: by 5:00pm on December 31 with “Groundcover Revolution” in the subject line and in the body of the email. Tell us what your favorite article was in the December 2022 Washington Gardener Magazine issue and why. Please also include your full name and mailing address. The winner will be announced and notified on January 1.

UPDATE: The winner was chosen at random from the submitted entries and they are Alice M Weisz of Virginia Beach, VA. Please do consider entering our monthly reader contest as the odds of winning are usually very high.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Monday Thoughts: "The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination." -Terri Guillemets


"The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination." 

-Terri Guillemets

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Thanks for Listening to the GardenDC Podcast: Check Out Our Top 10 List of 2022

Thank you to all of our GardenDC Podcast listeners, supporters, guests, and contributors! We had a great third year and are looking forward to much more educational and informational fun in 2023. While we are on holiday break, now is a great chance to jump in and catch up on any of the 131 episodes that you may have missed or re-listen to your past favorites.

Here are our Top 10 episodes from our third season in order of number of listens:

2. Mulching and Weeding Tips 
3. Permaculture 

4. Universal Gardening Truths

5. Pruning Tips 

8. Annual Combinations

10. Self-Sowing Plants 

  • You can see the first season (episodes 1-40) Top 10 List here.
  • You can see the second season (episodes 41-86) Top 10 List here.

Note that the GardenDC podcast is taking a break for the rest of the holiday season and will be back in the new year. 

BTW, YOU can become a listener supporter for as little as $0.99 per month! 
See how at:

We welcome your questions and comments! You can leave a voice mail message for us at: Note that we may use these messages on a future episode.

And be sure to leave us a 5-star review on your favorite platform so other gardeners can find us too!

Happy Holidays to you and yours from Washington Gardener Magazine!

Happy Holidays to you and yours from Washington Gardener Magazine!

Monday, December 19, 2022

Monday Thoughts: “I had not thought of violets of late, the wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet, in wistful April days.” - Alice Moore Dunbar- Nelson

“I had not thought of violets of late, the wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet, in wistful April days.” - Alice Moore Dunbar- Nelson

Sunday, December 18, 2022

December 2022 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine –Paperbush, Native Ferns, Sentinel Gardens, and much more…

December 2022 issue of Washington Gardener Magazine

Inside this issue:

  • Pretty Paperbush (Edgeworthia)
  • Tactics to ID Mystery Mushrooms
  • Great Gardening Books Reviewed
  • Easy Ways to Propagate Camellias
  • A Collection of Native Ferns
  • Meet Docu Filmmaker Sarah Galloway
  • 2023 Photo Contest Call for Entries
  • Seed Exchange 2023 Details
  • DC-MD-VA Gardening Events Calendar
  • How Sentinel Gardens Can Save Native Trees
  • Pathway Homes Urban Garden Program
  • and much more…

Note that any submissions, event listings, and advertisements for the January 2022 issue are due by January 5.

>>  Subscribe to Washington Gardener Magazine today to have the monthly publication sent to your inbox as a PDF several days before it is available online. You can use the PayPal (credit card) online order form here:

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Holiday Gifts for Gardeners ~ Top Gardening Gifts ~ 21+ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas


The holiday season is here and I bet you have a gardener on your gift list, so we've updated our annual a Holiday Gifts for Gardeners ~ Top Gardening Gifts ~ 21+ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas.

Here are the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true work tools that make my garden grow, save my back from breaking, and generally make life a little easier. Buy a few for others, but also treat yourself!

Disclosure: the gift ideas here are linked to an Amazon affiliate account, so if you click on them and order any, Washington Gardener Magazine gets a few pennies added to the account for the referral. Our full Amazon storefront is at:


Need even more ideas? Here are some more links-

Disclosure: Clicking on these links and then ordering anything from Amazon may put a few pennies in the Washington Gardener Magazine bank account. Thank you for anything you can direct our way. We are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


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Gifts for Gardeners ~ Gardening Gifts ~ Cool Gardening Gift Ideas

Today is Amazon Prime Day, so I thought I'd again share the garden products I use almost every day. These are the tried-and-true w...