Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Books for Marin gardeners

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    The Sunset Western Garden Book – This resource provides thousands of photographs and tips in an easily-digestible format. Most importantly, the content is entirely devoted to gardening in the West. For 80 years, this has been a mainstay on Bay Area gardeners’ bookshelves.
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    Gaia’s Garden – This book offers a conceptual framework for how to view gardening. As stated by the publisher, it describes how “working with nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens.” By describing the ecological tenets of gardening, this book reminds us that we gardeners play an important role in maintaining the health and vitality of our surroundings. Gaia’s Garden offers a description of permaculture, with guidelines for creating sustainable gardens.
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    Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates – Created by the East Bay Municipal Utility District, this award-winning book contains water-wise, easy-care plant suggestions that are right at home in Bay Area gardens. This book offers practical advice and many photographs.
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    Golden Gate Gardening – San Francisco Chronicle writer and speaker Pam Peirce created this how-to manual for Bay Area gardeners who want to grow edibles. All aspects of vegetable gardening are covered, including steps for creating, maintaining, and harvesting edibles of every ilk.
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    Designing California Native Gardens – If you want to learn about the unique beauty and importance of growing plants who call California home, this is good place to start. This book describes California’s plant communities, including the redwood forest, oak woodland, and coastal bluff, among others. California native plant experts Glenn Keator and Alrie Middlebrook share their knowledge in an informative, enlightening book that showcases California’s diverse and vital flora, and describes how gardeners can create beautiful and lasting gardens using these native plants.
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    The California Wildlife Habitat Garden – Gardens that attract birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects are a delight to grow and exude color and fragrance. Author Nancy Bauer provides practical advice for creating landscapes that attract wildlife. By creating these living eco-systems in our own gardens, we become part of the larger surroundings in which wildlife co-exists in a healthy balance.
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    Secrets to Great Soil – It’s no secret that one of the undisputed keys to successful gardening is great soil. This well-organized book describes how to make it happen, from figuring out what you’re starting with to choosing the correct techniques and amendments to grow healthy, vibrant gardens. Author Elizabeth Stell is a life-long organic gardener who knows first hand the virtues of crumbly, nutrient-rich soil.
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    Botany for Gardeners – For the backyard scientist who wants to know how plants work, this book is for you. It answers questions such as, “How do seeds germinate?” and “How do plants reproduce?” In his 30 years of teaching botany, Author Brian Capon acquired a knack for putting scientific language into understandable terms.
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