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130 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for CA native gardeners
I love this book! I bought it a few weeks ago and I've kept it close to me ever since.

*Fantastic color pictures, easily averaging two per page. (If nothing else, the photography alone would make it a great coffee table book. It transcends that limitation however by being so research intensive.)

*Crisp, informative writing with attention paid to...
Published on December 31, 2005 by Burrill C. Leland

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cultivars are not native plants.
The book was written about cultivars which are not native plants. The title was misleading. I feel cheated. Native plans attract native pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Cultivars do not.
Published 7 months ago by jenny williams


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130 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for CA native gardeners, December 31, 2005
By 
Burrill C. Leland (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
I love this book! I bought it a few weeks ago and I've kept it close to me ever since.

*Fantastic color pictures, easily averaging two per page. (If nothing else, the photography alone would make it a great coffee table book. It transcends that limitation however by being so research intensive.)

*Crisp, informative writing with attention paid to color (flower, foliage, bark, etc), shape and habit, site analysis, and seasonal interest for every entry.

*Three-to-five chunky paragraphs for each plant with key families like manzanita and pine getting several pages.

*Clear, straightforward endorsements and appraisals. "Desert willow is simply the best summer-blooming large shrub or small tree that California has to offer." "Though justly and thoroughly praised through the years as the queen of California's wildflowers, Matilija poppy is both finicky and aggressive in the garden." "This first-rate sage [Salvia spathacea] satisfies on all counts and truly lives up to its name by attracting hummingbirds to your garden." "It would be difficult to come up with another California native to top giant coreopsis in the weird-looking plant category."

*Appendices include several pages listing native plant nurseries and public gardens throughout CA, and a five page bibliography.

I could go on praising this book. (I only found one plant missing from this book I'd have expected to see: Vaccinium ovatum.)
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!, September 29, 2006
This book distinguishes itself by offering wonderful color photgraphs of most of the plants it discusses. This is a significant advantage for neophyte native plant gardeners. Other valuable and well-respected books on the same topic, such as Growing California Native Plants by Marjorie G. Schmidt, don't offer even close to the same pictorial experience.

Don't think that it's all about the photgraphs, however. The rest of the book is put together well and stands side by side with any other California native plant guides for completeness of information.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of plants best suitable for California gardens, covering cultivation, landscape design usage, water needs, and more, May 21, 2006
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
If you're a California gardener you can't be without CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE GARDEN, which is deserving of ongoing recommendation as one of the most comprehensive guides on the subject we've seen. Color photos pack a comprehensive review of plants best suitable for California gardens, covering cultivation, landscape design usage, water needs, and more. From pruning requirements to common diseases and insect problems, plants in CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE GARDEN are all thoroughly detailed.

Diane C. Donovan, Editor

California Bookwatch
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars invaluable, November 17, 2007
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
This is one of two must have books if you are interested in gardening with native California plants. This book is definitely the 'guidebook' half of that collection (the other being Designing California Native Gardens). It does an excellent job of getting you acquainted with all the different plants you may be wanting to bring into your garden, and in giving you actual photographs of the plants! One giant peeve of mine in gardening books and guidebooks is the use of hand done illustrations- in other contexts they are charming but you really can't get a feel for a plant unless you are looking at its' actual picture. It just gives you a much better feeling for the plant- the texture of it's leaves, the weediness of its' growth habit, that kind of thing. This is a book you will find yourself using as a reference again and again. Five stars are given enthusiastically.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Boom for Experts and Begiiners Alike, December 23, 2008
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
I am in my third season of growing natives and without "CA Native Plants for the Garden" my plant knowledge would be called spotty at best. It is literally the best `general' books for native plant reference, identification and garden selection. I take mine to Theodore Payne Nursery/hiking all the time. Hint, most nursery available natives are sold in 1 or 5 gal containers; the book is chock-full of photos of MATURE flowers, sub shrubs, shrubs, and trees in full bloom. Therefore you are able to see what your plant selection will look like in X years and how to choose. Moreover it provides great recommendations for planting by 'plant community', soil types, sun, and garden topography.

The bottom line? If you are looking to buy a reference guide and/or a beginners guide on CA native plants, this is it. The book is made of fine quality paper and has excellent plant descriptions and crisp glossy photos throughout. Before this book, I couldn't count how many times I was overwhelmed with what to choose and where to plant. This book provided the hand holding I needed.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible!, December 23, 2005
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This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
My husband and I are gardeners, and we tend to gravitate towards California natives . . . and this book offers us everything we need. It's a must for every gardener, whether a professional or just your everyday backyard enthusiast. Kudos to the staff at Cachuma Press and the authors for bringing us this spectacular, yet down-to-earth (like get in the dirt, dig, plant, and enjoy!) book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best place to start for CA native plants, October 30, 2009
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
We started re-landscaping our Northern California yard with California native plants. This book is probably the best place to start if you are considering adding native plants to your yard. As our interest has grown, we've expanded our California native plant library because this book doesn't cover everything (as you'd expect), but this is still probably our favorite quick reference and it's definitely a great place to get started.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent jumping off point, November 9, 2006
By 
Tiny Bean (Valley Village, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
As I've finally come to terms with the fact that an English garden just won't flourish in Los Angeles, this book has replaced my sadness with optimism. I don't know a lot about plants, and I've found this book an invaluable resource as I set about my plans to completely revamp my garden.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Live Without It, July 25, 2010
By 
S. Pendley (Silverado, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
I got my copy of California Native Plants for the Garden a few years ago on the recommendation of a friend, and it is a well-loved (and well-used) book now. Inspired, I tore out the lawn, and I used the information in the book to start my native plant garden three years ago and even today refer to it again and again. When we removed the lawn and switched to natives, our water bill was reduced by 80%, and now, we are building something much more beautiful.

This book is always my first stop. For the most part, the plant descriptions are sufficient enough to guide both experienced and inexperienced gardeners. That said, there were a few times when I was just starting out that I needed more detail and had to turn to other sources. For example, when (in rare cases) they list information for general families of plants, but not specific varieties even though each may have different needs. Also, if you are very picky with having an exact match to your geographical plant zone, you will need additional sources as well. When I started out, I just took what was in the book that would grow here and was pretty. Since then, I have changed to only plants which grow within 2 miles of my vicinity.

One thing that was right on the money: matilija poppies: wow -- when they take off, watch out. I started with a 6-inch twig that nearly died, and three years later, I had a huge bush 3 ft wide with blooms about 8 feet tall. No extra water needed. I've got neighbors coming by asking for seeds and root cuttings.

One of the features I love is the recommended plant selections at the back of the book. It is the breakdown into groups of plants, e.g., annuals, bank cover, vines, fast-growing, etc. based on your goal. For example, if you want a woodland garden, it lists all the possible recommended plants for creating it, broken down by category (shrubs, grasses, etc.).

I'll be using this book for years to come. One of the best purchases I've made.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book supplement, October 6, 2006
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This review is from: California Native Plants for the Garden (Paperback)
Easy to read, concentrates on native plants so can narrow search, good addition to the library.
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California Native Plants for the Garden
California Native Plants for the Garden by Carol Bornstein (Paperback - December 1, 2005)
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