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The New Western Garden Book: The Ultimate Gardening Guide (Sunset Western Garden Book (Paper)) 9th Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0376039200
ISBN-10: 0376039205
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For more than half a century, Sunset has been helping readers remodel their homes and improve their lives. Sunset has a circulation of over 1.1 million and a readership of 5.325 million.

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Product Details

  • Series: Sunset Western Garden Book (Paper)
  • Flexibound: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House; 9 edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0376039205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0376039200
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
I was hesitant to purchase the new edition since my old one still has its binding on it. I am very happy I did. It says there are over 500 new plants. I really like the new section in the back of the book "Gardening, Start to Finish" it includes Plan, Dig, Plant, Containers, and a large section called Grow, it is broken down into sections like; trees, veggies, herbs, vines, natives, succulents, etc.

In the old edition, in the beginning there is a section called "A Guide to Plant Selection" (includes special effects, special situation, and basic landscaping) it is now called "Plant finder". The main difference is the new edition no longer has a symbol for the amount of water each plants uses, however, that information is still listed in the "encyclopedia" section.

Buy it, you will be happy you did, it is the best gardening book you can own!
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Format: Flexibound
If you're a gardener on the West Coast, you already know this book is a must-have. The only real question is, will you upgrade to the new edition? You may be wondering how different it could be from the old version. Well, for one, it has photos in the encyclopedia. Yep, the charming but often-frustrating illustrations have been replaced with vivid, beautiful photographs. And thank god, they put back the plant index, which was missing in the last edition.

The Plant Finder lists in the front have been revamped, with the old sections on broad categories of plants such as "annuals, "vines" and "ferns" replaced with more useful sections on "ornamental edibles", "plants that attract beneficial insects", "sculptural plants", "plants for moon gardens" and more. Altogether a solid improvement, given the Plant Finder lists are already broken down by type of plant. Having "trees" listed separately was kind of overkill given that you'd be better served by going to the section that most matches your garden, such as "plants for shade", and looking for tree ideas there.

Even better is the thematic direction they're taking. There's a definitely move towards clever sustainability and a contemporary style. While I buy the book for the Plant Finder lists and encyclopedia, I confess that the new emphasis on gorgeous design had me sitting down to read more carefully. The sections in the back about different ways to use both small and large succulent plants had me jotting down ideas. I just wish the book had a "pin it" button so I could add the pics to my Pinterest boards!

My very favorite aspect of the new book is their serious discussion of regional design. A garden should have a sense of place and reflect the region it grows in.
Read more ›
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Format: Flexibound
I usually buy each new edition of this book when it comes out. But this edition really missed the boat. The value of the book was that if you buy a plant that is new to you, you could find it in the book because the plants are cross referenced by common names - they redirect one to the proper name. In the new book this is missing. There is no way to find a plant unless you know the proper name in advance. For a lot of the plants I buy, I don't know the proper name, and I've been gardening for more than 50 years.
7 Comments 100 of 106 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Flexibound
I'm very disappointed with the new version of this book. Yes, there are some new plants, but there are also a lot of entries that are no longer in the book. I was tempted to send it back, but for $20 it didn't seem worth it. The drawings in the previous version were way more informative than the photos in this book are. For example check out "Araucaria" and compare the old version to the new. I liked the entries in the old book which give you common names then the Latin names so you can go look up the plant. In my opinion, this book is a step back, not forward.
8 Comments 66 of 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Flexibound
While this is still a must have book, the 2001 edition is the one I prefer. The powers that be at Sunset decided to make the book more visual. You may enjoy the pictures, but there is a downside. They are at the maximum number of pages they can have with this type of binding. Adding more pictures meant they had to delete text. A poor compromise in my opinion.

See my review of the 2001 edition of this book, which was the last edition to have a complete overhaul, much of it rewritten.

P.S. The information about the binding and decision to include more pictures at the expense of text is not speculation on my part. I have dozens of discussions with one of the senior editors about this edition and why Sunset made some of the decisions they did.

Hillside Gardener
[...]

If you wnat to buy this book, here's the one I prefer
Sunset Western Garden Book
2 Comments 22 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
Finally broke down and purchased the 2012 New Western Garden Book to replace my worn 1972 edition. While it is beautifully seductive with 4-color throughout, did I miss something? The entire section on Propagation Techniques was absent so was glad I hadn't yet donated my trusty 1972 edition to the local library.
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Format: Flexibound Verified Purchase
This new garden guide is a disappointment when compared to the last issue of the guide. First, the "hard cover" is cheap and flimsy. Entries in the latest version are missing as I checked the two side by side. I find the new format awkward. The beautiful layout pictures for specialized areas for garden areas are greatly reduced. I am sorry to say that the current issue of this guide is a drastic disappointment when compared to the earlier books that had the look and feel of a fine reference guide.
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