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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 1999
I AM A CERTIFIED NURSERYMAN AND I USE THIS BOOK ALL THE TIME. I BELIEVE THAT IF YOU HAVE ANY PLANTS TREES OR SHRUBS YOU SHOULD HAVE THIS BOOK!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 1997
Denver, Colorado. Besides its other sections (Weeds, Fragrant Plants, How to Prune, etc.) the majority of this book is a catalog of plants, with a small, very helpful drawing of each plant and a description of the plant, its zones, its hardiness and so on. I've learned soooo much from thumbing through this book. I recommend it as a cornerstone book in your gardening library. Mine is full of margin notes, highlighting pen and post-it notes. A great housewarming present
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 1999
If you only have one book on gardening, this is the one to have. Easy to understand, great cross referencing. Virtually every plant you can buy in a nursery is in the book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 1997
I'm not sure we could get along without the Sunset Western Garden Book: it's the first book in our gardening library that we reach for, and the only one we need 80% of the time. We carry it with us as we shop plant nurseries, and have it along when perusing public gardens and arboretums. The heart of the book is the plant encyclopedia-a truly comprehensive listing including detailed planting and care instructions-which is coordinated with Sunset's 24 climate zones. These map even the microclimates a few miles across that exist in Western US coastal areas. I rather think the plant encyclopedia would be useful for gardeners anywhere, and especially for those who garden in a Mediterranean climate like that of coastal California
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This book is full of information, it must be read like a novel. It contains information that is specifically for your area and is unmatched in its detail. The photographs are real and well done. Living in California presents it gardening perks and problems. All of them are covered here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2008
I have relied on Sunset's Western Garden Book, in its various issues, for many years. From time to time, about every 3-4 years or so, they re-publish it. This particular issue has become my favorite "Working Bible" and I keep one copy in the house for reference and another in my garden/yard supply area. I bought this copy to give to my daughter and her husband, to introduce them to gardening in the Northwest, and to reduce the number of times I have to answer her questions by phone. Now I can simply refer her to the appropriate page of her own "Sunset Garden Book".

The two or three recent re-issues of Sunset's Western Garden Book have become more "posh" and sophisticated, like coffee-table issues, not meant for nitty-gritty work in the yard.

The particular volume I bought on Amazon was in incredibly perfect condition; my guess is that the original owner had never even opened it (it was inscribed as a Christmas gift from his parents!) And the price was amazing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2011
First let me say that this is absolutely the best reference guide. A couple of years ago, I would have rated this book a 5 stars.I am in the landscape business.

How ever today I do find myself much more often searching on the internet. They do alphabetize theirs plant by scientific names only, which make sense in some way but when you are constantly looking for plants and forgetting the scientific names, such as (anigozanthos for kangooroo paws) . It just takes way too long to search in this book, have to go to the glossary etc...
If they did a good app or a good online book and reference, I would be the first to buy it.
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on May 20, 2012
This is not the only edition of the Western Garden Book I have owned. My gardens have been guided by one edition or another of this "garden bible" since the early 1980's, when I planted my first garden. The older editions have been handed down to my daughters, once they became interested in gardening. The detailed climate categories provided by Sunset are invaluable for choosing plants and predicting their success. The Sunset climate zones encompass subtle differences in temperature and moisture (a few miles in either direction brings you to a whole new climate zone with its own subtle attributes). The "standard" U.S. climate zones (1-10) promulgated by most nurseries and online plant providers, are simply too broad to make good decisions on which plants to select. For instance, the majority of Los Angeles County is Zone 10 according to most planting guides. Same as Hawaii and Florida. But within L.A. County, there are about 8 different Sunset Climate Zones. Because I live in the foothill area north of L.A., I get enough winter cold to grow lilacs. No lilac sold would ever list Zone 10 as an appropriate climate, so I would never even have attempted them. What a loss that would have been! Along with the invaluable climate information, the Sunset Garden Book contains detailed information on plant growth, propagation, care, watering, sunshine requirements, pruning, pests and everything else you need in order to become a confident gardener. Common names of plants are given as well as the botanical names. There are lovely full-color sections devoted to plant use (for instance, what to plant near pools, or what to plant for fall color, which plants attract birds and butterflies, etc.) Though I am no longer a novice gardener, this book is still the first one I turn to when I wish to add something new to my garden. This book is a must for any Western gardener. -- Felicia Rose Levitt, author of "The Road to Aradell: A Sexy, Complicated Love Story."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2013
The WGB is a solid resource for information on Western garden and landscaping. This version is easy to use and gets you pointed in the right direction.
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on April 23, 2014
What a shame Sunset did not make an Eastern garden book, but if you live here in the eastern U.S. , dont be afraid to buy this book, a great deal of the plants in it are imported from our neck of the woods, and still others will survive here. The book is informative and comprehensive covering hundreds of plants. My last copy was stolen on a college campus, and i sure missed it.
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