Once the Christmas rush is over, there will be lots of time to curl up with the latest gardening books.
If you've ever wondered how plants like the Russell lupines, Shasta daisies, Bishop of Llandaff dahlia, or Shirley poppies got their names, Who Does Your Garden Grow?, by English author Alex Pankhurst (Mackey Books, 2006; $16) helps to answer these questions.
Pankhurst, an avid gardener, began to explore the history of many cultivar names to find out more about the people – some famous, other obscure – commemorated by cultivar names. But when she first approached publishers, they turned her down flat: nice idea, but there's no market for it.
Not willing to take "no" for an answer, she decided to publish and market the book herself, selling more than 10,000 copies in the UK. Now thanks to gardening publisher, Betty Mackey of Mackey Books, this charming book is available in Canada and the US. For more information go to Mackey Books. To order from Canada, click here.
While you're exploring the Mackey Books site, have a look at the excellent rock gardening books Betty has also published. Betty is one of the few independent gardening publishers around, and her company is well worth supporting.
I'm a keen gardener and garden writer and photographer, living on a country property of 10 acres near Hamilton, Ont.
I love ornamental grasses and easy-care, contemporary garden styles. In my garden I try to work with nature, instead of fighting it.
To email me, just change "at" to the usual: country.gardening[at]gmail[dot]com