Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Best Garden Design by Chris Young (Firefly Books, 2010, $35) shares prize-winning designs from the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show. This book will inspire you with its examples of the design of small spaces and the use of unusual color combinations. Transform your own garden into a show stopper with ideas from this gorgeous book. There are amazing tips on lighting, incorporating works of art into the garden, attracting wild life, and sustainability. Besides, it's a very pretty book to look through. 224 pages, 400 color photos, including plans and index
Favorite or New Plant
Lavender (Lavandula) is more than just a pretty face in the garden. It is an evergreen woody shrub that does very well in Northern California gardens. The word lavender is derived from "lavo," which means "to wash." Romans and Greeks bathed in lavender scented water, and Queen Elizabeth I valued it so much that she commanded her gardeners to have it always available in her gardens. The essential oil from lavender has long been used in the making of perfume, but the plant also has medicinal value. The oil can be diluted and applied directly onto the skin to treat burns, boils, scalds, insect bites, stings, and sunburn.