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Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook: All You Need to Know to Plan, Plant, & Maintain a Rocky Mountain Garden

Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook: All You Need to Know to Plan, Plant, & Maint
Mary Ann Newcomer and John Cretti
Cool Springs Press
Publication Date: 

paper, 272 pp., $24.99

Gardening in the Rocky Mountain States is not for the faint of heart. According to the authors, both gardening experts in the area, there are numerous challenges that go with the beauty and grandeur of the topography. For those unfamiliar with this high country, the Rocky Mountain States include Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, plus eastern Washington and Oregon. These challenges are not limited to gardening vertically on a mountainside; they also include climate, high altitudes, hot deserts, lean soils, temperature extremes, occasional hail, to name a few. The concise, practical text suggests different methods that may be used to confront these trials, such as terrace gardens at different levels; container gardens filled with annuals; and, vines mounted on decorative posts. A directory of plants contains lists of desirable species, both ornamental and edible, that will thrive in these conditions. In addition to plant options, the listing contains remarks on year–round plant care. Fire–wise and drought–tolerant gardening is another topic, as is a listing of plant resources. This guide is filled with helpful tips for both experienced and novice gardeners.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden