Grow Native - Bringing Natural Beauty to Your Garden by Lynn Steiner
Cool Springs Press
If you don't know why that matters so much you haven't tried to follow the guidelines of writers in zone 8, 9 and 10 who have sandy soil and temperate evenings. This book helps out the rest of us.
Steiner grows a native garden in Minnesota that is filled with prairie flowers, ferns, grasses, ground covers, shrubs and vines. The best selections are set out in charts for easy reference.
Our garden was recently described as contained chaos and it probably is. We grow for wildlife more than for structure and form so we have lots of wildlife from turtles and toads to birds and yes, even squirrels are welcome.
The book is a little over 200 pages in a softback that is easy to carry around to coffee shop and garden center. $25 list and $20 online. Cool Springs Press, www.QuartoKnows.com http://www.quartoknows.com/
The pages have information about butterflies and how to attract them, how to start a garden, plants that lend themselves to sculptural pruning, garden problems and how to overcome them, plus dozens of plants to consider for your native and wildlife attracting garden beds.
Pick up a copy for yourself or a new gardener. The basics are all here plus tidbits of information that will increase your understanding and success rate.