Read This: Sunset Western Landscaping Book

Sunset Western Landscaping Book

If you live in the western U.S. and your New Year’s resolution is to beautify your landscaping or create a sustainable, water-smart garden, I have the book for you: Sunset Western Landscaping Book, 2006 edition. It’s not a new release, but it’s worth seeking out. And actually, you need not live in the West, Sunset‘s target region, to find inspiration in this book, which is jam-packed with images of beautiful and creative gardens that anyone will enjoy. Austin itself is too far east to be included in Sunset’s coverage area, and yet local readers will find plenty of ideas to put to use in their own gardens. From garden vignettes that emphasize detail to wide views that show layout, this book covers it all with gorgeous images and clearly written, practicality-minded text.

Aside from eye candy, the book offers a broad design tutorial, with practical info about building structure into the garden with arbors, patios, and walls, designing for small spaces, creating a fire-resistant landscape, adding privacy, choosing furniture and decor to accent your garden, and more. Plants are covered by broad type — trees, shrubs, palms, roses, perennials, grasses, natives, etc. — with an emphasis on water-wise gardening. Readers are urged to reduce the lawn, plant water-thrifty plants, irrigate efficiently, and generally create a garden suitable to the increasingly water-challenged West.

This is a book to pore over on winter evenings, dreaming of new features to install in your garden or a fresh planting design to replace that tired, dried-out lawn. It’s also a great resource for the new homeowner or any gardener newly transplanted to the West. If you’re resolved on making a beautiful garden in 2015 and need a kickstart, I think you’ll find this book to be an excellent coach.

Disclosure: I purchased Sunset Western Landscaping Book myself and reviewed it at my own discretion and without any compensation. This post, as with everything at Digging, is my own personal opinion.

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

15 Responses

  1. TexasDeb says:

    Thanks Pam – this is a great reminder of an existing resource for gardeners of every skill level. The book might even be available in your local library by now if you aren’t in the market for a purchase. Reading about gardening is about all I’m currently up for given the weather in combination with the holiday’s extra kitchen demands. Hoping everybody is gearing up for the happiest of new years at your home (and in your gardens!).

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I’m gearing up, Deb! I don’t have time for any projects right now either, but I’m storing up ideas for February and March. Gotta get a lot done before it gets hot again. —Pam

  2. Thanks for reviewing book Pam! It looks inspiring and I love the cover pic – love the bold colors. And yes – I need me a kickstart!

  3. Renee says:

    That is one of my favorite books! I’ll echo what you said about inspiration – the images are so pretty I like to just sit and flip through them. And if you’re thinking of changing parts of a garden, there are so many good ideas! Thanks for reminding me of one of my favorite books! Happy 2015!

  4. Jenny says:

    Sunset alway has great gardening books and I am sure this one has some useful ideas that will translate to gardening in Austin. Here’s wishing you a wonderful gardening year.

  5. I have an older copy of this book from my gardening days in California. Sunset magazine was also a great source of inspiration : ) Happy New Year!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I always forget you were a California girl, Laurin, before you became a Houston gardener. I bet you have a number of books about gardening in the West. —Pam

    • Pam/Digging says:

      I always forget you were a California girl, Laurin, before you became a Houstonian. I bet you have a number of books about gardening in the West. —Pam

  6. Kris P says:

    I have this one too but then I buy most of Sunset’s guides. You post was a good reminder to pull it out as I contemplate next steps for addressing my slopes.

    Best wishes for a happy new year Pam!

  7. Mahee Ferlini says:

    This sounds great, I’ll be checking it out!

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