Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens (bilingual)

Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens
Cuidado y antenimiento de jardines del plantas nativas del sur de California,

by Bart O’Brien, Betsey Landis, and Ellen Mackey

This book, written in English and Spanish, accomplishes two major tasks at once. It’s a brilliant and concise summary of horticultural information for native plant gardeners in southern California, with most of it relevant for all of California, and at the same time, it’s a great way for those working in the trade to learn English and/or Spanish. Each helpfully-illustrated page has a facing page in the other language, conveniently located right next to each other.

The “Plant Care” section describes numerous trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annuals, describing them and their use in gardens in the kind of detail that leads to proper treatment. The illustrations are clear and the descriptions concise. Also included are sections on soils, watering, weeds and pests, special situations, and a glossary.

This book is an invaluable and unique guide even without the language-learning feature; with it, it’s a joy. I realize that I have been saying “weeds” incorrectly for the last 25 years. (It’s not “yerba mala”, but “malezas.”) How could I forget that those not taking their soil conditions into account in advance will “sufren innecesarios dolores de cabeza.” (suffer unnecessary headaches).