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Best Garden Plants for Alberta    by Donna Dawson & Laura Peters order for
Best Garden Plants for Alberta
by Donna Dawson
Order:  USA  Can
Lone Pine, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Canada has a very divergent climate across its provinces and territories. Donna Dawson and Laura Peters tell us in Best Garden Plants for Alberta that the province is 'blessed with more sunny days than any other Canadian province'. Both ladies are experienced horticulturalists and they've helpfully organized their guide into eight specific plant groups, each of which should thrive in most of Alberta's growing zones. Here's a breakdown of the categories they cover: annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, roses, vines, bulbs, herbs, ornamental grasses, and folier plants and ferns. Their introduction talks about how to select plants, planting basics, the differences between annuals and perennials, pointers on planting trees, shrubs and vines, and a discussion about bulbs and the benefits of experimenting with herbs and ornamental grasses.

The rest of the book is a feast of photos, each page offering condensed information about 329 recommended plants for Alberta. Each page offers a short description of the plant, which variety to choose, where they'll grow best (a sunny or shaded location), special features, height, spread and heat tolerance, flower colour and bloom time, and hardiness zones. There's even a helpful glossary at the end of the books that discusses various gardening terms. Dawson and Peters encourage gardeners to 'try things for yourself'. They say it's 'the best way to learn and to find out what will grow in your garden'. They also encourage you to have fun. Whether you're an avid gardener or are curious to see if you possess a green thumb, Best Garden Plants for Alberta is a handy and essential guide.

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