Gardening by Mail, by Barbara J. Barton, will make finding that push mower a snap. Now in it’s fifth edition, Barton’s book is the portable reference librarian of the gardening world famous for it’s helpfulness for finding nurseries faster than it takes to say “let your fingers do the walking,” Gardening by Mail featuring six other alphabetical listings of all sorts of garden stuff, from garden suppliers and services to horticultural and plant societies. Not one but four indexes let you are in the back to help you find your way to the company carrying what you need without leaving your chair. Its corresponding entry tells you the company’s address, owners name, phone and fax, email and web site if they’re online, plus Barton’s observations “good selection of imported tools… reel mowers.” Alleluia. You decide you’ll put up with painting the handles yourself if it means the postman will deliver it.
To tackle that rose bush as painlessly as possible, you’ll need Andersen Horticultural Library’s Source List of Plants & Seeds. Now in its 4th edition, this gem among reference books lets you look up specific plants by Latin binomial and tells you exactly which mail order nurseries are carrying them in their catalogs. Don’t worry if your Latin is rusty; you can look up the common name in the front of the book to find its Latin equivalent. Then it’s just a look through the alphabetized listing to find your rose, and note the codes for the nurseries carrying them. Flip to the front, break the code, and you’ll have the name, address, catalog price and phone number of the place that will mail your significant green thumb her plant in March, or, better yet, a gift certificate to place under the tree.
Lois G. Rosenfeld’s 2000 edition of The Garden Tourist: A Guide to Gardens, Shows, and Special Events will make the hard part of the family outing to the flower show getting the family together to go. Whether you live in Pennsylvania or South Dakota, Rosenfeld has not only painstakingly listed all the gardening events in your state, be they shows, sales, or workshops, but tossed in a generous listing of local gardens your favorite gardener would die to visit. New to this year’s edition is the back listing of international shows and 10 great gardening vacations. Opportunistic planner that you are, realize that you could actually use this book to plan a trip for your upcoming anniversary, making you look ever like the thoughtful person your favorite gardener married you for. If you could remember when your anniversary was again. Sigh.