I have many books that I use frequently as resources for sustainable living, and gardening here in the southwest. Here are some of my favorites:
Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes- Judy Mielke
A great, detailed, and meaty resource for those wanting to plant native gardens. I have mostly native plants, but not all, and I wish that I had found this before I did the bulk if my planting.This book truly describes native plants that thrive here with little or no extra water.
The next few books I describe discuss plants that do well here in the heat of central Arizona, but may not necessarily be drought tolerant, and may therefore need supplemental water.
Arizona Gardeners Guide- Mary Irish
A resource for more amateur gardeners such as myself. easy to read and dip into for quick reading.
Low Water Use Plants- Carol Shuler
Has a useful chart of plants and their appearence, needs, and preferred location.
Gardening In the Southwest-Sunset books
A beautiful book with lovely photographs of dreamy southwest gardens.
Plants For Dry Climates- Mary Rose Duffield and Warren Jones
Useful when used to compliment the other books I have already mentioned.
The Desert Gardeners Calendar- Georg Brookbank
Again, useful when used with the other books I have listed.
The Garden Guy, and Extreme Gardening- Dave Owens
Excellant books, especially used together. Explain simply and clearly how to grow organically in the dry desert of Phoenix. Love these books!
The Complete Book of Self Sufficiency- John Seymour
There is a newer edition of this book but I still read through this and dream. My Dad had this when I was growing up and also used to dream of self sufficiency. Although taken to the extreme, these themes are never more important than they are now for us all.
Making a Difference- Amy Irvine
Stories of grassroot efforts by environmental groups to preserve and save our natural places. Inspiring reading for those darker days!
The Consumers Guide to Effective Environmental Choices-Michael Brower and Warren Leon
Practical and useful resource.
One Makes a Difference- Julia Butterfly Hill
One woman out to save the world. Great book.
Living Organic- Adrienne Clarke, Helen Porter, Helen Quested, and Pat Thomas
Another practical guide to living green.
100 Great Natural Remedies- Penelope Ody
Quick resource with beautiful photographs.
I am planning to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver soon, have heard great things about it!
I LOVE Mother Earth News and have subscribed for several years. It is great value, packed with information for us amateurs, and the more hard core earth lovers. A yearly subscription of 6 issues is great value, and I learn something everytime I read and can't wait for each issue. I have to be careful not to get ahead of myself though because installing solar panels is unfortunately not in our immediate plans.
OK, off to get the day started!