A new edition of the Minnesota & Wisconsin Getting Started Garden Guide by Melinda Myers came out in the fall of 2013.
The book is useful for plant lovers in these two upper Midwest states when choosing plants for a new garden, or to expand their repertoire of favorites. This garden guide is especially appropriate for people new to growing a garden.
Melinda Myers recommends what she considers the best 175 plants in Minnesota & Wisconsin Getting Started Garden Guide. She used her years of experience to shape her criteria: plants easy to find and frequently used in backyards and neighborhood landscapes in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her book is divided into nine sections with a page dedicated to each plant.
Choosing Plants for Growing in Minnesota and Wisconsin
As she was a one-time assistant city forester for Milwaukee, it is safe to say that trees are a particular favorite of Myers. But every plant page is filled out with the horticulture she has studied, and borne out by her personal stories and observations.
Myers will have you convinced there is a tree meant for every gardener in her book, as her enthusiasm for the woody giants is revealed. The Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna) is an underutilized tree, she writes, and clearly feels this is a puzzle as the tree has four seasons of interest.
This garden book covers annuals, with steps about seed starting; bulbs, which includes corms, rhizomes and tubers; groundcovers; ornamental grasses, which is split out from perennials; shrubs; trees and vines. Rose plants are distributed over several sections.
The horticulturist has years of observations accumulated from miles of walking through gardens. The black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is also called blacksnake root, but Myers’ choice of common name is “fairy candles” for its long white flower stalks that light up against a backdrop so dark it often looks black.
Myers did leave out some common plants that are considered invasive in the northern Midwestern United States. She mixed the names of native plants within the categories and marked each of those pages with an N symbol. The Larch (Larix species), Myers suggests, “When on your next road trip through our region, watch for a grove of our native larch trees.”
For choosing plants the pages are packed with: when, where and how to plant; growing tips; regional advice and care; and companion planting and design sections. Each plant name is noted with a botanical pronunciation, other common names, bloom periods and seasonal colors; and the mature height and spread of the plant.
Myers added discussions on frost dates, rainfall averages, growing temperatures and micro strategies to her book to give gardeners an in-depth picture of what hardiness zone maps alone may not capture.
Nationally-Recognized Plant Expert and Garden Author
Melinda Myers is a horticultural expert and garden author, and makes her home in Wisconsin. In 2005, Myers received the Honorary Life Membership Award from the Wisconsin Arborist Association. She has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College for many years.
Melinda Myers is a television and radio host, and columnist for Birds & Blooms and in Gardening How-to magazines. She has written more than 20 gardening books, and hosts the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment.” For more than twenty years, her name was synonymous with The Plant Doctor radio program in Wisconsin and was the host of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS for seven seasons.
Myers’ notable accomplishments run the gambit from starting the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener program in Milwaukee County to being the first woman inducted into the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation Hall of Fame.
Inside and Finding Getting Started Garden Guide
Melinda Myers writes, “The green thumb gardener is someone who grows a lot of plants, kills a few without mentioning it to others, and keeps on planting!”The Minnesota & Wisconsin Getting Started Garden Guide provides gardeners with a substantial collection for choosing plants. It makes a good first garden book for residents of these two northern states. Gardeners will appreciate the map zone tools of Last Spring Freeze, First Fall Freeze, as well as the USDA Hardiness zone maps, for Minnesota and Wisconsin.
In the 240 pages, a diagram of the correct way to plant a tree and a glossary of basic garden terminology are good resources to have on hand for beginners. The index of plant names and other garden topics will help readers navigate the book.
The Minnesota & Wisconsin Getting Started Garden Guide was published by Cool Springs Press, which is an imprint of the Quayside Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-59186-570-4 may be used to locate this garden guide written by Melinda Myers.