Q&A and a GIVEAWAY: Home Grown Gardening

By Shelley Pierce | September 8, 2019
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by Shelley Pierce
September 8, 2019

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just getting started, BEST PERENNIALS FOR SUN AND SHADE and BEST ROSES, HERBS, AND EDIBLE FLOWERS will enrich not only your flower beds, but your mind as well. Bursting with stunning photographs and detailed information on each plant, these new colorful, photo-filled additions to the Home Grown Gardening series take the guesswork out of gardening. No trial and error””get it right the first time!

We recently did a Q&A with the editorial team to learn more about these new book releases, which you can read below. Also – enter to win one of ten copies from Houghton Mifflin!

Tell us more about the Home Grown Gardening series.  What was the inspiration behind this series?  How many books are there currently in the Home Grown Gardening series and what future book collections are to be released?  How do you decide the focus of future collections? Have you seen an increased interest in gardening based books in general and why do you think that is?

Yes, we’ve seen a recent interest in gardening books, and that’s exactly the reason we’re publishing these books now. Houghton Mifflin used to publish a comprehensive, authoritative series of gardening books””the Taylor’s Gardening Guides. We stopped publishing those years ago. Our sales department pointed out that there seemed to be a thirst for gardening books again now, so, at their request, we’ve gone back to those excellent guides and given them new life, as the Home Grown Gardening series. For this new series, we’ve taken some of the most popular material from the Taylor’s Guides and combined it with all-new photographs in a fresh new design. We have two books out this spring, and two more in production for next fall. We’re working out what will come after that.  

Curating collections such as “Best Roses, Herbs, and Edible Flowers” and “Best Perennials for Sun and Shade” must be challenging given the seemingly limitless options for plant choices.  What is your process for deciding what makes the cut and what doesn’t?  How long do labor of loves such as these take to reach the bookstand from the time of inception?

We’ve started with the most popular topics. Looking at sales of the various topics in our own gardening books history and doing research on other gardening books helps provide good data about what people want most. The production process takes about a year.

Why should these be our go-to gardening books?   What sets them apart from the rest?  

HMH: These books have solid, helpful information that is concisely written and easy to understand, and they’re beautifully designed with gorgeous photographs that will get your gardening juices flowing (see below!). They don’t aim to be encyclopedic””they include plants that are not rare and difficult to obtain but are easy to grow and will help to enhance your property. And they’re priced affordably too.

How will these books help to get our gardening juices flowing?

The design is luxurious: full-page, full-bleed photos! If you have any urge at all to beautify your space, the visual aesthetic of these books will send you running to the nursery. Who can resist the spiky pink blossoms of astilbe, the velvety purple Japanese iris, or the sweet and delicate bleeding hearts? You can practically smell the fragrance of the golden yellow Graham Thomas rose bursting off the page.  

What type of gardener are the books in this series geared for?  Beginner/seasoned gardener?  Rural/Urban gardener?  Big or small time investment?

These books are unapologetically aimed at beginning gardeners. If you’re a master gardener, this will be familiar territory””so rather than buying one for yourself, buy one for those young new homeowners who need help figuring out how to make their property more interesting and enjoyable.

Enter to win one of ten copies of a Home Grown Gardening book!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post by midnight (EST) on Sunday, September 15, 2019 (be sure to provide a valid e-mail address) in answer to the following question:

Which Home Grown Gardening book featured in this Q&A are you most interested in winning and why?

Be sure to include a valid e-mail address. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See rules for more information.)

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  • Terri L Davis
    Comment added September 15, 2019Reply

    I would really love a copy of your Best Perennials book. I think perennials are the best plants for me because they return year after year. I have both sunny and shady areas in my yard, so this book would be very helpful.

  • Jmccarter
    Comment added September 14, 2019Reply

    Sort of a newbie to plants and gardening. Several years ago started out helping my 90plus mom work a small garden in our yard. Although she no longer is able to help, she does check my work each year. Would love to really show her something new.

  • Laura
    Comment added September 14, 2019Reply

    I think I’d like the Best Perennials for Sun & Shade the most, because my yard has limited sunny spots. But I love roses, so I may need that too, lol!

  • Eric Young
    Comment added September 13, 2019Reply

    Hi! I would like to win the Best Perennials for Sun and Shade. I have a small suburban garden that I have filled with beautiful perennials. But, as the years have gone by, what started out as a nearly full sun garden has transformed into dappled sunlight as the trees I planted have matured. I need help with shade-loving perennials.

  • Kim
    Comment added September 12, 2019Reply

    These books sound wonderful. I love gardening. Recently retired and looking forward to playing in the dirt.

  • Kathy Hitz
    Comment added September 12, 2019Reply

    I would love to win any of them but Best perennials for sun and shade would be very helpful. I have some spots in my yard I definitely need help with!

  • Donna Sisk
    Comment added September 12, 2019Reply

    I do not win just 2 times in my 60 year's. but would like to win the book. I have been told I have a green thumb. I do not know but we will be move from the 6000 ft. to living at sea leavel. I can't wait to see my grandkids faces.

  • Lois Fitzwilliams
    Comment added September 12, 2019Reply

    Oh very excited. Just moved into a new house with an uninteresting garden and don't know what to do with it. This/these style of books designed not to be over fussy with easy to attain plants, I'm sure will be a boon for me and for many others who need a guideline.

  • Brenda Jacobson
    Comment added September 12, 2019Reply

    This one. Perennials for sun and shade. Looking for low maintenance plants for shady area. Zone 10. Hope it can help.

  • Jessica
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Perennials for Sun & Shade for sure! We bought a Century home a few years ago and the gardens were all run down, but filled with SO MANY Perennials. I’m trying to clean them up and downsize but I need help putting plants together to achieve a nice looking garden for each season. It’s been overwhelming to say the least & I have been gardening for 20+ yrs. ?

  • Mel Ellul
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    I’m most interested in rural/urban gardening. I’m super excited too see such a great range appearing. Can’t wait to have to whole series.
    Thanks again Mel

  • shai
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Hi, Starting to grow a new garden has so many possibilities. I would love to read and know more' make less mistakes. Hope "Best perennials for Sun and Shade" will help. thanks

  • Charlene Carney
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Best Perennials for Sun and Shade is the book for me.
    Living in Alaska we have wide swings in our photoperiod. Trying to position my plantings for the optimal amount of light can be challenging when you have the house, the mountains, and or trees in the way while the sun climbs higher or sinks lower in the sky as the season progresses or declines. Just call me sun chaser.

  • Jan Williams
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Ive always loved gardening with my mom when I was little...I would love to have the shade and sun perenials book

  • Linda Roman
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Best Perennials For Sun and Shade. It's for Beginners Seasoned Garderner

  • richard
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    I'm new to outdoor gardening so have so much to learn. I love looking at pictorial books hinting at all the possibilities for future flowers! “Best Perennials for Sun and Shade” will give me lots of ideas for some of the shady areas on my property.

  • Sylvia Douglas
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Hi! When I was 10 I could grow about anything. Now I’m 76 and find myself living in a 50-yr-old cabin. There are many beautiful plants, etc. The thing is, the wonderful lady who gardened was unable to keep it up. So I’m slowly cleaning up. The ‘why’ I could REALLY use the ...Perennials book is because I’ve not put fingers to earth in a while and decisions need to be made. There are many types of natural light. This year I planted a few of my favorites but I need guidance. There’s a big yard front and back yearning to be useful. I know I’m wordy but if you deem me worthy of receiving the book, please feel free to edit. Oh I should tell you I have deer? who happen by so no roses! Thanks for your patience reading. Sylvia (I live in Sechelt, BC)

  • Michael Callaway
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    I need a better understanding of shade and sun definitions. I think this book may help. Having areas it my yard that get early and hot sun in the morning hours and are completely shaded in the afternoon and evening hours provides a challenge for planting what, when and where.

  • Arlene Putnam
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    I will keep it simple. "I NEED HELP". If I can't win "Best Perennials for Sun and Shade", do you also sell these books. What are the other helpful books you mention. I don't see the names of these other books.

  • Lillian Grimes
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    I saw this book and I thought this book about plants for sun and shade that is for me.
    I have problems finding plants that do well in almost full shade which is a lot of my
    yard. Some say shade but really are not shade plants just part shade. Part of my home only gets early morning sun and that is all it gets. So this book would be great for me.

  • Catherine O'Brien
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    All info in one book.

  • John Bartlett
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    I would like to win a copy of Best Perennials for Sun and Shade. Reading the informative information inherent in your blog both books appear to be extremely useful, but being a relatively novice gardener help with what to plant when and where in terms of perennials would be extremely useful.

  • Bobbie
    Comment added September 11, 2019Reply

    Hello! I would like to win both excellent books! Since I have to choose though I would pick Best Perennials for Sun and Shade.

    I have both shady area and full sun that I am having trouble growing in. Your book would be excellent to help me out! Thank you!

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