Regional Gardening References
Even if you already own or plan to buy a good plant encyclopedia it's also a good idea to have one of the better regional gardening references that is specific to your area.
Plant encyclopedias can be very broad and cover a lot of good general information. But in their attempt to cover so much ground, they can leave out information that is vital to your specific gardening needs.
Regional gardening references take into account that a single climate zone may have several different soil types, temperature zones, mini-climates, growing seasons, and a number of other important factors as well.
It's a good idea to own at least one general plant encyclopedia as well as one that is written specifically for your climate zone.
Here's the list:
Smart Garden Regional Guide: Southeast (American Horticultural Society Smartgarden Regional Garden Guides) includes more than 3,000 plants that grow well in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Western Garden Book focuses on the plantings of the west, pacific north and southwest.
Smart Garden Regional Guide Southwest (American Horticultural Society Smartgarden Regional Garden Guides)
Includes more than 3,000 plants that grow well in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas.
National Garden Book
This is really a great general reference that everyone should have in their library regardless of where they live.
Alpine Plants of North America: An Encyclopedia of Mountain Flowers from the Rockies to Alaska
For anyone with an interest in plants of Western North America.
Native Plants in the Coastal Garden: A Guide for Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest
Enough information for anyone anywhere, not just on the coast, to make an informed start on a native plant garden.
Native Plants of the Northeast : A Guide for Gardening & Conservation
Nearly seven hundred species of native trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, grasses, and wildflowers from the northeastern quarter of the United States and all of eastern Canada are included.
100 Best Plants For The Coastal Garden
Over 100 color photographs make this book a solid reference to 100 essential plants -- trees, shrubs, roses, vines, perennials, and bulbs for the coastal garden.