Tag Archives | Scott Calhoun

Great Garden Gift Books

Garden books that I enjoyed this year and highly recommend as holiday gifts include two about edibles, one in my own area of specialization, one about color and design, and a regional guide I wouldn’t be without.

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Plant Music 2000-2009

The writer Jim Harrison says that anyone born after about 1960 can’t do anything without listening to music. He is probably right, because I know I can’t, but then again, listening to music is generally healthy. Dr. Phil Maffetone, a doctor/musician who counted Johnny Cash as a patient, says that listening to music can control stress, reduce pain, and improve brain function. For gardeners, I would add that it can keep you company. After all, ours is usually a solitary pursuit.

For me, one of the pleasures of garden design is that I can plug in and let Radiohead or Bach fill my head with sonic waves while I draw. This is something I can’t do when I’m writing—when any musical waves I generate need to come from within. But designing gardens, and working in gardens, are perfect activities for listening to music. A day spent outdoors with an iPod in a back pocket and Felco pruners in my right hand is my idea of a great staycation. Continue Reading →

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Going in Circles

Dear Gardening-Gone-Wilders, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Scott Calhoun and I’m a writer and garden designer living in Tucson, Arizona. I love exploring backroads and backcountry in search of plants, gardens, architecture, and food. I’m the author of five books which are mostly about plants: Yard Full of Sun; Chasing Wildflowers; Designer Plant Combinations; The Hot Garden; and Hot Pots. I also write for magazines including American Gardener, Horticulture, Sunset, and Wildflower. Currently, I’m working on a book about the mighty American agave plant.

Here are the vital statistics about my gardening region: USDA 9b; Sonoran desert; 3012 feet above sea level; 12 inches of annual precipitation; record high 117; record low 16; alkaline soil; preferred regional tool: Mikita electric jackhammer (for planting 1 gallon plants).

And now…Going in Circles: Continue Reading →

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Great Books for Gardeners

American Meadow Garden

Santa, baby, are you listening? Bring me some reading material to curl up with. Literary nonfiction would be lovely—such as all those books I’ve enjoyed by Susan Orlean, Scott Calhoun, Amy Stewart, and Diane Ackerman. I’ll take a great garden reference tome, too, like The American Meadow Garden by John Greenlee and GGW regular contributor/ace photographer Saxon Holt.

 I’d also be thrilled by one or all of these, recommended by savvy online gardening pals: Continue Reading →

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