One of the local phrases that I found charming when I came to Nantahala was the polite way of stating certain things by beginning with “It wouldn’t hurt if”…as in, It wouldn’t hurt if we went ahead and finished doing this before the rain or It wouldn’t hurt if we finished this tomorrow and many other variations starting with “It wouldn’t hurt”.
So, I will say that It wouldn’t hurt if from time to time I recommend books which are useful or simply fun reads.
The first books which I bought soon after I caught native plants fever are still available today at Amazon. And, It wouldn’t hurt to get used ones! They are fine and cheaper.
The Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers is spiral bound and arranged by seasons. I liked that because I knew very little about wildflowers at the time and the book was arranged pretty much in order of the plants appearance so I did not have to thumb through it too much to find the descriptions.
Wild Flowers of North Carolina is arranged by families. My standby copy from 1987 has been updated and expanded. It is and available at Amazon. (It wouldn’t hurt if I got the new edition!)
A third book that I recommend to anyone who is interested in propagating wildflowers is the excellent Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers by Harry R. Phillips which was written in collaboration with the staff at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.
A wonderful, informative book on the same subject is The New England Wild Flower Society’s Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada, by William Cullina, but sadly, the only copies available in Amazon are very expensive.
Those and others are great books to have on hand to help identify native plants and propagate them, but there are also fun reads related to gardening.
In my last blog I mentioned that Carl Linnaeus had named the genus Mitchella in honor of an English physician named John Mitchell ( as in the Partridge berry’s botanical name, Mitchella repens) who lived in America for a while where he was a map maker and a botanist as well as a physician.
An excellent book to read regarding that collaboration between American gardeners, farmers, and plant enthusiasts and European botanists is The Brother Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf, which is now available in paperback and trade editions. To read a review of the books, click here: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/194382/the-brother-gardeners-by-andrea-wulf