5 x 5 References (math isn’t my strong point)

My top five, most important, always-off-the-shelf reference books that I use constantly in each of five categories: Herbalism, Cookbooks, Plants, Ecology, and Landscape Architecture. These are my most dog-eared, post-it-noted, stained, and written-in references.

Herbalism (ok, some are favorite authors):

Cookbooks (ok, six here):

  • Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything in the World
  • Jack Bishop’s Vegetables Every Day
  • Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Cooking
  • 101 Cookbooks blogger Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday
  • I LOVE Dina Falconi‘s self-published book Foraging and Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook, with exquisite and accurate painting-sketches of the plants for positive identification by Wendy Hollender. This is a book I wish I made, I love it so much.

Best Informational Cookbooks (see how I am so bad at math and snuck another category in here?):

  • Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions
  • Paul Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods

Plants (ok, six, plus more cheating with authors – wait, not that kind of cheating):

  • Micheal Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
  • anything with Ken Druse behind the lens (The Natural Habitat Garden, The Natural Shade Garden)
  • Piet Oudolf’s books (Dream Plants for the Natural Garden, Planting Design, Designing with Plants)
  • Joseph Hudak’s Gardening with Perennials Month by Month
  • Nancy Ondra’s Grasses
  • Donald Leopold’s Native Plants of the Northeast

Ecology (ok, four then):

  • Perlman and Milder’s Practical Ecology
  • Richard Forman’s Land Mosaics
  • Richard Forman’s Road Ecology
  • Sim Van der Ryn’s and Stuart Cowan’s Ecological Design

Landscape Architecture (sort of, these are the guides I use to create my brand of it):

  • David Jacke’s and Eric Toensmeier’s immense and awesome two-volume Forest Gardening
  • Toby Hemenway’s Gaia’s Garden
  • Patrick Whitefield’s How to Make a Forest Garden
  • Stine’s Landscapes for Learning and Robin C. Moore’s Plants for Play


My most-read Journals:

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