Interested in planting the right stuff in your yard and flower gardens? Native Plants of the Midwest by Alan Branhagen is for you. In fact after browsing the copy we have at the library you might want to buy a copy to have on hand. Landscaping and gardening books and magazines are like cooking ones to me-you think you have read it all and then you come across a gem like this and are very appreciative. I’m trying to fill our acreage with an abundance of native trees, bushes, grasses and perennials so this book was right up my alley. Sometimes native plants are not always the most beautiful and sometimes I want to plant something that just does not flourish in our zone so discipline is a must. I try to tell myself just because I think a certain plant is kind of boring, if it’s for my zone and the birds, bees and butterflies love it, it belongs on my land. In this particular book I learned some new facts about some of the oaks we have planted and oaks in general. I did not know that they are in decline and so I am hopeful that more people will choose to plant them. Some are very hard to transplant, some are easier and this book will tell you which ones. Oaks are divided into 2 main groups: white and red. Did you know that white oak wood holds water (so it can be made into barrels) but red oak wood does not? I was also thrilled to read some other snippets that I did not know about other trees and bushes we have planted. A large part of the book is devoted to perennials, grasses and bulbs for those not interested in trees or bushes. Highly recommended.

Stacy W.