What are your favorite gardening books? Are there any that you find particularly helpful for someone in Virginia?
I'm in Newport News, and if I had to list favorites (excluding books on specific genera and species), I'd choose "Garden Bulbs for the South" by Scott Ogden (be sure to get the newer edition - it's been greatly expanded), anything written by Pamela Harper, especially "Time Tested Plants" (she lives and gardens in Seaford), and the website/catalog of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh. The last one isn't technically a book, but it's one of the best sources of things that will grow here and info on how to grow them.
Also not a book, but there are tons of free publications on many different topics available from VA Tech. I've included a link to the index of pubs. Great stuff and lots is very specific for Virginia.
Here is a link that might be useful: VA Tech publications index
Square Foot Gardening because Mel Bartholomew made family veggie gardening into a sensible process. I actually prefer the earlier editions, but any is better than none. His recipes for soil are just as effective when used for flowers.
Continuous Blooms (Pam Duthrie), for its extensive coverage. It's too easy to forget that sequential blooms can be as impressive as the usual all-summer flowers; and most of her suggestions do quite well in our area.
One of my favorites is 'The Southern Gardener's Book of Lists' by Lois Trigg Chaplin (Taylor, 1994)- I always get good ideas from this book...I'm in northern VA, also check out Plant Delights catalog & your local nurseries...
the Washington Star Garden Book. It was first written in the 60s and then updated in the 90's I have gone through at least three through the years and love it. They look at the Washington DC area zone and not south of say Charlottesville. I highly recommend it and many libraries in VA carry it.
Definitely, Pamela Harper's Time Tested Plants is a winner. My other favorites are Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants and Vertrees'/Gregory's Japanese Maples. Catalogs with a lot of helpful info on plants are Greer Gardens and ForestFarm; also Rare Finds Nursery.