The Vancouver Sun's Best Plant Picks: Your Month-by-Month Guide for a West Coast Garden.


256 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 978-1-55285-927-8
DDC 635.909711'1





Reviewed by Janet Collins

Janet Collins is a freelance writer in Sechelt, British Columbia.


For years Steve Whysall’s newspaper column has been a “must read” for West Coast gardeners. This book offers a selection of his best writings, organizing them into a month-by-month guide.


A colour-coded thumb guide at the page edges denotes the different months, with the corresponding colour also making an appearance in the table of contents.


Each chapter is devoted to a separate month. The opening page comprises a list of garden chores that are normally undertaken at that time of the year.


The bulk of each chapter is taken by descriptions of individual plants that either have great flowers, excellent foliage, or attractive structure (or all three) during any given month. A half or full page is allotted to each description, with a colour photograph included. Both botanical and the most popular common names are given on the description page as well as in the index. A handy sidebar on each description page gives plant highlights such as type (tree, shrub, perennial, etc.), size, best location, and growing conditions.


One of the more thoughtful additions to the book is the inclusion of a handy fold-out back cover that doubles as a list of months and their corresponding plants.


Whysall, Steve., “The Vancouver Sun's Best Plant Picks: Your Month-by-Month Guide for a West Coast Garden.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,