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Gardening General

100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants

For American Gardens in Temperate Zones

by (author) Lorraine Johnson

by (photographer) Andrew Leyerle

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Feb 2009
General, Reference
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2009
    List Price
    $22.95 USD

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 18
  • Grade: 12



As we see exotic plants becoming "invasive exotics," gardeners are seeking native plants for their gardens. Plants that withstand regional conditions and weather patterns deliver a hardier garden and require less maintenance.

A pioneering book when first published in 1999, this revised edition is a classic reference that meets the requirements of a changing, tougher landscape. Lorraine Johnson provides a fail-safe guide to beautiful low-maintenance plants native to many regions of the United States. The features include:


Handy profiles of each native plant


Maintenance requirements


Creative suggestions for plant pairings


Propagation and cultivation tips


Index of plants by botanical name


Ethical guidelines for gardeners


Updated list of sources.


Especially useful are the quick-reference charts that show plants grouped by region, habitat and conditions, for example plants that tolerate dry soil in shade and plants that attract butterflies. A color photograph of each plant makes it easy to compare options and choose the right plant.


About the authors

After three decades of gardeningand almost as long writing about itLorraine Johnson still gets excited (and unrealistic!) every spring about the amount of space she has in her small city frontyard and backyard. So she regularly scrounges space from others: in community gardens, at family members houses, even city parks Her interests are mainly in the ways that growing plants (for food, for environmental benefits) nurtures the good in ourselves and the world. She views gardening as a deep and meaningful conversation with the planet. Johnson was the president of the North American Native Plant Society and is the author of numerous books on gardening and environmental issues, including The New Ontario Naturalized Garden, The Gardeners Manifesto, and City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing. Lorraine is much-in-demand throughout North America as a garden speaker on native plants. She currently lives in Toronto.

Lorraine Johnson's profile page

Andrew Leyerle's photographs have appeared in a number of publications and gardening books, as well as previous editions of 100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens.

Andrew Leyerle's profile page

Editorial Reviews

In this revised edition, Johnson has updated the directory of nurseries that carry the popular plants, making it easier for gardeners to find their selections.

This is a pleasure to read. It's a simple-format reference text intended to be a quick guide, either in the field as a planning tool or for a quick flip-through at the garden store. Johnson has a breezy style that is a pleasant contrast to the usual stuffy garden guide. As we read through the entries, we can tell that she loves plants, not just for their beauty and interest, but for how they incite our curiosity, get us out of our own heads for a while and bring the complexities of nature under our nose.... Large, glossy pages show off the full-color photos of the plants to their best advantage.

I've slogged through enough horticultural dogs to know that good gardeners are not always entertaining writers. So it's a delight to find great information as well as breezy prose and humor in Lorraine Johnson's 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants. Pithy, single-page plant descriptions are accompanied by beautiful pictures that don't fool a gardener into thinking a plant will be 10 times bigger or more glamourous-looking that it is.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

[This] is a very nice quick-reference for choosing and cultivating native plants. I highly recommend it as a guide for gardeners looking for tried-and-true perennials that will reduce the amount of maintenance your garden needs.

Washington Gardener, Vol. 5 No. 3

Other titles by Lorraine Johnson

Other titles by Andrew Leyerle