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Spring is here!
Enjoy these botanical books by women.

It is officially spring, so this week we would like to highlight a couple of our garden and plant experts. 

Maureen Gilmer is a second generation Californian with over thirty years experience in arid climate gardening, landscape architecture and the environment. She's published over a dozen books and countless magazine features on plants, design and wildfire in the west. For a decade she's been writing a national Yardsmart column that runs every week with color photography. Maureen also writes a weekly color column for the Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs.

Maureen has appeared on The View, The Early Show, Good Morning America, and was host and project designer for four seasons of Weekend Gardening, on the DIY Channel.

She maintains a website,, that is filled with numerous free articles about gardening, many aimed towards beginners. Certainly a great resource for anyone interested in in taking up a new hobby! 

Sunbelt published Maureen's book Palm Springs-Style Gardening, a gorgeous guide that provides tips not just for those living in Palm Springs, but anyone landscaping in a desert. The book provides not just gardening advice and plant profiles, but an exploration of Palm Springs architecture.
Palm Springs-Style Gardening
ISBN: 9780932653895
Author: Maureen Gilmer
Retail: $28.95
Special: $22.95
Order Here
Wild Edible Salad Guide:
How to Harvest, Assemble, and Eat a Wild Salad in Southern California

ISBN: 9781941384466
Author: Michelle Howard and Michelle Renaud
Retail: $9.95
Special: $7.95
Order Here

The laminated card set, Wild Edible Salad Guide, was the brainchild of two women named Michelle! This friendly resource allows you to explore the outdoors in a new way as you make your own Wild Salad. It will help you identify edible plants such as Common Mallow, Sweet Fennel, and Miner’s Lettuce, and also help you avoid dangerous look-alikes such as poisonous Castor Bean and Common Poison Hemlock. Each plant has its own card which you can easily remove from the secure metal ring while you’re out foraging.

A sailor and backpacker, Michelle Howard is thankful to bring her love of the outdoors to work. The Development Director for Wilderness Youth Project in Santa Barbara, CA since 2005, she previously spent seven years as an executive in the software industry and ten years in grassroots fundraising, organizing, and writing. Michelle believes all people need nature connection and is inspired to create access to nature for students and families from across different demographic, social, and economic backgrounds. She spends her free time exploring the wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Barbara Channel with her family.

Michelle Renaud has lived her life in southern California, spending equal time in both Santa Barbara and San Diego. While working as a commercial real estate manager she became involved with the San Diego Sierra Club’s Wilderness Basics Course as a volunteer and Chapter Outings Leader. This experience re-kindled a desire to teach as well as to spend more time in nature, so a career change was in order. Michelle Renaud is now a multiple subject elementary teacher, hiker/backpacker, and paddle-boarder in the San Diego area and enjoys working with adults, children, and families in the outdoors whenever possible.

Coloring Plants Used by Desert Indians
ISBN: 9781941384374
Author: Diana Lindsay
Retail: $9.95
Special: $7.95
Order Here
Coloring Plants Used by Desert Indians was authored by none other than our president, Diana Lindsay. This coloring book features many of the important plants that sustained the desert Indians of our region.

Diana received her master’s degree in history and geography from San Diego State University. Her thesis was subsequently published as “Our Historic Desert” by Copley Books in 1973. A few years later, she co-authored “The Anza-Borrego Desert Region,” a guidebook to the area published by Wilderness Press in 1978, now it its 6th edition. Among her many other books that she has written or edited are Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things (2001); Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles (2005); Ricardo Breceda: Accidental Artist (2012); Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors (2016); and A Natural History of the Anza-Borrego Region: Then and Now (2020). Ricardo Breceda and Coast to Cactus have both been recognized in national awards contests.

She was awarded the Medallion Award from the State of California for her 30 years of volunteer work on behalf of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and was named a Lifetime Member in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Botany Society based on her vision and leadership skills and creating excellence in education. She also served as a trustee for the San Diego Natural History Museum.
While it has been a dry winter and there is no "Super Bloom" expected in San Diego, remember that you can check the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association's wildflower report for updates. While they may not be blooming in the same numbers of a wet year, there are still wildflowers to be observed all over Southern California!
Copyright © 2021 Sunbelt Publications, Inc., All rights reserved.

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