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Chicago TribuneGarden books come and go each year, but the American Horticultural Society's "New Encyclopedia of Gardening Techniques" (Mitchell Beazley, $45) is essential to any gardener, newbie and green-thumbed alike.
Weighing in at more than 4 1/2 pounds, this indispensable work is the latest book from the national gardening association (ahs.org) that dates to 1922. The book offers more than 2,000 illustrations and 200 color photos covering everything from the nuts and bolts of soil makeup and digging techniques to weed control, compost piles, containers, growing edibles, water gardening and garden design. What sets it apart, however, is its focus on earth-friendly, organic gardening practices.
Although it's geared to all regions of the country -- you'll find citrus trees discussed, for instance -- this hefty reference book is intended as a general resource on a multitude of gardening topics, one that will whet your appetite for more as you delve into it this winter.