New garden book available

Eleven years ago, North Carolina Cooperative Extension launched the newsletter Extension’s Successful Gardener to address the high demand for gardening information across the state. Founding editor Leah Chester-Davis has joined with team member, Extension agent and acclaimed garden-book author Toby Bost to produce a book with some of the newsletter’s best material.

The Successful Gardener Guide is a compilation of the best material from 10 years of the newsletter, which won numerous awards, including the Garden Writers Association Award. Novice and expert gardeners alike will
find useful information in this book’s six color-coded, easy-to-reference chapters.

Among the highlights:

  • Extension agents address common gardening concerns and recommend ecologically sound principles for pest and garden management.
  • Plant species and cultivars from tried-and-true favorites to new introductions are specifically recommended for North Carolina’s zones.
  • Monthly calendars for the mountains, Piedmont and coastal regions of the state provide seasonal gardening advice.
  • A collection of the best “Enviro-tips” offers budget-friendly advice for a sustainable landscape.
  • The state’s most frequently asked questions about pest management and plant-growing concerns are answered.
  • Detailed descriptions and planting tips are offered for some of the best and most exciting plant introductions.

Readers can rely on the information in The Successful Gardener Guide as scientifically accurate and written for gardens in their region. Thousands of North Carolina gardeners have benefited from the research of extension agents. Now, they have the best and most useful information in one accessible volume.

About the authors

LEAH CHESTER-DAVIS was the founding editor of Extension’s Successful Gardener and served as the newsletter’s editor and team leader for nearly 10 years. She is director of communications for North Ca rolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institu te at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolist. She is currently working on a biography of Dr. John L. Creec h, world-famous plant hunter.

TOBY BOST has been a popular garden writer for over 30 years. He served as assistant editor of Extension’s Successful Gardener and is a consulting horticulturalist and field faculty emeritus of N.C. State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. He has published three gardening books, including The Carolina Gardener’s Guide. He currently writes monthly garden features for Yadkin Valley Living magazine.

About the book

The 254-page paperbook, published by John F. Blair, will be available in April for $19.95. Preorder copies at Also available for preorder at,, and Contact Angela Harwood, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at John F. Blair,
Publisher, at 1-800-222-9796 or for available discounts on multiple quantities for fundraising opportunities.

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