New Sunset Western Garden Book Giveaway

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

Congratulations to our winners! All have been notified by email:

Paul from Palm Springs, CA, whose favorite plant is Justicia california (chuperosa).

Shirley from San Antonio, TX, whose favorite plant is Texas mountain laurel.

Lise from Bonny Doon, CA, who loves hellebores and antique roses, and who dreams of tomatoes.

Candy from Roseville, CA, whose favorite plant is Echeveria ‘Afterglow’

Elizabeth from Aurora, CO, whose favorite is hummingbird mint (agastache). 

P.S. Because so many of you mentioned succulents in your comments, I’ll be doing a similar giveaway when my next book comes out!

Many thanks to Sunset for the honor of giving away to YOU, dear GGW readers, FIVE copies of the 2012 edition of the New Sunset Western Garden Book.

Sunset‘s up-to-the-minute, 21st-century moxie doesn’t end with their appreciation of garden blogs, bloggers and blog readers. The venerable publishing company also exhibits it in a comprehensive, easier-than-ever-to-use edition of this, THE bible of gardening west of the Rockies.

The new edition has photos of plants, rather than illustrations. Not that the previous color drawings were bad, they were excellent. But kudos to Linda Peters, Sunset’s art director, for tracking down photos representative of every single genus—well over a thousand. I like to think there were huge sighs of relief at Sunset’s offices when I emailed Linda back saying yes, by golly, I DO have a photo of Beschorneria yuccoides in bloom. It appears on page 195, in all its pink-stemmed and floppy glory.

Amazingly, over 500 new species or cultivars were added. I don’t know how they did it, considering this edition weighs about the same as the last. Naturally at first I hoped all were succulents. They’re not, of course, but I do know that more succulents are represented than ever before. “How could there not be?” editor Kathy Brenzel asked me. “The plants have never been so popular.” Amen, sistah!

One way the editors might have gained a little space is by no longer listing common names in the encyclopedia. These once were included followed by the plant’s botanical name and its page number. After a frisson of dismay, during which I thought the book was seriously flawed, I located “century plant” in the General Index, with Agave americana and the page number right after it. So if you’re looking for a plant by its common name, start there first.

To enter to win a free copy, there are three things you must do:

ONE: Leave a comment below stating what your favorite plant is or why you’d love to have this book.

TWO: Provide your email address so I can immediately notify you that you’ve won. Prefer not to have your email address here for all the world to see? No problem. Cut-and-paste the comment as it appears below into an email and send it to me. My email address is on my website in the green bar. Your comment MUST appear here as well.

THREE: Let me know your first name and city or blogsite, so on April 14, I can announce you on this page as the winner—and also acknowledge your blog.

A few more details:  The winners will be chosen randomly by a disinterested party at 12:01 a.m. PST on lucky Friday April 13, 2012 and contacted within 24 hours. Winners will be listed here, in red, as an addendum to this post. If a proposed winner forfeits or does not claim the prize by April 23rd, the prize will be re-awarded based on the sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded.

The number of eligible entries will determine the odds of winning. This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only, who are over the age of 18. No purchase necessary to win. This sweepstakes is void where prohibited by law (not exactly sure where this might be, but I’d hate to live there).  By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to these conditions.

Disclaimer: The book was provided for me to review.

Fine print: Some of the above about entry rules was borrowed–ok, plagiarized–from Rebecca Sweet’s post on the same topic, notably the part about hating to live where sweepstakes are void if prohibited by law (ha).
I won’t be responding to each of your comments as I normally do, but rest assured I’ll read all with keen interest. Good luck everyone!


Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin

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48 Comments… add one

Leave a Comment

Cathy March 20, 2012, 4:32 am

My guess is that it’s luscious enough to make me wish that I lived in the west! Don’t enter me in the contest…. I want to leave the prize for someone who can really use the book in their western garden. But what a great opportunity! I’ve long been a fan of Sunset publications and have quite a collection!

Denise March 20, 2012, 4:40 am

Favorite plant hands down is Ilex Vometoria ‘Will Fleming’. I use it quite alot, it is ‘bullet proof,’ glossy green all year long, growing up tall, not wide for narrow passageways. It provides a very nice privacy ‘background layer’ in a landscape. Because it is an Ilex, it is slow growing with a non-invasive root structure so that it can be planted against a foundation, and compatible bedding material can be planted underneath. loveitloveitloveit!!!

jean March 20, 2012, 6:42 am

What gardener doesn’t love any and all gardening books they can get their hands on? I love reading about plants and gardening ideas from all over the globe.

Alice Dickerson March 20, 2012, 7:47 am

The Vertically-Linked Garden Planter was created so everyone could get hooked on gardening even if they had no plot to till. Winning the 2012 edition of the New Sunset Western Garden Book will help me with my cause. By having such a beautiful and extensive reference, urban gardening opportunities can be redefined.

Thank you
Alice Dickerson

Elaine Sawyer March 20, 2012, 8:55 am

Hi Debra,
I love this book! I remember years ago the day I wandered into a nursery as a young plant ingenue and saw everyone going crazy and buying the new Western Garden Book. Not knowing what I was in for, I grabbed one for myself and the rest is history! Now I use it all the time for my job at the nursery and for my blog. My favorite plant, at this time, is Acer palmatum, the Japanese Maple. I really like ‘Ukigumo’. Thanks for this fun contest!
Elaine, Sammamish, WA

Kathy March 20, 2012, 9:11 am

Yikes!!! This book comes at a perfect time for me!!
We decided to rip out our grass lawn and change over to all succulents and cacti. my favorite is echeveria after glow so far….beautiful shade of pink lavender with fantastic flowers. I live in Point Loma, a suburb of San Diego. Please…..

greg March 20, 2012, 9:28 am

I have your most recent book and loved it succulents are my choice of plants. Thank you for putting these books together.


I loved your last book .

greg March 20, 2012, 9:33 am

I get a lot of ideas from your last book for my potting plants designs.

I loved your last book .

Jeavonna Chapman March 20, 2012, 11:39 am

The Western Garden Book was my go-to resource when I lived in So. Cal. It’s a wonderful resource. Glad to see it’s been updated.

Paul Ortega March 20, 2012, 11:47 am

My favorite plant? Justicia californica, or Chuperosa, because it’s a desert native, it’s a great hummingbird plant and in my yard it provides green and color almost all year round. Thanks, Debra. Paul Ortega, in Palm Springs (California, NOT Florida).

Tom J in Denver March 20, 2012, 12:13 pm

My wife and I are plant junkies and have both low-water outdoor gardens and potted cactus and succulents that we move indoors during the cold weather. Living here at altitude has many challenges but we love both our hardy natives and our lowland and coastal “visitors”. The plant world is so extensive and we so enjoy discovering species that are unfamiliar to us that the WGB would be an invaluable resource for us. Growing our knowledge base and expanding our plant collections would be greatly improved with the info from the WGB. It’s impossible to name a favorite plant but right now we are enamored with yucca, agave, cactus and the many penstemons! Thanks, Tom

Celeste Melville March 20, 2012, 12:16 pm

My favorite plant is what is currently growing in my Denver, Mile High Garden and that is garlic! I’m fairly new to your site and am enjoying your blog immensely! I absolutely love Sunset and would love to have this book!

joyce nielsen March 20, 2012, 1:01 pm

My favorite book in my entire library is the Sunset Western Garden Book because it has had more use than any other book I’ve ever owned. How could I survive without one? And what is more exciting than having a brand new edition with all that new information? I tour nurseries as a form of entertainment, as well as garden, so with the new book I’d be able to keep up with all the new things out there! Thank you for having this contest.

Karen March 20, 2012, 2:18 pm

I am new to this bolg, and I love it. Thanks for the info and ideas. I read every garden book that I can get my hands on, and I would love to get my hands on this one from you. Thanks for this chance to win one…..
Karen from Windsor Heights, Iowa

Karen March 20, 2012, 2:19 pm

Forgot to give you my email so you can send me the good news. Thanks

Melissa Trevino March 20, 2012, 2:48 pm

I love succulents, especially Aeoniums and have embarked on a journey to collect all it’s cultivars and hybrids. This book would be indispensable for this tasks as well as properly identifying all the other succulents I can’t resist to buy along the way.

ricki - sprig to twig March 20, 2012, 3:48 pm

The Sunset Western Garden Book I am using is from 1995. That should give you some idea how dog-eared and flagged it is, and how often a plant is not to be found there. A new edition would be quite the windfall. Succulents are my most recent passion: current fave…Euphorbia mamilaris ‘variegata’.

Donna Minick March 20, 2012, 4:14 pm

Sunset is my go-to book for all my garden questions–that and Rogers Nursery in Corona del Mar. As to my favorite plant, it depends on the season. Right now I’m loving my Queen’s Wreath vine covered in long pendulous purple blossoms.

Cindy Davison March 20, 2012, 5:12 pm

Being a native of San Diego, it’s all about the outdoors! You can find me on any given day in the garden, looking for more space to plant a few more succulents. I was excited to learn The New Sunset Western Garden Book is speaking my language…Succulents! My current edition is from 1979…I think it’s time to update!

Kim Greenfield March 20, 2012, 5:26 pm

When I discovered succulents, I had such a good feeling, they just made me happy, like a new best friend! My first attraction was the Agaves, especially the Agave attenuata, to me it looked like a sculpture. My attraction started to wane when I read they were moncarpic. They die after they flower, oh no! To avoid my heart being broken I thought I would turn my attentions to Aloes, I loved how they flowered and there was also quite a variety. However, lately my gaze has been drifting to yet another interest and that is Echeverias and one handsome fellow in particular, the Black Prince.
I read and reread Debra’s blogs and the information on her website and face book page. I just can’t get enough! Thanks Debra, for all you do in the name of succulents!

Janis Hatlestad March 20, 2012, 7:18 pm

Hi Debra, so many plants to choose from, hard to pick a favorite. If I have to, I’d say Arbutus x ‘Marina’, Marina Strawberry Tree is my favorite in my garden right now. Richly colored and adorned all winter into spring with hummingbird-attracting pink flowers dangling like so many clusters of radiant pink pearls. Fruit are fascinating, and I even like to eat them. On the other hand, this week I’ve been obsessing over agaves, mangaves, and… well, you get the idea!

My blog is at
(Guess I’d better post something there, soon.) Thanks for having this contest. Best!

Jeff March 21, 2012, 1:37 am

I have every copy of the Sunset Garden book since the first! I used it in Texas, Georgia, Illinois and Ohio… many of the plants were impossible to grow in the other states, but reading about them was great fun. It kept me from being homesick.

My favorite plant is the next one I see at the nursery, but right now, I’m fairly fond of Michaelias… Not quite a magnolia, not quite a Loquat… Yummy blooms, gorgeous foliage and several new species to lust for!

I’m in San Francisco, my name is Jeff and April 14th is my birthday!


BTW, I was required to add my e-mail. No option.

Shirley March 21, 2012, 3:56 pm

My favorite plant is Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora). I’d love the book because of the range of info about plants that would do well in my climate.

I’m in San Antonio, Texas.

Leah March 21, 2012, 6:26 pm

I love gardening. I used to have a really awesome garden but now I am in a wheelchair and I had to go to raised bed gardening. I love that I can still do the gardening myself but I miss sitting on the griund and digging in the dirt like I used to. Nothing stops me from having beautiful plants and looking at the great books about gardening, I could spend most of my time with a book or seed magazine and a cup of coffee. Nothing better.

Fran Sorin March 22, 2012, 1:05 am

Oh Debra… know I would be in line to try to snafu one of these books if I was eligible. It looks fantastic! And I love your photo…of course. Fran

professorroush March 22, 2012, 11:54 am

“No Fail Gardening Tips?” Count me in! I desperately need some no-fail ideas, because the only gardening book I could write would be a “Don’t Do This Because it Fails!” text.

Vangie La Mesa March 22, 2012, 1:00 pm

My front yard has been all succulent for over 30 years. However my largest number of plants given special attention are begonias.

Rita March 22, 2012, 2:51 pm

I love fern peonies. I’d like to see how to to do something uniques with them.

Tracy Zeltser March 22, 2012, 3:02 pm

I LOVE Sunset Western Garden Book and have ancient copies — but would really like to peruse the most recent with the Photos! yay!

As for plants – I love most, but right now, I am enjoying rediscovering the Euryops. I know it is plain and overused, and is too giving of its bright yellow flowers, but it is SO great! I love it.

LaurieGo March 22, 2012, 11:33 pm

My favorite plant? The next one I add to my garden…

Naomi Goodman March 23, 2012, 12:27 pm

My favorite plant is pretty much every one I buy, unfortunately! But if I had to pick a few, I’d say geraniums for perennial- they bloom forever, cover up dying bulb foliage and have tons of varieites; Thujopsis dolabrata for conifers; viburnums for woody shrubs, and evergreens – hmm, Arctostaphylos varieties – flowers, nice bark, blue green leaves, so many to choose from!

Kat White March 23, 2012, 1:12 pm

I don’t have a favorite plant. I can’t. I’m a plant addict. New and different is always good. That’s why I need this book. To help me understand my addiction.

Amy B March 23, 2012, 11:54 pm

My new favorite to use in the yard is the purple fan flower. I have recently redone my parking strip and I was thrilled to use it. I would use this book to help me replace the lawn in the front yard with plants!

Lise March 24, 2012, 10:34 am

Hellebores, antique roses…my favorite plant depends on the season. But what endures is my love for the home-grown tomato – every year I dream of tomatoes. Sometimes I even have a successful crop – here’s hoping for this year!
Bonny Doon, California

Saxon March 24, 2012, 6:36 pm

This is a very cool promo for a great revision of a classic. I wonder however if “I” had been able to do this book give away with Sunset, if they would have let us give away 100 books to our GGW audience, since I have more than 60 photos in it… 🙂
Well done Debra Lee !

Elizabeth March 24, 2012, 11:54 pm

I need new favorite plants. Hence I need the new book.
The one I am using was my my mum’s and she died at 2004 at 89 years old. Pages are missing, colors are faded it is old as dirt.

Renee G March 25, 2012, 8:17 pm

I love Hydrangeas (both pink and purple).

Cara March 26, 2012, 1:30 pm

My favorite plant is parsley. I would love to get my hands on that book and learn about some new cultivars.

Charlotte Owendyk March 27, 2012, 6:10 pm

My favorite plants…can not do singular..helebores, clematis, roses, succulents, tomatoes, beans, peaches and mandarin oranges!
Hope I am lucky!!!!

Patty Woolever March 27, 2012, 8:18 pm

I don’t have a favorite plant. Lately I’ve been into succulents. I landscaped my yard about 10 years ago. About 5 years ago I gave it a good juicing up. About 3 years ago I gave it a tweaking. This year it’s getting massaged. In between all the major landscaping, tweeking and massaging are the pruning, pleading, plucking, and praying. I’d like to just sit down with a glass of wine and dream that my yard actually looked like any of the pictures in The New Sunset Western Garden Book.

Debbie Robertson March 27, 2012, 10:56 pm

My old copy of this book is covered w/ sticky tabs, red clay, and well-worn cover. I used it when I lived in CA and in Hawaii. Still use it now that I live in OKC, OK. I need a new one!

Candy Suter March 28, 2012, 3:02 am

I’ve never had this book before. I’m weird and like a book with photos. This one looks so awesome and will be very helpful! Sweetstuff can always use a super duper book like this for her garden! LOL

Angie March 29, 2012, 8:40 am

My favorite plant is Dragon’s Blood sedum. I love the fiery red color. It is one plant I can’t kill, which is why I need that book!

Elizabeth March 29, 2012, 9:56 am

My favorite plant is any Hummingbird Mint (Agastache). I’m in Aurora, CO.

Candy Suter March 30, 2012, 3:47 am

I forgot to say that my favorite plant is echeveria ‘after glow’ and I live in Roseville, CA!

Justin April 3, 2012, 2:57 pm

My favorite plant is the paperbark maple (Acer griseum). With its exfoliating bark and great fall colors, it gives year round interest to the garden.

Justin April 3, 2012, 3:02 pm

My favorite plant is the paperbark maple (Acer griseum). With its exfoliating bark and great fall colors, it gives year round interest to the garden. I live in San Leandro, CA.

Jean April 4, 2012, 6:22 pm

I love Roses. I also love Sunset Magazine and the Sunset Gardening Book. It is my bible. I would love an up to date copy.

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