Cool Plants for Hot Gardens is Back!

When the original version of Cool Plants for Hot Gardens sold out the publisher decided not to run any reprints. They returned the original files and it took me a while to decide what to do with them. I wanted to make some changes; drop some old species, add some new ones, have larger pictures and more of them. After working on the Field Guide to the Cactus and Succulents of Arizona, an idea began to marinate. I decided that the two page per species format was ideal and my son Brian set up a template modeled after the Field Guide.

The format allowed for about 150 species, so the first step was to remove all the cactus and succulents with the intent of writing a companion book devoted solely to those magnificent plants. The second step was to get a quote from AZ Lithographers to print the book and decide whether or not I really wanted to continue. Obviously I did. The third step was to remove some old plants to make room for new ones. I solicited advice from several people including, Jim Verrier at Desert Survivors, the staff at Civano Nursery, and landscape designer Scott Calhoun. Step four was to rewrite the species accounts, updating the information and taking some new pictures. Step five was a new cover, again my son took on that task and came up with a kick-butt design. After a year of working on the book, rewriting the introduction, plugging the information for each species into the template, and tweaking photos, my friend and editor extraordinaire Tristan Davis reviewed the manuscript, catching errors and making grammatical corrections.

All the files were converted to PDF and given to AZ Litho for the initial low resolution print so I could go over it with a fine tooth comb and look for any errors and work on rewrites if something just sounded funny. After four rounds, I signed off on the project and watched them start printing the pages! Then the cover got printed and everything was sent to Roswell Bookbinding in Phoenix. I’ve been given the date of December 15 for the finished product and will have 1500 copies to store and sell.

The reworked cover is above and a sample page is below.

A sample page from the new format of Cool Plants for Hot Gardens

I will list books for sale as soon as I get them in stock, the price will be $29.95 plus shipping. Start checking about mid-December as this will make a great Christmas gift for that home gardener.

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  1. suzanne May 6, 2023

    cool but where can this be purchased? I live in Tucson

    • Greg Starr May 7, 2023

      My book Cool Plants for Hot Gardens is available through my website, at Tohono Chul Park, Spadefoot Nursery, Rillito Nursery, Tucson Cactus and Koi Nursery, and Tucson Botanical Gardens.

  2. Paul Johnson November 24, 2023

    Gardening in my locale can be tough (Ajo AZ), and I collect gardening books with some specificity as to my climate zone here.
    I simply cannot say enough about Gregg Starr’s revised addition to “Cool Plants for Hot Gardens.” The first book was wonderful, the second a must have for low country gardener’s in S. Arizona.
    After using these books the last several years, I have come to rely on them as my number one guide for plants that can survive both our winter here (regularly freezes at some point most winters) and brutal summers (weeks, even moths some years, of temps over 100 F). Suffice it to say that Cool Plants has become my plant bible whenever I’m searching for the perfect plant for some niche in my hot garden.


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