One hundred and sixty colorful pages of photos and sketches, tips and tricks, ideas and inspiration - all in hopes of helping you add a little bit of flavor to your yard.

Most of the photos in the book were taken at local gardens around the Twin Cities area. Many thanks to the individuals and organizations who graciously welcomed me and my fabulous photographer and art directors into their gardens. Many agreed to plant specific varieties so we would be able to get the shots we needed. They gave us access at ridiculously early hours so we could catch just the right light. And they welcomed us back week after week in order to get the perfect coloring on a plum, capture the zinnias in full bloom, and of course snap photos of lots of chard! Huge thanks go out to The University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science and the Minnesota Landscape ArboretumComo Park Zoo and Conservatory, Jane and Jim Gilbert, Maureen Hark and Blue House Garlic, Charlene McEvoy and Doug Olson, Laura McGuire and McGuire's Urban Farm, Theresa Rooney, Dawn Spraungel, and Julie Weisenhorn. This book couldn't have happened without your generosity and spectacular gardens.

Of course the beautiful photos wouldn't have happened without Paul Markert, photographer extraordinaire. His vision, patience and flexibility contributed not only to a beautiful book, but also made the process really fun for me.

All the talented people I worked with at Voyageur Press were very supportive, flexible and accommodating to my many whims, visions and persnickety-ness. And they put together one heck of a gorgeous book that I am really, really proud of.

Finally, I owe endless thanks to my family, friends and colleagues who reviewed various chapters, confirming my statements, catching mistakes, and pointing out my overuse of certain words. I sound like a much smarter person thanks to all of you.

Happy gardening!

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