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Comments & Reviews - continued

Wild places inspire Earth awareness, By ROSEMARY McCREARY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007
Part of a longer article, concludes with: Helpful companion
When you do venture out into nearby wildlands, a helpful guide to take along is a wonderful collection of photographs put together by Reny Parker, past president of the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Her book is "Wildflowers of Northern California's Wine Country and North Coast Ranges." With input from other native plant experts, Parker has compiled brief descriptions of 360 species native to Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Mendocino counties. Besides annual flowers, she includes a sampling of ferns, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees.

The beautiful photographs are detailed close-ups of blossoms but often are paired with a wider shot of foliage, if not an entire plant. Common, botanical, and family names are given. Lists at the end identify nearby places to find wildflowers.

Color-coded photos are sensibly arranged from pale to deep hues -- white, yellow, orange, pink-to-red, violet-to blue, and brown-to-green -- a helpful order for identification since a first observation of wildflowers is their color.

Gardeners will be gratified that Parker, who has a colorful drought-tolerant garden in the Cloverdale hills, has noted which wildflowers are appropriate for garden culture.

In sharing her passion for wildflowers in the book and on her Web site, Parker hopes to encourage us to take a closer look at nature's wonders and be inspired to preserve them for future generations. Her book is available in bookstores or through her Web site.