These instructions outline the basic best practices in planting any tree or shrub (applies to annuals and perennials as well). This is how we install plants, and we recommend that all gardeners do it this way.
Download as PDF: Planting Instructions.
Proper and diligent watering during the establishment period is the most important factor for plant success. Most people underestimate the water needs of new plants. These instructions are a “must read” for all gardeners. Reading these instructions carefully is even more important if you have an automatic irrigation system.
Download as PDF: Watering Instructions.
Missouri Botanical Garden has an excellent “Plant Finder” database of over 7,500 ornamental plants. This is one of the most comprehensive plant databases we have found, covering annuals, perennals, shrubs, and trees. The information is professionally curated and, we have found, very accurate. Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder
UMass Extension and the Center for Agricultural, Food and the Environment have a lot of locally-relevant resources on home gardening. The fact sheets are particularly helpful on a wide range of topics.
Michael Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs is a must-have reference for ornamental woody plants. We refer to our copy frequently. Like many in our industry, Dirr is highly opinionated. We don’t agree with everything he writes, but overall it’s a very useful resource.
What Michael Dirr is to woody plants, Allan Armitage is for herbaceous plants. His Color Encyclopedia of Garden Plants: Annuals/Perennials is an essential resource. It’s out of print but still available used.
If a circumnavigation is in your future, be sure to read Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes.