Friday, August 12, 2011

Sawtooth Garden publishes trail guide

All proceeds from book sales support nonprofit organization

Express Staff Writer

Courtesy graphic “Along Mountain Trails: A Guide to Northern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers & Berries” was written by Doreen Marsh Dorward and Sally Randall Swanson. Published by the Sawtooth Botanical Garden. $15.

The nonprofit Sawtooth Botanical Garden is not only celebrating its garden in full bloom, it now has a guidebook to support its mission. "Along Mountain Trails (and in boggy meadows): A Guide to Northern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers & Berries" has been published in a third edition by the garden.

Authors Doreen Marsh Dorward and Sally Randall Swanson sold out earlier editions of the book, which means great returns for the garden as it is the benefactor of the sales.

"The cover is new and the back of the book is new," Dorward said.

She said information about the garden is updated and included.

The easy-to-use and informative guidebook is specific to the Wood River Valley. Images and drawings make finding wildflowers easy with identifications including stems and leaves making it easier to distinguish the edible from the poisonous.

Dorward is a photojournalist and freelance writer who started in publishing in the 1970s with artful postcards displayed in racks at the Sun Valley Resort. Living here fostered a love for hiking, which led her on a mission to identify flowers in the area as well as learning about the history.

"I can't think of a better place to be," she said.

She said the book project as a fundraising tool for the garden started quietly. Sawtooth Botanical Garden board members and other supporters, led by longtime advocate Jeanne Cassell, ultimately provided the primary funding.

"The book is for people who truly know the area and everyone who loves wildflowers," said Sawtooth Botanical Garden Executive Director Carter Hedberg.

The book is also an excellent guide for the Sawtooth Botanical Garden hikes, which start in May and end in early August. The hiking program has an educational element, which started seven years ago.

Much like any field guide, "Along Mountain Trails" includes lots of useful information such as a vocabulary glossary, an illustrated glossary, proper plant nomenclature and general information about time of year plants are visible and some interesting facts. Each plant has a close-up color image for identification.

The book is available at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden—south of Ketchum, Chapter One Bookstore, Iconoclast Books and Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum.

For details, call 726-9358 or visit

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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