Spellbound Garden Writing & Consultation

Edward Lyon


Ed Lyon is the Director of Reiman Gardens, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. He was formally Director, Allen Centennial Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin.  His public garden career includes serving as Symposia & Special Programs Coordinator for Chicago Botanic Garden, Director of Education for Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Executive Director for the Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Through Spellbound Garden Writing & Consultation, he writes and speaks for both public and professional audiences. He has written a book called "Growing the Midwest Garden for Timber Press, released May, 2015. He has written the “Ask the Expert” column for Wisconsin Gardening magazine as well as feature articles plus a regular regional report on southern Wisconsin for Chicagoland Gardening plus feature articles and continues to write for State-by-State Gardening. He teaches, lectures and has served as featured/keynote speaker for a number of conferences.

He is emphatic about focusing on gardening with regionalism as a primary focus.  Most importantly, he is an avid gardener with dirt under his fingernails.




Edward Lyon

725 Hodge Avenue

Ames, IA  50010



  • White Facebook Icon

Growing the Midwest Garden

The Amazon reviews:

Dee T.


5.0 out of 5 stars Best Garden Book in Its Class

June 28, 2015

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

There are several great gardening books out there (Armitage, DiSabato-Aust) but this is the book I have been waiting for. I have wanted a garden book covering plants (perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs) that I can actually find in a local nursery as well as likely have success in growing in my hardiness zone. Lyon covers 12 states and 3 Canadian provinces broken down into 5 Midwest regions that provide the reader with maximum chances of finding the right plant for "my" site. Lyon's illustrations of over 200 plants are marvelous. His writing style is conversational, witty -- I felt like he was sitting beside me discussing plants, soil, diseases, etc. His advice is based on his personal gardening experiences as well as being the director of several major Midwest public gardens. He is candid about the pros and cons of his selections but leaves the reader with good cultivar choices should you want to try, for example, a Bearded Iris - a plant I have come to dislike in my garden and Lyon's narrative hits the problems on the head. I wish I could have had his critical perspective over the years - would have saved me time, money, and frustrations over my poor decisions as well as often reinforcing the good choices I have made. Lyon wants his reader to have successful and enjoyable garden experiences. I look forward to trying out my newly found Midwest garden knowledge.





5.0 out of 5 starsGreat gardening book!

April 18, 2018

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Arrived today. We found the landscape design we need for our front yard. Could not be happier witht he content, price and vendor!





5.0 out of 5 starsGrowing, growing, growing

December 2, 2015

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Ed writes as well as he speaks. That's saying a lot. The book addresses all kinds of questions and answers things I didn't know to ask. I have bought several now, for me and as gifts.



Kindle Customer


5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent resource

July 30, 2015

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Extremely helpful book. We are converting a large patch of grass lawn back into prairie. This book gave us good ideas for drought-resistant, perennials.



Jeremy Sherwood,Jeremy Sherwood


5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars

May 6, 2018

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Great info



Sandy Hjortland


5.0 out of 5 starsGarden Encyclopedia!

August 25, 2015

Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase

I got this for a dear step daughter who is an avid and very successful gardener. It looks to be a good and complete reference book.





4.0 out of 5 starsFour Stars

January 15, 2016

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

I like the book, but wish their would have been more details included in the plant section.





5.0 out of 5 starsA great and useful book

September 13, 2015

Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase

A great and useful book. I was a little surprised at some omissions in plant lists but still loved the book.