Three books are in print, published by TouchWood Editions of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy”, and
Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy.”
Beauty by Design: Inspired Gardening in the Pacific Northwest,” co-authored with Rosemary Bates.
The Carefree Garden.”

All four are available from bookstores ($24.95 in Canada), or may be purchased via the on line retailer, (Canada) or (elsewhere).

Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy

“What to give serious gardeners?

“I reckon they’d love a copy of Bill Terry’s Beyond Beauty: Hunting the Wild Blue Poppy, about his journey to Tibet in 2009 to hunt for the blue poppy. It is a personal story of triumph and optimism that will inspire and excite knowledgeable gardeners who appreciate the uniqueness and ethereal beauty of this special poppy.” Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun.

Beyond Beauty is the story of a remarkable journey that Bill Terry and his wife, Rosemary, undertook when they joined a party of Dutch and British alpine plant hunters, intent on botanizing on the roof of the world. The expedition travelled in a convoy of eight jeeps, 2,500 kilometres from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province of China, to Lhasa, capital of Tibet. The jeeps bounced and lurched over roads that were rarely paved and occasionally terrifying. They crossed fifteen passes, some as high as 5,000 metres (16,500 feet), where even in midsummer, the wind scours exposed skin like steel wool.

Beyond Beauty

This was a journey which the Lonely Planet guide describes as “requiring super-human endurance.” The plant hunters braved days at high altitude, panting in the thin air of the Tibetan plateau, and were rewarded with collages of rock, moss, lichen, flower, and foliage so sublime they might be imagined as “perfect gardens,” though no gardener or landscape architect had a hand in their creation.

As the journey unfolds, the author sketches the history of the region and observes life for Tibetans under direct Chinese rule and the ever-alert People’s Liberation Army. He reflects on the potential threat of a massive hydroelectric development to the wellbeing of the millions of people living downstream in Southeast Asia. Terry also contrasts the hardships suffered and dangers faced by pioneer plant hunters a century ago with the relative comfort and safety of modern travel in these remote and exotic lands.

Throughout the book, the author’s distinctive photography portrays local custom and culture and celebrates the wildflowers in all their profusion, especially the almost heartbreaking beauty of the Asiatic Poppies.

(Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun, December 2012)

Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy

Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy

Blue Heaven: Encounters with the Blue Poppy tells the story of the enchanting Himalayan Blue Poppy.

It begins in 1924 in Tibet, where the renowned plant explorer Frank Kingdon-Ward came upon “a stream of blue poppies, dazzling as sapphires in the pale light.”

Soon the blue poppy was introduced to cultivation and proved challenging, stubborn, even believed to be impossible to grow.

In Blue Heaven, Bill Terry—a leading North American authority on Asiatic poppies—debunks this myth, relating his own encounters with the blue poppy and showing how, given a suitable climate, a patient and persistent gardener can raise this most alluring of perennial plants. Gorgeous photographs accompany the text throughout, leading to a visually stunning collection of images and stories, illuminating this rare and precious flower.


Blue Heaven is a poem.” — Rachel Wyatt, author of Time’s Reach.

“With wit and erudition, author Bill Terry examines the world of the fabled Himalayan Blue Poppy and its relatives.” — Des Kennedy, author of An Ecology of Enchantment: A Year in the Life of a Garden.

“Author and subject are a match made in Heaven.  I loved the book all the way to the end.” — Elizabeth Hay, author of Late Nights on Air, winner of the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

“A passionate love poem … illustrated throughout with Bill’s own photographs, each of them ravishing.” — Theresa Kishkan, author of Mnemonics,a book of trees.

“It is the crafted word and distillate of Terry’s passion in this charming treatise, that make Blue Heaven a true gem to read.” — Daniel J. Hinkley, Pacific Horticulture.

“This book is a highly personal account and a fun read, which is as good as a novel.  It adds greatly to our collective knowledge and I highly recommend it.” — Christopher Grey-Wilson, The Garden. (Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society).

Blue Heaven has a wealth of superb pictures within its pages.” — Ian Christie, Journal of the Scottish Rock Garden Club.

“[Terry’s] own sense of wonder and imagination come through it all; this is what the reader hopes for in an author: good story telling.” — Douglas Justice, Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Club of BC.

Beauty by Design: Inspired Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

Beauty by Design: Inspired Gardening in the Pacific Northwest.


* Kathy Leishman’s garden of refinement for all seasons on Bowen Island.
* Dan Hinkley’s enchanted garden, perched above Puget Sound.
* Painter Eva Diener’s Sunshine Coast botanical garden.
* Potter Robin Hopper’s “Anglo-Japanadian” woodland wonderland on Vancouver Island.
* Pam Frost’s Vancouver garden that transports visitors out of the urban into the sublime.
*Artists Robert and Birgit Bateman’s inspiring space on Salt Spring Island.
* Writers Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier’s verse-inspiring garden on Vancouver Island.
* Sculptors George and David Lewis’s earthly paradise, and Linda Cochran’s stunning garden of exotics, both on Bainbridge Island.
* Des and Sandy Kennedy’s fairy-tale forest garden on Denman Island.
* Glen Patterson’s astonishing third-storey roof garden in downtown Vancouver.

In this treasure trove of ideas, inspired artists of the garden share their stories, their secrets, and their passion for gardening. Landscape is the canvas. Foliage, flowers, rocks, water, and other bounties of nature are the materials. With plants, objects, art, and artifice, they create magical spaces, engage our senses, and summon forth pure delight.

Accompanied by breathtaking photographs, these gardeners and their stories will inspire all who love to paint with plants as well as offer enchantment for seasoned gardeners and beginners alike.

You will never look at a garden the same way again.

Beauty by Design was launched at the Sechelt Writers Festival, August 18th 2013

The Carefree Garden: Letting Nature Play Her Part

The Carefree Garden

A lighthearted and clever reflection on how best to work with Mother Nature to create a carefree garden from well-respected West Coast gardener Bill Terry.

What happens when a lifelong gardener finally realizes he must collaborate with Mother Nature, rather than work against her, to achieve his dream of creating the perfect garden? In this delightful and thoughtful narrative journey of horticultural discovery, Bill Terry asks how and even why we garden, and to what end. Learn more…