Friday, July 4, 2008

Gardening Reading List

Whether you're a veteran gardener, an enthusiastic hobbyist or a budding newbie, there is always new literature to consult to increase your know-how and fine tune your techniques.

Below are a handful of helpful books for gardeners of any skill level. All of the books can be bought locally at Books n' More in downtown Wilmington, where they are priced relatively close to their Amazon counterparts.

Trowel and Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies and Shortcuts for the Gardener
Sharon Lovejoy

Brief synopsis:  

"Cure plant viruses with spoiled milk. Steep a natural and effective insecticide out of fresh basil. Place flat stones under squash or melons to hasten ripening. Recycle an old apple corer as the perfect dibber for muscari and other small bulbs. Start rosemary cuttings in a green glass bottle. Sprinkle baby powder over seedlings to discourage rabbits. Crush a garlic clove and apply it to your skin as an insect repellent. From urging the reader to take an occasional shower with the houseplants to giving all-natural gardenside first aid, "Trowel and Error" is a direct line to the kind of practical wisdom that comes only after a lifetime of experience. The book is indexed by problem, plant, pest, and solution, and includes a list of tools and common household items--borax, cornmeal, vinegar--that completes the gardener's arsenal.

Buy it locally
Buy it from Amazon

_______________________________________

All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!
Mel Bartholomew

Brief synopsis:  

"When he created the 'square foot gardening' method, Mel Bartholomew, a retired engineer and efficiency expert, found the solution to the frustrations of most gardeners. His revolutionary system is simple: it's an ingenious planting method based on using square foot blocks of garden space instead of rows. Gardeners build up, not down, so there's no digging and no tilling after the first year. And the method requires less thinning, less weeding, and less watering.'

Buy it locally
Buy it from Amazon


_______________________________________
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture
Toby Hemenway

Brief synopsis:

"Picture your backyard as one incredibly lush garden, filled with edible flowers, bursting with fruit and berries, and carpeted with scented herbs and tangy salad greens. The visual impact is of Monets palette, a wash of color, texture, and hue. But this is no still life. The flowers nurture endangered pollinators. Bright-featured songbirds feed on abundant berries and gather twigs for their nests.The plants themselves are grouped in natural communities, where each species plays a role in building soil, deterring pests, storing nutrients, and luring beneficial insects. And finally, you--good ol homo sapiens--are an integral part of the scene. Your garden tools are resting against a nearby tree, and have a slight patina of rust, because this garden requires so little maintenance. You recline into a hammock to admire your work. You have created a garden paradise.This is no dream, but rather an ecological garden, which takes the principles of permaculture and applies them on a home-scale. There is nothing technical, intrusive, secretive, or expensive about this form of gardening. All that is required is some botanical knowledge (which is in this book) and a mindset that defines a backyard paradise as something other than a carpet of grass fed by MiracleGro."

Buy it locally
Buy it from Amazon

_______________________________________

Garden My Heart: Organic Strategies for Backyard Sustainability
Cecil Bothwell

Brief synopsis:

Garden writer and editor Cecil Bothwell delivers a series of essays reflecting almost 40 years as an organic gardener, with characteristic insight and humor. The book is a guide through the seasons and the weeds, with ideas about edible landscaping and vermiculture, back yard ponds and alternatives to the suburban lawn, by a writer with a deep background in environmentalism and green living. Bothwell is the author of several books including the best-selling guide, Finding Your Way in Asheville, and the critically acclaimed biography, The Prince of War: Billy Graham's Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire.

Buy it locally
Buy it from Amazon

_______________________________________

Garden Anywhere
Alys Fowler

Brief synopsis:

Have a small patch of soil? Or just a window box? Not a problem. Garden Anywhere shows how anyone can create an oasis in the smallest of spaces. We're not talking just a simple pot of marigolds, here. Garden Anywhere outlines everything an aspiring gardener needs to know to sow a bounteous, thriving garden. Alys Fowler, trained at the New York Botanical Garden, guides readers through the process from the ground up—from planning the garden to composting, pruning, harvesting, and propagating. Stylish photos illustrate the how-tos while Alys shares tips on creating gorgeous container gardens, herb gardens, kitchen gardens and more, without spending a fortune.

Buy it locally
Buy it from Amazon

No comments: