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In My Library

January 19th, 2013

Many of you are avid readers, like me, you are probably interested in what other people have on their bookshelves. While I was looking for a book the other day, the thought hit me that you might be interested in seeing what books I have gracing the shelves in my home.
on My Bookshelf 11
This will be a series, every now and then I’ll feature a few of the books on my shelf and tell you about them, where I got them, if I love them, etc. First off, here’s a section of my gardening books (yes my books are categorized by topic).
perennial combinations
We’ll kick it off with Perennial Combinations which transitioned from my mom’s library to mine about 10 years ago. She purchased this book about 20 years ago when they built a new home.  It’s a fantastic resource, especially if you’re planning on expanding your gardens. Inside you’ll find many stunning combinations of perennials that work together, they’re even categorized by zone and soil type. You don’t have to worry whether all the plants will do well together, if they’re grouped in this book they will. This book was a valuable resource when I gardened in Ohio, it gave me so many great ideas of plant combinations for all the soil zones in my garden: clay, sandy, dry, etc. If you enjoy perennials or have problem areas in your garden, this is a valuable book to have in your library!

carrots love tomatoes
This companion planting book also came to me by way of my mom. I’m not sure if it alway works in every garden, but it can’t hurt! Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening is a fascinating read and will give you some great ideas on companion planting options for you garden.
soil mates
If you want to learn more about companion planting but don’t want the in depth read of the book above, Soil Mates is the book for you. In this sweet little book, you’ll find companion planting simplified and portrayed beautifully. This book would be especially fitting for that younger gardener in your life, they’ll be drawn in with the beautiful layout and captivated by the writing.
companion planting
I won’t talk too in depth about Companion Planting: Successful Gardening the Organic Way, since I have a blog post dedicated to this book. If permaculture is something you’re interested in, this book is for you. Gertrude Franck was way ahead of her time. The garden planting philosophy she puts forth in this book is fascinating. This spring I might plant a garden using her unique methods because I think she was on to something!
elements of garden design
Elements of Garden Design is the book for you if design is as important as plants in your garden. This book leans towards garden geekery, but in a very understandable way. I love Joe’s writing style, so this was the garden design book I chose when I wanted to read up on the subject. It’s on my reread list as I plan out the overall design to my new garden. If you struggle with design and want to understand more about it, this is the book for you!  You’ll find a lot of valuable information in this book.
garden in your house
I found this obscure old gardening book while reading Onward and Upward in the Garden. There’s not much I can say about it, as I haven’t read it yet. Paperback Swap was the source of this book, so I didn’t pay a dime for it. One of these nights I’ll have time to crack it open and see if it’s good.
start with the soil
If you’ve been reading here long, you know I’m an advocate of soil building. I believe that gardeners grow soil and not plants. Start with the Soil is the book for you if you’d like to learn more about building the soil in your garden. Even with it’s slim size, it’s packed with tons of information. I was lucky enough to score this book for a few dollars at a used bookstore in Virginia on our way to visit Monticello.
the cottage garden
Classic cottage gardens are among the things I love, especially those that include vegetables, herbs and fruit.  Naturally, I LOVE  Cottage Garden (DK Living). This book made it’s way into my library many years ago, in fact it was one of the first books I purchased when I fell in love with edible gardening. There’s something captivating about traditional cottage gardens. This book is filled with beautiful imaged and wonderful ideas on how to make your garden like the stunning cottage gardens of England. I love pulling this book out on cold winter evenings and dreaming of my future cottage garden!
our life in gardens
My favorite garden book of all time is Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill by Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd. Naturally their other books also hold places of honor on my bookshelf and Our Life in Gardens is among them. This is a small book filled with short chapters, perfect for a few minutes of peaceful reading before bed. If you love the personal side of gardening you will certainly enjoy this book.
on My Bookshelf 2
There’s a look into a small portion of books in my library. Stay tuned, I’ll keep adding to this series whenever I have time.

Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Any recommendations on books I should add to my library?

The Series:
In My Library – part 1
In My Library – part 2
In My Library – Part 3
In My Library – Birding Books
In My Library: the Edible Garden Edition

If you do want to purchase any of these books or anything else from Amazon, use my Amazon Link, I’ll earn a few pennies to help pay for my now outrageous hosting bill for this blog!

16 Comments to “In My Library”
  1. kathi Cook on January 19, 2013 at 7:46 am

    One of my favorite genres is memoirs, especially about gardening. I have read an reread Micheal Pollan’s Second Nature which is a memoir about his gardening experiences in Ct while trying to tame his yard.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  2. pinepod on January 19, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I think my Dad has read Carrots Love Tomatoes. I have been reading a lot of free books for my Kindle Fire though as of lately. We used to read a lot of goat books but we gave those away when we got rid of all of our goats.


    Reply to pinepod's comment

  3. Marina on January 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Like you, I find Winterrowd and Eck to be very inspiring, and practical. Their garden at North hill is only an hour away, and I have visited it twice when they used to open it for charity fund raisers.
    Thank you for all the advice, sorry to hear it is getting so costly!
    If I use your link every single time I use Amazon, will that help? or is it only for books?
    I like to shop locally in small stores, but if I cannot find what I want, I use Amazon.
    Last question: does it show up somewhere on the page that I am using your link?
    I think you would enjoy the 3,000 miles garden, a correspondence between a Maine gardener and a gardener in a community garden in London.

    Reply to Marina's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2013 at 9:20 am

      So jealous, I’ve been wanting to visit the gardens of North Hill for so long!

      I can see a list of things people purchase through Amazing but can’t see who is using the link.

      Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll be adding to to my library list.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Ann on January 19, 2013 at 10:58 am

    My favorite gardening book is Gardening When it Counts by Steve Soloman. It is one of the most common sense books written by a man who has had a deep passion for gardening his entire life. He is the founder and original owner of the Territorial Seed Company. I pretty much read and reread this book at the tail end of every winter to be able to use his knowledge as I start the garden every year.

    Reply to Ann's comment

  5. Melanie in Ca on January 19, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Susy, back in the fall I used your Amazon link to buy some non-book items. Do you get credit for those purchases too?

    Reply to Melanie in Ca's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Yep, for anything purchased.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Marina on January 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Suzy, I will let you know if/when they open again. I am not sure if the gardens have been opened to the public since Wayne died.
    However, you could stay with us if you wanted to make the trip!
    Southern NH is not a huge detour on the way to Ohio, or is it? :-)

    Reply to Marina's comment

    • Susy on January 19, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      It’s not that far out of our way to Ohio.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Marina on January 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

    News flash!
    Last year, North Hill was open Fridays and Saturdays from May to September… More than it ever was in the past., its secure future might be as a public and teaching garden.

    Reply to Marina's comment

  8. KimH on January 19, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I’ve got Carrots Love Tomatoes and have had it for probably 30 years or close to it. Not sure if I bought it myself but I have a feeling it was my moms book before it became mine.. Either that or I got it at a garage/library sale.. And I have Living Seasonally because I won it in a contest you hosted and it now lives next to my bed.. :)
    Either I or my mother has Companion Planting: Successful Gardening the Organic Way but Im not sure who has it at the moment. Most of my gardening/herbal books are upstairs in a dresser.. and I have several, several dozens..

    I dont have any newer favorites but most of the Rodale Publishing books on gardening are great.. Their Rodales Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening was a classic and was my bible for a long time when I was starting out on my own. Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening is a classic & I learned a lot from it. I dont follow all his principles but I do use some of them..
    Also another of my favorites in garden genre The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book: Secrets of the Famous Year-Round Mulch Method. She was a lady ahead of her time and I loved her personality. She moved around quite a bit but her gardens were always successful year after year. The years I was able to mulch as heavily as she did, my gardens were awesome! In the North Texas heat drenched sandy loam, this method was perfect!

    These are all old books, but they’re the ones that popped into my head…

    Reply to KimH's comment

  9. judym on January 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I ‘ve had carrots love tomatoes ever since it came out. I think I finally got a newer one, since the first one is falling apart. also have perennial companions. I’ve been wanting to get some of the books you’ve mentioned. Constantly on the lookout for other books in he thrift stores and such. Have one on garden soil but can’t remember the name of it. You have a good assortment!

    Reply to judym's comment

  10. Deb Berning on January 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I have lots of homesteading books of all sorts and many of gardening. Collect when i find them and as I have money. I don’t follow any books are far as planting it, just however it flows at the time. i don’t care if specific plants work by certain ones. I just plant as I’m inspired and as I get plants. Many I dig up free from somewhere. Nice to see your books. I’d have about 15 posts if I di as you have. LOL I do love hearing about books others find useful and try to get them on as that’s the cheapest I find them. I get books in most all subjects from the 19th century. I do living history interpreting for an 1847 character and have did most of the things they did then to survive. I wish to be able to do what I haven’t so when the time comes I can provide for my family.

    Reply to Deb Berning's comment

  11. Randy on January 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I picked up Shop Class as Soulcraft based on you reading list. Very good read, I probably would not have heard of it if I didn’t stop by your site every day.


    Reply to Randy's comment

  12. Renee on January 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Seeing that your hosting fees have now gotten higher (I’m guessing because of the traffic because of how great your blog is!), you may consider putting a “donate” button with a theme.

    For instance, programmers often put a “buy me a coffee” or “buy me a beer” link on their blog with a $5 donation link. You could try “feed the chickens” or “buy me some seeds” themed button.

    One site I’ve seen that I think (hope) is effective at getting much-deserved donations from reader is BrainPicker. She highlights how many hours per week she puts into blogging and suggests that if you like her posts, you can become a supporter by donating $10.

    I get a lot of valuable info from your blog and wouldn’t mind throwing a few bucks your way! I’ll also use your Amazon link since I need to buy something there today!

    Reply to Renee's comment

    • Deb Berning on January 21, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      I certainly would never donate to a blog that has buy me a beer button. Don’t believe in that and wouldn’t read the blog again. Button for feed the animlas would go over much better I think. I, myself, can’t afford to donate but do appreciate the blogs and posts I follow. Thanks for all you do.

      Reply to Deb Berning's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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