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May 16th, 2018

Typically, I spend all winter reading about gardening and looking through my collection of various gardening books. This past winter, I was busy with a lot of things and spent most of my time reading novels. As the weather warmed, I found myself missing my garden reading.

I’m a huge Monty Don fan, which means that I purchased his new book ‘Down to Earth‘ and have been reading through it. It’s fantastic, as are all his books (‘Gardening at Longmeadow‘ and ‘The Ivington Diaries‘ are my two favorite gardening books). On my stack this week, I also have ‘Earth on Her Hands‘, an older, out of print book that highlights the gardens of many different women. It’s one of my favorites it look through each winter, as the gardens aren’t show gardens, but real gardens made by real women. ‘Gardens of Spirit and Place‘ is another favorite, though the gardens featured in this book are more designed and much more elaborate.

The New Homesteader‘ which features the beauty of Walnuts Farm in England is a feast for the eyes, especially if you love traditional English potagers. There are many more books that I’ve looked through and put back on the shelf. I’ll share some of those in the comings weeks. I find books about gardens are one of my favorite ways to find inspiration for my garden.

Do you have a favorite gardening book that you refer to frequently for inspiration?

Gardening Goals

October 8th, 2014

I read a lot of books about gardening, most of my reading on the topic happens in the winter. Last year I purchased Salad Leaves For All Seasons: Organic Growing from Pot to Plot and read through it. I recently pulled it off my bookshelf to read again. This spring I decided that growing greens throughout the year was going to be my gardening goal.
Roxy Lettuce 1
This book is a fantastic guide for this process, with loads of information and recommendations. Of course I’ll need a winter structure of some sort, I designed a low tunnel/greenhouse/coldframe made with old sliding glass doors that we have collected. Eventually I’ll have a proper greenhouse, but that won’t happen for quite a while. Low tunnels are OK, but I find that they freeze solid to the ground and harvesting in the dead of winter is pretty much impossible.
My winter will be spend reading and researching, dreaming and planning, and developing a plan to eat greens from my garden 24 months out of the year. I’ll save more money if I grow greens than if I grow my own broccoli or peppers, so I’ll be allocating prime garden space to achieve my goal.

What gardening goals do you have for next season? 

Gardening Reference Books

April 27th, 2010

I get lots of questions about gardening here on my blog. It’s kind of funny to me because I’m not a gardening expert. I grew up with gardening parents so I absorbed some of their knowledge during my childhood, but I only started gardening in earnest 5-6 years ago. Since then I’ve been reading tons of books about gardening, most of them from the local library. This is where I’ve gained most of my knowledge.

I do have a few that I have purchased that I use frequently as a reference guide for information. If you’re interested in gardening, buying a few good all-around gardening books is a good idea. They will give you quick reference guides for things like: composting, specific plant information, planting guides, and so much more. I bought a copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Garden Book many years ago and it has been an invaluable reference for me.

It’s a huge book, brimming with 600 pages of information on everything from composting and pest control (not organic pest control) and it includes a great amount of information on the culture of specific plants, bulbs and trees. I use this book often when looking up information specific plants or when I’m planting something and I’m not quite sure of the spacing. I do love this book and find myself flipping through it often, if not for information for the lovely photos. If you want to grow a wide variety of things, including edible plants, I’d recommend getting a copy of this book. I guarantee you’ll get your $16 worth out of it!

I have a few other books on my gardening library shelf. A few I’ve read over and over again like:
Midwest Cottage Gardening,
The New City Gardener: Natural Techniques and Necessary Skills for a Successful Urban Garden,
Burpee : The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener : A Guide to Growing Your Garden Organically,
Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start ,
and of course my newest addition: The Winter Harvest Handbook which I’ve already read twice.

A few of the books I have are for inspirational purposes:
Stone in the Garden: Inspiring Designs and Practical Projects,
Cottage Garden,
Country Living Cottage Gardens,
and Garden Color (Better Homes & Gardens).

I also have a few on my “must buy” list:

What’s your favorite garden reference book? Any good ones to recommend?

Reading & Watching

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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.