We probably haven’t stopped very often to consider that gardening is essentially a planning and working for the future. . . .what we plant and nurture today will be reaped somewhere down the road when the crop is harvested. And, after harvest time, we likely think about cover crops to preserve the topsoil and then possibly start the process of studying seed catalogs and other sources to discover what might be planted in the spring.
But we don’t always just consider our immediate garden plots. As we become more in tune with the seasons and the creatures that inhabit the fields and woods around us, we might begin to take an interest in such topics as ecological restoration, or biodiversity, etc. etc.
Even if we plan to just grow a few plants in our own small yard, we need to consider what is suitable for the site esthetically, practically. . . and neighbourly! There’s a cute story in a book picked at random from our library shelves that tells the story of a fellow who decided to plant only native plants in his garden. The neighbours had a suspicion that he was planting nothing but weeds, so he got a lot of labels with Latin names on them and stuck one beside each plant (even though they didn’t necessarily have any relation to the plants beside which they were placed) . The neighbours were impressed with the Latin, and that was the end of the negativity!
The book containing this story – and numerous others – is called “Tending the Earth – A Gardener’s Manifesto.” The back of the book has “an action alphabet,” several pages of additional notes, and even a source list if readers want to delve deeper into some topic or other. The author, Lorraine Johnson, has written a number of gardening/plant books. If they all are as informative and well written as this one, we look forward to some more good reading one day soon!
While perusing the bookshelves in our HCP library one day, I chanced upon some books that we might not ordinarily use as light bedtime reading. One of them is called “Breeding Ornamental Plants.” The authors have advanced degrees in botany and plant breeding, so anything one might glean from a book that is written by such well qualified authors should certainly be worth the time spent with it!
Now most of us don’t often have the time or patience to save seeds, much less engage in advanced activities such as cross pollinating. However, many of us do tend to be put off by the price of seeds these days and would like to know just a little more about propagating plants. Hit or miss has likely been our usual approach heretofore, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to not just grow plants for little or no cost…. or also maybe develop something totally unique! (Hey, we might become famous like Mr. Dahl (dahlias).
A book called “Sowing a Better Garden,” written by John Kelly, a BBC presenter and columnist a few years ago, is the next one to be spotted during our casual scan. This book is full of interesting stuff, as would be expected from someone with the experience of having made gardening popular with his listeners and viewers.
But if one is specifically interested in growing flowers, then “Garden Flowers from Seed” is for you. This is an illustrated dictionary, so you not only get some information about quite a number of flowers but there are pictures – very helpful to newcomers to flower ID.
The books mentioned above just happened to be the first ones spotted when checking the subject of propagation. There are dozens of books that have been written describing the thrills and chills experienced by both new and experienced gardeners, all full of good ideas – and cautions!
Reading and gardening make good companions; we encourage you to spend time with both!
Books for Sale
We have a selection of used books for sale in our library. To browse through the list, click on the links below: