Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gardening Shelf

I'm returning all my 635s to the library now, and I wanted to show you some great new titles that I've been reading this past growing season.

Low Maintenance Garden: Yes, the cover says "gardening," but the book title is actually "garden." Not surprisingly, this is a DK publication. But the step-by-step color photos of processes are useful, and the easy-care plant guide gives a lot of good information to help you when you go shopping at the nursery. Good inspiration for plant groupings too. A+ for browsing on a winter afternoon while planning for next year's garden and landscaping.

Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens: This book gives very specific, multiple-year plans for gardens. What to plant, even the layout of your garden from year to year. Great for someone planning their first big garden. B+ for bogging me down with specifics but having a cool, hand-drawn, earthy layout.

Grow Your Own Vegetables: Read this with your seed catalog in one hand; the listings of varieties and their traits will help you choose your seeds for next year. A+ for well-organized content, appetizing layout and charming British overtones (courtesy of the Royal Horticultural Society).

Garden Plants & Flowers Through the Year: an A-Z Guide to the Best Plants for Your Garden: Another DK production. I found this more useful as a plant identification guide than anything else. When I see a beautiful plant in a park or a yard, this is where I've been looking it up. An A for comprehensive index and great color photos.

Vegetable Gardening: From Planting to Picking: the Complete Guide to Creating a Bountiful Garden: This one is from Reader's Digest. Big, attractive (full-color photos throughout) introductory book for gardeners. Each page features a different plant, with easy-to-refer-to headings for each such as "planting guide," "care," and "harvesting," as well as the authors' favorite varieties. I like the idea of having this one on your shelf all the time; then you can refer to it whenever questions arise. A+ for detailed information while still remaining "browsable."

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