Back to the Garden

My mother-in-law says that Easter is the best time to plant a spring garden. Whether or not this is true, I have no idea. I heard it secondhand and wasn’t particularly interested in having that kernel of wisdom take root in my head.  But somehow it did, and now I am a person with a solitary gardening tip. Use it as you wish.  

While gardens are perfectly nice, I like nothing less than the gardening to make one happen. It’s dirty, tedious work, where all manner of crud gets on your clothes and under your nails. As you dig in the dirt, a bunch of fleshy, translucent creatures are unearthed, none of which are fit to see the light of day. Then they lie there and squirm, plump and exposed, until a robin mercifully gobbles them up. It’s a horror show, but I guess the neighbors deserve a more pleasant view.

Of course, many people claim to enjoy gardening as a relaxing, meditative outdoor activity. However you feel about this contentious issue, if you have a yard, you also likely have a garden. Below are some new books to help you make the most out of an arguably bad situation:

The New Heirloom Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden
Garden designer Ogden (The Complete Kitchen Garden) puts "old-fashioned" vegetables center-stage in the garden and kitchen in this colorful design-compendium-cum-cookbook.” Publishers Weekly

Plant Partners by Jessica Walliser
Horticulturist Walliser (Gardener's Guide to Compact Plants) takes a well-supported and helpful look at the practice of plant partnering, or placing certain plants in proximity with others to benefit both… Walliser's lively guide will aid many a horticulturally minded reader.” Publishers Weekly

GrowVeg by Benedict Vanheems
The mission of UK-based is to "open up the wonders of homegrown, organic gardening to everyone."... Beginning gardeners who are eager to get their hands dirty will find both inspiration and practical information in this accessible, colorful, and highly illustrated volume.” Library Journal

LESSONS FROM PLANTS by Beronda Montgomery
Humans have much to learn from plant behavior, argues Montgomery, professor of biochemistry and biology at Michigan State University… the author's knowledge and enthusiasm will have readers looking at plants in a new light.” Publishers Weekly

Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl
Here Bohl continues to exhort gardeners to do things their own way and figure out what that looks like through experimentation, using their own love of plants as their guiding force… Gardeners aspiring and experienced may feel emboldened and inspired by both permission to break the rules and gorgeous photos of Bohl's home garden.” Booklist 

Striking Succulent Gardens by Gabriel Frank
Frank, founder of the landscape design firm Gardens by Gabriel, champions succulents as "a user-friendly addition to any garden" in his instructive, entertaining debut.” Publishers Weekly

Lovely Greens blogger Anderson celebrates "plants and the women who tend them" in her beautiful and encouraging debut… Anderson's wide-ranging survey is sure to delight gardeners looking to find a niche or try something new.”  Publishers Weekly

How to Attract Birds to your Garden by Dan Rouse
Backyard birding has become a popular pandemic pastime, making this a timely offering. Rouse (conservationist, BBC presenter) treats her subject with joyful enthusiasm. That, paired with the typically bold DK visuals--sharp color photographs, and stylized blends of drawings and photos--should inspire novice backyard habitat builders.” Library Journal 

Pilarchik details a thorough, sensible approach to cultivating food and gardening in general: "We're just helping Nature along." This is a must-have for gardeners looking to deepen their connection with nature and with what they eat.” Publishers Weekly

Growing Under Cover by Niki Jabbour
Jabbour (Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix), Savvy Gardening blogger and radio host, offers a helpful guide to creating enclosures for vegetable gardens… Her guidance will prove invaluable for vegetable gardeners determined to safeguard and prolong a robust harvest throughout the year.” Publishers Weekly

-Ransom Jabara is a Collection Development Librarian at Lawrence Public Library.