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What is the latest gardening book you acquired?

Gardening

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1tardis
Oct 30, 2006, 4:20pm Top

My latest is The Prairie Winterscape. In winter my garden usually looks flat and dull, and since winter basically started yesterday (October 29) with 6 inches of snow I want to add some winter interest.

I haven't had time to read through it properly yet but the bits I read in the store were good and the authors are almost local (only 3 hours away LOL) so their advice should be more than usually useful.

2ColdClimateGardening
Edited: Oct 31, 2006, 12:20pm Top

For me, it was A Gardener's Guide to Frost by Philip Harnden. I am starting a series of book reviews related to cold climate gardening on my blog, and this was the first book I wanted to review, as I consider it essential reading (even though I didn't own it) for anyone gardening where there is a short growing season. Bought it used via Amazon. Never saw it in Edward Hamilton.

3happilyeverafters
Oct 31, 2006, 7:45am Top

I have never given a moment's thought to winter gardening....but now I guess I will have to at least take a look at these books.

For me, gardening is a spring and summer pleasure only. I garden maniacally in spring, work very hard at it all summer, and then when fall comes I am absolutely relieved that there is a long break before a new beginning. Usually, I can't even be persuaded to remove dead annuals or cut back perennials in the fall. Lettuce reseeds itself (and multiplies!) through lack of cleanup. Gardening in a cold climate is wonderful: it is exciting when it begins and exciting because it is over!

I will admit that I occasionally plant bulbs in fall - but only so I can reap the benefit in spring. What could possibly entice me into winter gardening? I guess I'll have to look at your books.

4ColdClimateGardening
Oct 31, 2006, 12:26pm Top

A Gardener's Guide to Frost is not about gardening in winter, but about understanding the effects of frost so that you can have an earlier spring garden and a longer-lasting autumn garden--if you so choose. I am not looking to harvest lettuce into January, but I do want to become a better predicter of when frost is likely to occur, so I can take action if I deem it appropriate. A frost in late August or early September I will probably protect my plants from, because I anticipate weeks of moderate weather afterwards. A frost in October is expected and welcome. I don't do a lot of fall clean up myself.

5tardis
Oct 31, 2006, 12:59pm Top

The Prairie Winterscape is about designing your yard so it looks interesting and beautiful in all seasons. I started reading it properly last night. It isn't so much about doing any actual gardening in winter (which is good because like happilyeverafters I enjoy the respite of winter) but about arranging your garden so that there is still something interesting to look at even if it is all covered with snow.

The authors suggest placing points of interest where they can be seen from inside the house and near entrances and pathways and choosing plants for shape, height, bark colour, interesting seed heads, etc. Stuff that you might not notice in summer when everything around them is lush and green, but which is exposed by the loss of leaves and highlighted by the snow.

They're big on not doing fall cleanup, too (unless the dead stuff harbours fungus or something), which is nice because now I don't feel guilty for not getting it done before the snow :)

It sounds a bit common-sense but really I had never thought much about a lot of this. I've just always done the extensive fall cleanup because that's the way my family always did it.

6Indygardener
Oct 31, 2006, 8:14pm Top

I just received in the mail today My Favorite Plants edited by Jamaica Kincaid. Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening recommended it as a good "off season" light read. It looks like the kind of book you can read in any order as you have the time. I'm looking forward to "digging in" soon.

7happilyeverafters
Nov 2, 2006, 7:31am Top

Thanks for the explanation, tardis and coldclimate. Phew! I thought I was going to have something new to feel guilty about not doing!

Creating winter interest is not a new concept to me, although I don't have any books dedicated solely to it. I have even paid some attention to it, having planted evergreen shrubs along with things like red-twig dogwoods and curly fig trees (nah - that's not what it's called - but I don't feel like looking it up.) Next time I'm in the bookstore I will definitely look at the books you cited.

8ColleenITGO First Message
Nov 2, 2006, 10:20am Top

My most recent buy is The Bountiful Container. Not a new book, but it's full of good ideas for expanding your gardening space with containers. I'll have fun looking through it this winter and planning for next year.

9Talbin
Nov 2, 2006, 11:20am Top

I just bought Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White & Elizabeth Lawrence--A Friendship in Letters. I've wanted to read this one for awhile.

10ColdClimateGardening
Edited: Nov 21, 2006, 8:41pm Top

I enjoyed Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White & Elizabeth Lawrence--A Friendship in Letters. It was a relief to find out that they couldn't get everything done in the garden that they wanted to, either. But it also made me want to print out copies of my favorite emails from other people, to save them to read over, and, perhaps, for posterity. In the course of reformatting my hard drive I've already lost some I hadn't intended to delete. (Note to self: one backup is not enough!)

11Windy
Nov 21, 2006, 3:55pm Top

Because of our Book Club, I have ordered The Essential Earthman from Amazon. I had a library copy that was absolutely falling apart, and I liked it so much that I bought one. The seller says it is a signed hardcover, but I have had one previous experience where that turned out not to be the case, so I'm going to be waiting with baited breath.

12Indygardener
Edited: Nov 21, 2006, 4:31pm Top

I have ordered the book "Two Gardeners..." . Can't wait for it to arrive!

13Windy
Nov 21, 2006, 4:58pm Top

I just received a BookMooch selection called Sleeping With a Sunflower and in paging through it, I am delighted to see it comes with recipes! Two of my favorite things combined.

14janehyde
Nov 21, 2006, 7:36pm Top

Well, it's a repeat -- a copy of a favorite of mine bought for a good friend and fellow gardener: it's What Plant Where by Roy Lancaster. This, besides my Sunset guide to perennials, a perennial favorite, is one of my most frequently consulted books for a combination of information and inspiration. It's not encyclopedic, but its useful organization by environments and micro-climates makes it one of my favorite gardening books.

15Talbin
Nov 23, 2006, 4:16pm Top

I just ordered the next two Garden Book Club selections from Amazon: My Favorite Plant and Teaming with Microbes. I managed to find a used copy of My Favorite Plant for $1.97 plus shipping, so as long as I was "saving" money I also ordered Making the Most of Shade by Larry Hodgson. Oh well, I feel it's necessary as I start planning my next garden area.

16ColdClimateGardening
Nov 23, 2006, 5:32pm Top

Talbin, I reviewed Making the Most of Shade for Horticulture and I thought it was a cut above the typical shade plant book. He discussed a lot of different techniques based upon your situation, eg. shade in a woodland, shade next to a house, dry shade, moist shade, etc. I sent you an email about how to make the link. Did you see it?

17Talbin
Edited: Nov 24, 2006, 10:53am Top

Kathy: Yes, I just looked and have the e-mail - thank you.

Just as a test, here is the link to my post on The Essential Earthman.

Good to hear that Making the Most of Shade could be helpful. I just read the Amazon descriptions and hope for the best. I have an area that is light to medium shade that I will be experimenting with next year, and I have not planted a lot of shade gardens in the past. I'm hoping for some plant ideas that don't include hosta, as I have a terrible deer problem.

18Talbin
Nov 24, 2006, 10:53am Top

There we go - it worked! Thanks, Kathy.

19Talbin
Nov 26, 2006, 9:29am Top

Here's a tip. I just received My Favorite Plant: Writers and Gardeners on the Plants They Love, which I got from Amazon for $1.97 plus $3.49 shipping. I've never ordered used books from a 3rd party on Amazon, this particular book had a lot available. I chose a vendor with hundreds of previous Amazon transactions and a satisfied user rating over 98%.

20ColdClimateGardening
Nov 26, 2006, 12:57pm Top

I often buy gardening books used. In addition to Amazon, I use Bookfinder and Fetchbook. It depends on the book, but sometimes you can find them remaindered at a lower price than they are selling for used. Edward R. Hamilton, Book Closeouts, and Daedalus Books all sell remaindered gardening books. Edward Hamilton is my favorite of the three, because it has the best shipping deal.

21teelgee
Apr 29, 2008, 4:40pm Top

This thread has been dormant for awhile -- but it's spring (north of the equator), so thought I'd breathe some life back into it.

Yesterday I picked up Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World by Wendy Johnson. It's just gorgeous. I didn't get to spend much time with it as my partner grabbed it and clung to it all evening. Maybe this weekend.

From the Powell's website: "Synopsis:
Johnson and Te Salle deliver a meditative, beautifully illustrated yet profoundly practical book that takes readers deep into the natural world and into a new understanding of the art of gardening. "

"Wendy Johnson follows in the footsteps of Thoreau . . . Her book is succulent, full of surprises, wise, tender, tough, and delicious to read. It is for everyone who wants to live a rich, deep, life.”Jack Kornfield, author of A Path With Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

22tardis
Edited: May 2, 2008, 11:56am Top

I volunteered at a charity booksale last weekend and as a volunteer I got first pick of the books and the hours I worked counted for credit for free books. Needless to say, the gardening section was the first I went through.

I got 5 big glossy hardcovers that I'd never have bought in a bookstore:

Secret Gardens of the Vieux Carre by Roy F. Guste - slightly disappointing for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. Interesting history of New Orleans, mostly cute little pocket gardens (which I love). Maybe the gardens chosen are all a bit too much the same. Or mostly photographed on a dull day. Or the heavy use of impatiens. Or maybe it's that it's all pre-Katrina and I wonder if any of them survive.

The Garden at Highgrove by HRH Prince Charles. Man, this guy has good taste, plus (of course) the money and space to do what he likes. I don't share his fondness for giant terracotta pots, and it's all much more formal than I would do in my own garden, but lovely all the same.

A Greener Thumb by Mark Cullen. Basic Canadian gardening know-how.

Period Gardens by Patrick Taylor - mostly Engish gardens from various points in history. Lovely pictures, interesting history.

Canadian Gardener's Guide to Foliage and Garden Design by Marjorie Harris. Came complete with yellow stickies from the previous owner identifying what they liked and didn't.

*edited to try to fix the touchstone for the last one - it just doesn't seem to want to work! Got the touchstone for the author to work, though

23janetwoody
May 1, 2008, 5:27pm Top

hello, I am new to your group. I am reading Ruth Page's Gardening Journal from 1989. She was a host of public radio program of the same name which I had never heard of. I work in a library and the book was a donation. I began reading it at lunch and she has such a nice writing style that I may buy it from the Friends of the Library and add it to my collection.

Happy gardening to all, Janet

24sleepinkat
May 2, 2008, 10:21am Top

I'm afraid my last garden book purchase was pretty prosaic compared to the rest of the books listed here. I bought Tree And Shrub Gardening for British Columbia by Marianne Binetti...at Costco, no less! It is going to be useful for this yard full of trees and rhodos, however.

Last year I was on a local garden tour with my mother and sister, and there a table full of books that had belonged to a longtime local gardener. I picked up some beautiful old books, such as My Garden Dreams by Ernest P. Fewster.

The coolest thing that happened was that I found a slip of paper in one of the books. It was a receipt from a bulb farm I had visited with my grandmother here when I was a little girl, and I had been wondering where exactly it was...and there was the address printed on the receipt.

25misselainey
May 2, 2008, 11:41am Top

Hi, new here.I Am in NJ- isn't this the most amazing spring ever?
I just bought and started Botany of Desire ,it's a little different- he focuses on things humans have cultvated for-Beauty(tulips),sweetness(apples),intoxication(marijuana),and control(potatoes).Easy style, likeable guy.
And The Tool Book,which is stuff we all sorta know,but sometimes a big garden book just follows me home,there's not a thing I can do about it.

26sleepinkat
May 2, 2008, 12:05pm Top

misselainey...I had to smile. You asked if this wasn't the most amazing spring ever...well, ours is amazing, all right, but not in a good way! We just went through one of the coldest Aprils on record. The tulips and daffs don't seem to mind though, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Normally, my veggies would be planted, my pots would be blooming and all my annuals would be happily nodding, but instead they are all in my (cold) greenhouse! Well...except for the vegetables...they are still in envelopes. I am on the opposite coast...in Victoria.

27tardis
May 2, 2008, 12:11pm Top

misselainey - I grinned too- about the "follows me home" part because that happens to me too.

Like sleepinkat, we've had a terrible cold spring too, although I'm north and east of her, on the other side of the mountains.. Two weeks ago we had a huge blizzard. In a way it was good - the soil moisture gained was needed, but man, it's depressing to get snow like that in mid-April.

28streamsong
May 2, 2008, 12:42pm Top

Bad/late snow storms here in Montana, too. Not to mention the sixteen degree weather we had two weeks ago. Very strange for us!

A book attacked me in Costco last weekend, too. Gardening in Montana Month-by-Month by John Cretti. I just wish I had noticed it didn't include fruit trees before I bought it......ah well there's always another book to be bought.......

29misselainey
May 3, 2008, 2:03pm Top

sleepinkat,>24 sleepinkat:
**
I just love that story, about the receipt.It's such a comfy picture, mom and daughters on an outing, and gramma there in spirit.It's just that kind of tiny special event that is the most precious to me .
**
When I kept a journal these Serendipitous occurances would get written in with a big * S * in a particular style, and they would often come in little related groupings of three,sometimes more.
**
If I were ever to put pen to paper- what a great catylyst for a story.House on the Strand came to mind although I havn't read it in thirty years..
Perhaps she knew that other gardener-perhaps it was even HER book,lent out and never retrieved--
oh someone write this book!
(..and could we still call it My Garden Dreams??)
Going out to garden now,,,to daydream,,, -E.

30Bikebear
May 6, 2008, 10:50am Top

Just picked up Chinese Gardens by Lou Qingxi while on a garden tour of China, a good buy at about A$11.

31klaidlaw
Jan 22, 2009, 4:55pm Top

Picked up Further Along the Garden Path by Ann Lovejoy. It is a delightful read, as are all her books.

32cushlareads
Feb 12, 2009, 10:03pm Top

I was really happy to find this group! We have quite a big vege garden and it's the middle of summer in New Zealand. I've just skimmed the posts above but will be back later (when the kids are not creating havoc with Lego) to get more ideas.

I've just bought my husband The Heirloom Tomato by Amy Goldman. It's a gorgeous book. We have 12 tomato plants laden with tomatoes - 1 is a Black Krim. Any other tomato gardeners here?

33tardis
Feb 12, 2009, 11:43pm Top

My latest book is Well-designed garden by John Brookes

I love my tomatoes too - it's the dead of winter here in Canada and I'm just planning what seeds I'm going to start indoors - 10 varieties so far and I don't think I have room for any more. I've got sunsugar, tamina, bonnie best, sweetie, imur prior beta (probably - guy I got the seeds from wasn't quite sure), roma, ropreco paste, early high crimson, tumbler and purple prince. I also want to start about 7 kinds of peppers and some brussels sprouts (I don't like 'em but my husband does). I'll probably start a few salad greens early too.

34klaidlaw
Feb 23, 2009, 2:51pm Top

I succumbed at the Seattle Flower and Garden show. I picked up two new books: Pots in the Garden by Ray Rogers and Moss Gardening by George Schenk. Living in the Pacific Northwest I think it is easier to accept moss for its natural beauty and resilience rather than trying to exterminate it. The only real place I get any sun on my property is on the deck, so container gardening is important to adding the brilliant colors of summer to where I spend so much time.

35klaidlaw
Feb 23, 2009, 2:52pm Top

You can't go wrong with John Brookes. I have his Garden Masterclass, and I have found it to be so helpful. I hope you will write a review of Well-design Garden.

36tardis
Feb 23, 2009, 2:58pm Top

I think Well-Designed Garden is either a new edition or republication of Garden Masterclass. I haven't finished going through it, but it seems very thorough.

I know what you mean about succumbing - there's a book store that does displays at the local horticulture society meetings (and gives discounts!) and I almost always end up with something new. I'm a sucker for gardening books.

37klaidlaw
Feb 23, 2009, 3:01pm Top

I have the big book sucker tattooed to my forehead. It just makes it easier on everyone when I walk into a bookstore.

38sleepinkat
Feb 28, 2009, 11:10pm Top

I had to smile, klaidlaw, when you observed that it is easier to accept moss for its natural beauty and resilience here in the Pacific Northwest. I have quite a bit of moss in my garden. Luckily, I am philosophical by nature, and it actually appeals to me. My garden is leaning towards a Japanese style, and moss fits into that and adds to the tranquility. I must look for (Moss Gardening) myself. Thanks for mentioning it.

39klaidlaw
Mar 2, 2009, 2:43pm Top

#38
My garden is a combination Japanese/Northwest, and moss does seem to work in it well. I nurture my various mosses these days and look forward to seeing it move inexorably across the ground. My latest decision is to let the moss cover the roof. The English have been doing it for centuries, so why can't I? It would seem to be an ecological natural roof--even if my neighbors are scandalized.

40klaidlaw
Mar 7, 2009, 8:33pm Top

Making the Most of Shade is the newest gardening book to be added to my collection. I like the second half of the book with its collection of shade loving plants, but the first half--planning a shade garden leaves a bit to be desired. My major complaint is that the book recommends several plants that I know to be invasive thugs without warning the reader. As long as one has a copy of Sunset's Western Garden Book on hand, it isn't too dangerous.

41cushlareads
Mar 8, 2009, 1:11am Top

#33 tardis, at the rate summer's going here your tomatoes will be ripe before ours! I can't believe I wrote that post 3+ weeks ago. We still have tomato plants laden with fruit but they're only just starting to turn red. Summer here has been chillier than usual.

No more books here, but we did buy a very sweet flying pig plastic watering can on Friday!

42tardis
Mar 8, 2009, 1:20pm Top

41> I don't know - my earliest guesstimate for ripe tomatoes is late July - and right now, spring is looking pretty far away - we had more snow yesterday and it's blowing and drifting today.

I'm going to a couple of book stores this afternoon, but may not buy gardening books. However, I just sent in my offer to volunteer at the 2009 Raise A Reader book sale and that was an excellent source of gardening books last year (see message 22 for the list).

43MsMixte
Mar 10, 2009, 9:16pm Top

I also picked up a couple of books at the Seattle Flower and Garden show. Both were Timber Press reprints of Beverly Nichols. I have several of his books in my library from many, many years back, but just purchased 'Merry Hall'.

A nice read. I am itching to add some more gardening books to the library after visiting the SFGS.

44janehyde
Apr 13, 2009, 5:27pm Top

Today I bought The National Trust Book of the English Garden by Richard Bisgrove at downtown Asheville's newest second-hand bookstore, which has loads of gardening books!

45klaidlaw
Apr 30, 2009, 10:06am Top

I just picked up a copy of Timber Press Guide to Gardening in the Pacific Northwest and I am loving it. It is even better than the Sunset Western Garden Book because it is all about the single gardening area that runs from above Vancouver, BC to Mount Shasta and west of the Cascades. It is well written with a deft sense of humor and lots of great information.

46yosarian
Jun 18, 2009, 9:22am Top


well i've picked up quite a few recently, but some i think will end up being more of the 'reference' variety than 'enjoyable read in the sun' books ... in fact i think i'm going to need a very big dictionary to be able to understand a couple of them! just started an RHS course in horticulture (is there anyone else out there completed / completing one?? it seems pretty daunting right now!), so have been stocking up with principles of horticulture - c r adams, essential gardening techniques - christopher brickell, RHS encyclopedia of gardening - christopher brickell & applied principles of horticultural science - laurie brown

but just to relax with i've been recommended (though yet to start); down the garden path - beverley nichols & well tempered garden - christopher lloyd which i'm assured will be a welcome 'gardening' break from any discussion of plant cells and latin nomenclature!!!

47BMK
Feb 22, 2010, 11:19am Top

The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf and 'Sustainable Gardening', the handbook for my Master Gardeners class. My all-time favorites, though, are the three compilations of Henry Mitchell, Onward and Upward in the Garden, a compilation of Katherine White's articles on gardening and anything by Elizabeth Lawrence. Beverley Nichols is another favorite--I've got 3 more books of his coming in the mail.

48Barton
Dec 17, 2010, 10:52am Top

I just acquired a book by "Thoughtful Gardening by Robin Fox. He is an author who is a Historian at Oxford and a gardening columnist at the Financial Times. Consequently I read his history and gardening books. He achieves quite the feat.

49iatethecloudsforyou
Dec 17, 2010, 7:03pm Top

at klaidlaw
i think a moss covered roof would be quite lovely.

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