Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gardening Books as Gifts

Each year it can be tricky to come up with unique gift ideas that don't get dusty, go out of style, or need batteries. The gift of gardening - a book, a tool, or a sample of summer's harvest - provides long-term joy and happiness. It's a way of sharing the fun of gardening, the tradition of sharing food, and offering some inspiration for new endeavors and adventures. This is the first in a series of posts about simple and relatively inexpensive gifts that can be found locally and are sure to please t he gardener and non-gardener alike.

Now that snow is falling and it's hard to get outside (or get motivated to get outside), the following books offer some inspiration and help justify snuggling into that favorite armchair. Following is a sample of the many terrific gardening books out there. Head off to your favorite local bookstore and see what other resources you can find!

Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens That Honor Plants, Place, and Spirit by Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden, 2008, Timber Press. A new book about garden design that focuses on plants and plant selection, which strangely turns much of garden design around. A promising read!

Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens by Douglas W. Tallamy, 2007, Timber Press. Wildlife in the garden seems like an oxymoron until you read Tallamy's discussion of why it is so deeply integral to the success of our gardens and our very lives. Terrific photos paired with clear and compelling explanations make this a fascinating read and expands the garden almost exponentially with the turning of each page.

Great Garden Companions: A Companion-Planting Systems for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden by Sally Jean Cunningham, 1998, Rodale Press. A must-have for any gardener, Cunningham offers an excellent compendium of plant information, gardening techniques, and inspiring photographs.

Early American Gardens "For Meate or Medicine" by Ann Leighton, 1986, University of Massachusetts Press. Just one of the books about historical gardening written by Leighton, this one offers a fascinating look at colonial gardening describing techniques, plants, and philosophies. An inspiring read for anyone interested in American history or gardening.

The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans by Patricia Klindienst, 2006, Beacon Press. Knowing this book won the 2007 American Book Award is no surprise once you dip into these beautifully told stories of eleven gardens and those who tend them. Moving and delightful this book is sure to please any reader on your list.

1 comment:

The Garden Faerie said...

If you're interested in starting seeds outside in winter, and supporting a local fledgling business, why not get a copy of Fun with Winter Seed Sowing?
~ Monica