The Backyard

The Backyard

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gardening Books Always On Hand

There must be a thousand gardening books and writings – there’s certainly no shortage of information when one has gardening questions. Where were we without the Internet? Well, I’m old enough to be able to answer that! When I first starting thinking about gardening, I was 30 years old – 19 years ago – well before the Internet. My husband and I were planning the construction of our new home and I knew I wanted the property landscaped to perfection. My first book to guide me to that perfection was Theme Gardens, by Barbara Damrosch which taught me a ton of stuff – gardening for wildlife, gardens for songbirds, gardens for dying clothing, gardening by color, etc. My second book was also by Barbara Damrosch and to this day is a best seller and used frequently in my repertoire of books – The Garden Primer. It’s filled with how-to’s and details on just about anything that grows. Over the years my gardening book collection has grown to no less than 50 in all areas of interest – seed starting, antique roses, theme/historical gardens, topiaries, herb gardening, organic gardening, controlling pests, bug books, wildflowers, native plants, pruning, four-season gardening (of course by Barbara’s husband, Eliot Coleman!), plants in crafts, edible flowers, botany for gardeners, plant dictionary, and another one of my bibles, the Penn State Master Gardeners Manual. It's a huge 3-ring binder with tons, and tons of incredibly useful reference material on anything from turf to fruit trees. And yes, today the Internet is at our beckoning call, but I still reference my plethora of books before I hit the keyboard. There’s something to be said for a library of good gardening books to peruse when the power goes off, or sitting under a tree in the summer, or just relaxing on the sofa. My point? Keep a couple of really good gardening books at arm’s length – they are worth their weight in gold and will be referenced for years to come. I already mentioned and linked above my top choices for you. Happy reading and garden planning!

3 comments:

livinginalocalzone said...

As one who has always known life with computers, this post was very refreshing :-) I too love my books despite all the internet resources. Can you recommend a starter gardening book? Sort of a "covers all the basics" volume? The Penn State one looks good, but how does one get that? Is it overwhelming?

Chili said...

Actually, Garden Primer is a good starter book and covers everything. The Penn State Master GArdener book gets a little technical for the average gardener (i.e., soil composition/analysis), while Garden Primer talks about minerals in soil, she keeps it simple. Thanks for asking!

livinginalocalzone said...

Garden primer sounds pretty much what I'm looking for, something simple for a starter gardener. Thanks!