Tis the season for giving. Any gardeners on your list? Or perhaps you have family committed to helping the environment in some way. Maybe concerned about climate changes we are all facing? Gardens build diversity. Weeds supply nutrients. Trees create an invaluable ecosystem, complex and intriguing.
Why I love this book: We enjoy a meal with artful presentation, right? From icings on cakes and cupcakes to garnishes on our main dishes, each flower or fruit carved into a garnish excites more than just our tastes. But, did you know there are flowers that can be added to recipes such as teas, salads, yogurts and cheeses that may be out of the ordinary? Yet these flowers are commonly found in our gardens. Rosalind Creasy, in the Edible Flower Garden, marries good cuisine and gardening. Her flowers/plants are arranged alphabetically which makes it an easy yet colorful guide. She includes How to grow along with How to prepare for each plant. In the end, she shares her favorite recipes.
Any surprises? Yes, for me I did not know that lilac blossoms can be added to yogurt. Something to think about in the Spring.
Why I love this book: In a word, COLOR. The author offers a color wheel and then lists plants by color to create a delightful and rewarding palette for anyone’s landscapes. He gives practical design tips, how to connect colors inside and outside to establish a flow between architectural designs, color schemes, and your favorite palette. I had an opportunity to create a larger garden off a deck. Mr. Smith’s book gave me ideas on how to implement the client’s needs with his inside view across a deck to a garden a bit below.deck level.
His plant lists alone are worth the cost of the book but there is so much more to enjoy.
Why I love this book: the table of contents makes it easy to find a plant family category and then look up problems. He uses an easy to read format I wish I could keep in my garden. Fun illustrations, graphics with a sense of humor and highlighted tips make it a treasure for the whole family. Plant suggestions, composting and recipes, this book contains so many worthwhile solutions, it’s a must.
Why I love this book: I appreciate weeds! They are often maligned and zapped with harmful chemicals yet they are often powerhouses of nutrients. Their gifts are many, some are edible and are nutritious, some are medicinal and offer a helping hand to what ails us. And, weeds tell us about the health of our soil too. Ever wondered why your cucumbers did great but not the tomatoes? The weed that is growing in the garden bed next to it could be trying to get your attention and let you know what the soil needs, what the soil might be missing, what could be at too high levels.
Mr. Pfeiffer ( 1899-1961) pioneered biodynamic farming in the US. He discusses weeds that appear each season and shows us what minerals are high or low. This is a new book for me, One I intend to take into my garden, investigate and observe more keenly what my garden is saying to me. Seems like I’ll be engaging in a new kind of conversation with my garden and I can’t wait!
Why I love this Book: Did you know trees talk among themselves and help each other out? I did not know until recently how complex the forest’s ecosystem is in managing nutrients and survival. Trees produce thousands of seeds so one can survive and thrive to maturity. There are older trees that maintain the forest and when we unknowingly cut them down we destroy the invaluable aid and gifts she gives to the others in her care. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? And it’s holistic too. What happens to one affects the whole.
Tending a forest for over thirty years in Germany, with keen observation skills, means we benefit. The author takes us through the life of a tree and shows us how gentler management yields more abundant results. He highlights in many ways how trees communicate and help each other. If one is stressed, the others through complex underground signaling, send some relief. I highly recommend this book not just for gardeners but for those who deeply care about this earth we live on.
Why I love this book: One author is a geologist and his wife is a Biologist and together they marry the world of soils and gut health. And they garden and wanted to create healthier soils. Anne developed a serious disease which gave her the impetus to dig deeper. ( Yes pun intended) Together their collaboration gives us, the reader, an in-depth look at soil and how that relates to growing healthy, nutrient dense foods which ultimately brings us better health. A must for the gardener and those who choose sustainable practices in our landscapes.
Why I love this book: John brings us into the energy and spirit of nature that has helped him co-create beautiful gardens. While his gardens are Australian based I enjoyed his practical advice about paying attention to nature. Nature speaks to us in many ways. Working in the garden with mindfulness, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you feel. So many of the gardeners I know can’t wait to get back in the dirt, plant and tend their gardens where a feeling of peacefulness, some magical connection stirs us.
His book covers many bases from composting, mulches, pond building and working with nature spirits and more. Practical yet poetic, a must for the beginner and the advanced.
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