If you’ve always wanted to start a garden, now could be the perfect time. Across the country, there has been a return to the Victory gardens of WWII, as well as flower gardening and landscaping projects. Whatever your level of expertise, your space, or your budget, these books can help get you started on your own gardening project. Recommended by Jessica Schiefelbein.
Gardening on a Shoestring by Alex Mitchell
Growing a pretty garden doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny. Learn how to create a low-cost garden using a little elbow grease, a lot of creativity, and this book. Gardening on a Shoestring will ease the tension on any gardener’s pocketbook, while inspiring them with fun, creative projects for up-cycling, gardening ideas, tips, and alternative designs that will make gardening a pleasure – and an economical one, to boot! By combining classic gardening skills with ultra-creative ideas, author Alex Mitchell teaches readers 100 ways to up-cycle their gardens by creating ingenious green-thumb DIY projects and grow lush gardens. From up-cycling common objects (such as tin cans, old potato sacks, and colanders) to revisiting basic garden techniques (growing from seed, for example), a garden’s overall cost can drop dramatically. Thanks to photography, illustrations, and plenty of additional tips, this book has plenty of fodder for readers to create a better garden. Included in Gardening on a Shoestring are outdoor furnishing projects, edible gardening information, and sage advice for garden upkeep. Examples of what you’ll find include: Vintage tin herb garden; Tapestry of succulents; Garden center shopping tips; Water-bottle watering system; Gardening stools from old tires; How to not spend a fortune online, and much more! Whether you’re a new homeowner tackling the mortgage monster, a renter not wanting to leave permanent traces in your temporary home, or a cost-conscious gardener looking for a slew of creative tips, this book belongs on your bookshelf.
Thrifty Gardening by Marjorie Harris
Bestselling author and gardening columnist Marjorie Harris offers a timely and entertaining guide for gardeners at every stage of life. Whether readers are moving into their first apartment or condo, upgrading to a house, or downsizing to smaller digs, Harris shares the best tips on how to create a beautiful garden for any space, all on a budget. The highly anticipated sequel to her popular book Thrifty: Living the Frugal Life with Style, The Thrifty Gardener marries Harris’s passion for gardening with her thrifty lifestyle savvy so that everyone can create a natural oasis whatever their living situation is, and without breaking the bank.
Deep South by Nellie Neal
Our acclaimed Month-by-Month Gardening series gets a fresh update for gardeners located in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. For years, do-it-yourself gardeners in the southern United States have brought their questions to “the Garden Mama” herself, Nellie Neal, for her lifelong expertise in gardening through thick and thin. Now, her regional mastery of the South bolsters our Month-by-Month Gardening series – already the definitive when-to and how-to resource for gardeners in regions across the country-with all the knowledge the Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana gardener and home landscaper needs to be successful. Deep South Month-by-Month Gardening includes all the specifics on growing annual and perennial flowers, bulbs, grasses (both lawn and ornamental), edibles, roses, groundcovers, shrubs, trees, and vines throughout the year – including a section on water gardens. From planting, watering, and fertilizing to routine maintenance and problem-solving, Deep South Month-by-Month Gardening educates gardeners of all skill levels on the best practices for satisfying, rewarding results. And best of all, you’ll be reaping the benefits all year round.
Weedless Gardening by Lee Reich
Conventional wisdom says to garden from the bottom up, turning over the soil every spring until your back aches. Ironically, this does such a good job aerating that gardeners spend the rest of the season pulling weeds and replacing the suddenly energized (and easily used up) nutrients. Mother nature, on the other hand, gardens from the top down – layering undisturbed soil with leaves and other organic materials. In following this example and synthesizing the work of other perceptive gardeners, Lee Reich presents a compelling new system called weedless gardening. The Weedless Garden is good for plants and it’s good for people. It protects the soil, contributes to plant health, reduces water needs, cuts down on a gardener’s labor, encourages earthworms and, of course, mitigates weed problems by keeping the seeds dormant. Four basic tenets form the system’s backbone – minimize soil disruption; protect soil surface; avoid soil compaction; use drip irrigation – and the way to get there is simple. For a new bed or established garden, layering is key, and the perfect material to use is also among the most common – newspaper. Add organic mulch and compost on top, and plants are growing in rich, self-generating humus. From vegetable gardening to flower gardens to planting trees, shrubs, and vines, The Weedless Garden works everywhere – allowing the gardener to work quite a bit less.
The Less is More Garden by Susan Morrison
Small space, big solutions. When it comes to gardens, bigger isn’t always better. A smaller space requires fewer plants and less time to design, install, and maintain. The Less Is More Garden shows you how to take advantage of take advantage of every square foot of space. Designer Susan Morrison offers savvy tips to match your landscape to your lifestyle, draws on years of experience to recommend smart plants with seasonal interest, and suggests hardscape materials to personalize your space. Inspiring photographs highlight a variety of inspiring small-space designs from around the country. With The Less Is More Garden, you’ll see how limited space can mean unlimited opportunities for gorgeous garden design.
The Kitchen Herb Garden by Rosalind Creasy
From Rosalind Creasy – a name synonymous with California’s garden-to-table movement-comes an accessible guide to cultivating and preparing herbs.
If you buy only one herb gardening book, this should be it. Creasy takes you from seeds to stove top, from preparing the soil to elegant dining suggestions, with easy-to-follow instructions and inspirational ideas every step of the way.
Each section of this book presents vivid photos and practical information, including:
*How to design and grow an herb garden in just about any space-from a spacious plot to a tiny balcony-and in just about any climate.
*A tour through many beautiful private herb gardens, including some of Creasy’s own, as well as the garden of herb luminary Carole Saville and others.
*A fully illustrated encyclopedia of edible herbs-from old favorites like basil, rosemary and sage to more exotic herbs such as lemon verbena and Mexican tarragon.
*A savory selection of healthy herb recipes for side dishes, such as blends, butters and vinegars, main dishes from around the world and even cocktails and desserts.
*Maintenance and organic pest control methods.
*A list of resources for seeds and supplies.
*A guide to growing, cultivating and preparing hops.
This herb guide is full of practical tips and tricks presented in a beautiful format-perfect for the gardener, aspiring gardener or home chef.
The Urban Garden by Jeremy N. Smith
Fifteen people, plus a class of first graders, tell how local food, farms, and gardens changed their lives and their community…and how they can change yours, too. The Urban Garden includes:
• Fifteen first-person stories of personal and civic transformation from a range of individuals, including farmers and community garden members, a low-income senior and troubled teen, a foodie, a food bank officer, and many more.
• Seven in-depth “How It Works” sections on student farms, community gardens, community supported agriculture (CSA), community education, farm work therapy, community outreach, and more.
• Detailed information on dozens of additional resources from relevant books and websites to government programs and national non-profit organizations.
• Over 80 full-color photographs showing a diverse local food community at home, work, and play.
Read The Urban Garden to:
• Learn how people like you, with busy lives like yours, can and do enjoy the many benefits of local food without having to become full-time organic farmers.
• Gain the information you need to organize or get involved in your own “growing community” anywhere across the country and around the world.
Countertop Gardens by Shelley Levis
Whether you have a huge yard in a warm climate or a tiny apartment in a city with harsh winters, you can grow edibles year-round in the comfort and convenience of your own kitchen! Countertop Gardens will make you an expert in the world of indoor gardening, walking you through the challenges, benefits, and how-tos of growing inside and presenting the wide array of methods available. In addition to going over the pros and cons of a wide range of ready-made hydroponic, aquaponic, and vertical gardening systems, author Shelley Levis shows you how to make your own DIY setups–from simple space-saving container designs to more creative and complex soil-free solutions. No matter the size of your kitchen or your ambition, Countertop Gardens will help you make sure your favorite herbs, greens, fruits, and vegetables are within reach 365 days a year!
Vertical Gardening by Jason Johns
A vertical garden can run the gamut from a simple arrangement of flowers in a large container on a deck to an elaborate display of strawberries and geraniums amid climbing peas and vines of small squash growing up a backyard fence. Any upright structure that can support vegetables, fruits, herbs, or flowers, whether these plants are in containers or in the ground, can be used in vertical gardening. Although vertical gardening is of particular interest to apartment dwellers and to city residents with limited yard space, it’s also used by suburban and rural gardeners to grow vining plants.