Monday, October 6, 2008

Gardening Books

I love books. Especially Gardening books. Many garden day dreams have began with a bright glossy garden book. Every now and then I get book lust. A book I crave, and I must, must, have. When finally I get my eager little paws on it, I turn each glorious glossy page with starry eyes and imagining my yard transformed into a magical fairy land dripping with vegetables and flowers. Then the projects for Byron start piling up.....I want a raised bed garden, with arbors and paths and vines and naturism's spilling onto the path under the Monet inspired tunnel...and...and...and..... Byron? Byron? Are you listening to me?!
This was the first garden book I ever got book lust for. It's a Martha Stewart book before she was made over by professionals. I like to think it was the real her. So fifteen years ago Byron bought me this book, and I lugged it around forever along with my journal and a tin of colored pencils sketching out my dream garden that certainly I would soon have on my husbands below poverty salary. Fortunately, we didn't know we were poverty stricken! Isn't that just beautiful- bowers of roses and bountiful vegetables. Drool....Drool
Then practicality kicks in. Asparagus doesn't grow here...neither does peonies...and tea roses just wilt and die...Arggghhh why does everything I plant die? That's when my hero Dan Gill stepped in and saved me. He's the state agricultural whatever horticulturalist and local expert on anything Louisiana that grows. He was tapped to write this book. It tells you what does and doesn't grow in Louisiana and when to plant that which does. When visiting other states I have seen local versions of this book. It must be a state series. It's an indispensable book and every serious garden should have one regarding their own local climate and geology.
Then the just plain fun reading books. I love Steve Bender and Felder Rushing. Two local serious garden people from our southeast area, talking about those quirky plants and garden traditions in our area. I especially loved the "yard art section". Oh how I crave me a crowned tire planter!
Now we need something to help direct and fine tune all this indiscriminate planting. That's where John Seymour comes in. There should be some direction and use for all this labor. "The Self Sufficient Life", is a wonderful inspirational book that I turn to often for a good dose of "common sense".
Buying seeds every year can get expensive and isn't exactly self sufficient...so what do you do? Learn to save your own! Begin by buying heirloom seeds, and then use Suzanne Ashworth's expert book to teach you how to save your own quality seed.
My day dreaming girl must be satisfied as well. I just love Maryjane Butters. Beds in cornfields, old trucks and Mercedes, and campfire cornbread...not practical, but oh so dreamy.
Things will go wrong, and when they do you need to know how to deal with the problem or bug invasion without turning to poison. That's when a know it all book on organic gardening comes in handy.
When every bright and glitzy plant in the garden center that has ever seduced you to buy it promptly dies upon planting, you buy this type of book. A book written by a local about the tried and true plants that grow in your area. Internet is nice....but there's nothing like curling up on a comfy sofa with a cup of coffee and leisurely thumbing through a fantastic garden book. I do have a new book coming in the mail........

3 comments:

Tiffany said...

Can't forget Tasha Tudor's gardening books! I cannot remember the name of the great one I got this past spring! I'll think of it eventually and post but it is awesome! Hey did you know she has a book called "Keeping Chickens"?? It's on shop.tashatudorandfamily.com under books. Second page I think.

Tiffany said...

Oops...just saw the book I was talking about. It's called "Tasha Tudor's Garden"...you'd think I could remember that, huh? Haha! It is beeyoooooootiful!!!

tipper said...

I love looking through my gardening books during the winter and dreaming about making changes to my garden.