Cultivate Your Garden: Suggested Reading for the Gardener on Your List

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For many garden enthusiasts, winter is the season to catch up on reading – whether you’re researching new plants and growing techniques, looking for design inspiration, or digging into a topic of interest (like roses or conifers) – there is a book on the subject waiting to be read.

My office houses an ever-growing collection of books on gardening, design and photography and while it is true that today many simple questions can be answered with the click of a mouse, there is something comforting to get lost in the pages of a well. book written.

A lot of times when I’m researching a topic, I turn the page of a book and find the answer to a question about the topic that I hadn’t even thought of asking.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a gift for the garden enthusiast on your list, or if you are said gardener and looking for a good read this winter, here are some suggestions from my personal collection.

“Cultivating under cover, techniques for a more productive vegetable garden, more resistant to bad weather and without pests” by Niki Jabbour, published by Storey Publishing, 2020

The title says it all – this book illustrates Niki Jabbour’s successful techniques for producing a successful vegetable crop, whatever the weather. In this book, Jabbour builds on the success of his bestseller “The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener” by using protective covers to create controlled spaces for vegetables to thrive. Illustrated with images from his garden in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this book teaches us how to use a variety of covers, shade cloths and mini tunnels to protect our crop from pests, reduce disease, establish seedlings. summer and improve the quality of the harvest.

Jabbour begins by suggesting that we start by looking at our goals and the style of protection our garden needs. Beautifully photographed and written in an easy to follow and understand format, I highly recommend this book if you want to improve the yield of your vegetable garden.

“Growing Conifers, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gardening and Landscaping,” by John J. Albers with photographs by David E. Perry, published by New Society Publishers, 2021

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about conifers, here is a comprehensive, beautifully illustrated guide to successfully selecting and growing conifers. John Albers is an educator with the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, a certified landscape professional, and the creator of Albers Vista Gardens, home to 1,200 different plants.

The book reads like a fascinating course, covering taxonomy, the selection of conifers for size, shape, color and texture, best practices for the placement and planting of trees and shrubs in urban sites. and rural areas, building healthy soil, integrated pest management, minimizing water stress, increasing needs and low-input maintenance, all with the benefits of conifers, including habitat, aesthetics and food.

Known for his intuitive and beautiful imagery, photographer David Perry’s images take the instruction book inspirational, illustrating the incredible array of colors, textures and shapes available in this underutilized plant family. . This book will open the door to a world of beautiful, well-designed and sustainable gardens.

“Plant parenting, easy ways to make more houseplants, vegetables and flowers», By Leslie F. Halleck, published by Timber Press, 2019

Leslie F. Halleck, a dedicated horticulturalist with an MA in Horticulture from Michigan State University and over 25 years of experience in the green industry, details the basic tools needed, demystifies seed startup and saving and shares easy-to-follow instructions for the most practical techniques for cutting, layering, dividing and more. The book also includes useful information on pest and disease control and transplanting seedlings and cuttings. Richly illustrated with step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow instructions, “Plant Parenting” is for anyone looking to grow more of their favorite plants.

“From seed to dust, life, nature and a country garden», By Marc Hamer, published by Greystone Books, 2021

“Seed to Dust” is an introspective, poetic and down-to-earth look at a year in the life of a gardener who tends an estate garden in Wales. Born in the north of England and moved to Wales over 30 years ago, Marc Hamer was once homeless, then worked on the railroad, before returning to school to study the beautiful -arts. His varied career includes working in art galleries, marketing, graphic design, publishing magazines, and teaching creative writing in a prison, all before becoming a gardener.

His powerful writing style quickly draws the reader into his psyche: while tending to the garden, his mind goes back to his past life, his distant relationship with the isolated widow who owns the garden and the rhythms of nature. Month by month, he reflects on the cycles of birth, growth, life and decay in nature, the pains of his aging body, the meditative and repetitive nature of gardening, the fleeting beauty of each plant, and the daily rituals. that keep it whole. . I found this book to be fascinating read, from bits of horticultural wisdom to poetic descriptions of the rain outside her window to her dreams for the next growing season.


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