There is nothing more beautiful than the garden you envision on cold winter days. It is weed-free and without an aphid in sight. The flowers are petal-soft perfect and the foliage is lush. The sun is bright while a light breeze teases the leaves. And it only rains a gentle pitter-patter at night.
Lots of gardeners are getting out their seed packets and counting the days until spring, but chances are there are still plenty of cold days for planning and dreaming. Do you have new ideas for your garden this year? Perhaps you want to create a haven for wildlife, a small space for edibles or a sanctuary for your soul; maybe you just want to get a handle on what you’re already growing. Whatever your garden goals let me suggest five books to inspire your best garden for 2016.
Pollinator Friendly Gardening
Of course I have to mention my own first! Pollinator Friendly Gardening: Gardening for Bees, Butterflies and Other Pollinators offers much to the gardener wishing to make meaningful changes, big or small, to welcome and support these vital creatures. After many years of adding and enhancing habitat value in my own gardens, I wanted to share my experiences with others in the hope of creating healthier and happier homes for both people and pollinators. The book includes design tips, pollinator life cycle and behaviors, plant lists, interviews with noted experts, gorgeous photos (my own) and more.
The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion is a heartfelt ode to gardening’s role in recognizing and overcoming both the physical and emotional challenges of a cancer diagnosis. Jenny Peterson’s adept storytelling talent provides a reassuring voice throughout while providing practical advice on gardening solutions that address the special needs of people in various stages of healing and recovery.
Noted green lifestyle expert Shawna Coronado comes through again with her book Grow A Living Wall: Create Vertical Gardens with Purpose. Many vertical garden concepts often seen on Pinterest show more style than substance without regard to proper plant choice, light and drainage. In her book however Shawna not only talks the talk but walks the walk, having built and tested many of these vertical creations in her own backyard. Let her take you through the steps in maximizing your growing space with vertical veggie gardens and more.
Ten years ago Fran Sorin published Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening. It is just as pertinent today in its revised edition. Long before the concept of mindfulness was bandied about she eloquently described the importance of remaining open to and connecting with nature in your garden. With tips and exercises she takes you through the process of finding your true garden style while finding serenity in the soil.
Finally, an oldie but goodie. For those wanting to understand the hows, whens and whys of pruning, deadheading, pinching and cutting back, there is The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust. Tracy’s methods and techniques for tending perennial flowers will give you a new and better understanding of their possibilities in your garden. This book will make you a more confident gardener.