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Gardening with Kids

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The Greenhouse Expert"The Greenhouse Expert " by Dr. D.G. Hessayon

This book is part of a series of books written by Dr. D.G. Hessayon, called the expert books. Published in 1994 they are updated and have the most information about greenhouses and conservatories for the price. I would not build a greenhouse without it. He also includes what to do each month with flowers as well as garden vegetables. Although he is an English author, his subject matter is universal. Included is a dictionary of plants and a troubleshooting guide should one run into problems.


"Roots, Shoots, Buckets, & Boots" by Sharon Lovejoy

Roots Shoots Buckets and BootsWhat a fun book for children. Ms. Lovejoy begins the book by listing the top twenty plants for children. Based on the performance of the plants, children can relate to them.

Learn how to grow a pizza garden, a sunflower hours, a flower maze, and a moon garden. It will be fun with children.

She also includes methods and techniques and most importantly the absence of pesticides.

It is a delightful book to use with children and the illustrations are fun and colorful.

"The Southern Gardener's Book of Lists" by Lois Trigg Chaplin

Southern Gardeners Book of ListsThis resource book will provide one with very specific plant material lists for the southeast region of the United States.

It is a handy reference book for the gardener with a certain situation in hand. Have dry sandy soil and want to plant a tree? The book will match up a list just for that situation. The book lists all the possibilities and cuts to the chase.

There is not a lot of description on specific plants other than the basic growing conditions and habit of plant.

Your answer is never but a few turns of the page away.

I would not move into the southeast without it.

"The House Plant Encyclopedia" by Ingrid Jantra and Ursula Kruger

Houseplant EncyclopediaThis is one of the best houseplant books to come along in a long time.

Total basics that lead to every detail about houseplants.

A definite for the gardener's reference library.

It is beautifully photographed as well as illustrated.

Included is an extensive glossary and a friendly index. Also added was a current address for houseplant resources ( 1997)

No questions should be left unanswered after using this book.

"Secrets of Plant Propagation" by Lewis Hill

Secrets of Plant PropagationThis book has it all. A good basic introduction and everything you will need to create new plants. It is divided into two parts. Part I includes all the methods of propagation from seeds, division, layering, cuttings, bud grafting, and tissue culture.

Part II then goes into specifics of propagation.

It is very organized and clearly written and one should be able to come away with a clear understanding that there really are no secrets to plant propagation.

A Great reference book you may like in your own personal garden library.

"The 400 Best Garden Plants - a Practical Encyclopedia of Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, Trees, and Shrubs" by Elvin McDonald

400 Best Garden PlantsMr. McDonald, an author many times over, creates one of the best all around "selections" book for your bookshelf. More importantly, he tells you why.

Beautiful photos show how the plant grows, rather than as a specimen. Old time favorites become stars in your garden once again.

Basic descriptions and information start you on your way. Zone considerations are stated and when they are not one can almost deduct that this plant can grow anywhere.

100 Best Perennials for your garden? Is that possible? Yes.

Each section has an introduction and the book in general is pretty self explanatory.

Well worth the read.

"The New Traditional Garden" by Michael Weishan 1999

The New Traditional GardenMichael Weishan is by all rights the most practical and common sense landscape expert for today's garden. Having the right plant in the correct spot brings more unity to home landscaping. The total picture comes together.

This book is highly researched. Plenty of historical references answer the "why and where" for your own personal garden.

The last chapter, 'Historic Plant Compendium', will present itself as a most complete collection of introductions of plants to America.

If you are interested in historical garden and would love to instill and install a sense of lasting permanence to your garden this book is for you. It will be a publication you will refer to time and time again.

"The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean

The Orchid ThiefCollecting is a hard hobby habit to break. One who is totally consumed by the orchid hunt is John Laroche. John Laroche, orchids and Florida are synonymous.

The history and trail of orchids in Florida is a long one. Tracing back to the early days of discovery, hundreds of thousands of orchids were hunted and collected for the Old World. Florida became a hotbed of intrigue, danger, and mystery for orchid hunting stories.

This is one of them.

Susan Orlean captures the real life character of John Laroche. She opens a world where few are as dedicated as he was to the ghost orchid.

We learn about the deep dark dangers of the Fakahetchee Swamp and why John is constantly drawn to it.

Hilarious at times, bizarre at others, we never are far from the madness of the collecting mania and the search for the ghost orchid.

For those of us who just enjoy the beauty of orchids and may never be caught up in the obsession for collecting, certainly we will understand and appreciate the inner world of others. It definitely is a mad mad world.

"Taylor's Guide to Seashore Gardening" Frances Tenenbaum, Editor 1996

Taylor's Guide to Seashore GardeningA must for anyone living near the ocean.

The book includes the Pacific Northwest, the California Coast, the Southeast Coast, and the Northeast Coast.

It contains chapters on: how to garden, trees for the coast, roses for the coast, herbs for the seashore. And then it tells you how to landscape them with the adverse conditions of salt, sand, and sun.

A great photo key and descriptions follow.

"The Garden Design Book" By Cheryl Merser and the Editors of Garden Design Magazine

The Garden Design BookDefinitely a coffee table book, but OH! - the pictures, information and feelings you'll get from this publication will be wonderful.

Aside from the fact, as in all coffee table books, Design Magazine has created the best of the best from its magazine tradition.

You will understand the plans for simplicity, the construction of perimeters, and the basis for color.

More than just for a cozy rainy day.

Information from tried and true practices, shared by gardeners just like you.

"Heirloom Country Gardens" By Sarah Wolfgang Heffner

Heirloom Country GardensIf you are looking to create an old-fashioned charmed garden with heirloom plants, this book will tell you exactly how to do it.

Whether you are a purist looking to design something from the past or a "now" heirloom garden, Sarah Heffner will explain the difference.

Everything from heirloom vegetables, antique flowers, herbs with history, or just plain old fruits and berries, you will get good direction in this book.

Finally, a listing of heirloom country gardens in the United States to visit.

If you love history and gardening you will love the simplicity of this book.

"People with Dirty Hands" by Robin Chotzinoff

People with Dirty HandsMr. Chotzinoff certainly comes across the most interesting people.

He answers the question of "Why garden?" through interviews of people in the book. With their specialties and unusual gardening techniques, they share their passion for gardening like no others you may know.

Each chapter is an amazing story of gardeners and the fun they are having with their hobby.

From the rose rustling ladies to the New York City green guerrillas knee deep in manure.

You will meet Doug Beck from California whose bug hunting is threatened by a "bug baron".

What a fun book to enjoy just knowing there are even zanier people with dirty hands than you and I.

Fast reading and a tummy full of laughs.

"Further Along the Garden Path" A beyond-the-Basics Guide by Ann Lovejoy

Further Along the Garden PathAre you ready for the next level? Traveling further down the garden path is your next step. Then here it is all organized for the backyard gardener.

No large estates and professional evidence in the garden. This book is meant to be used month by month and season by season. Logically and well planned just as one should do their own garden. Tips, hints and suggestions all by experience. You will have your own along the way.

Careful, for the book's emphasis is on USDA zones 4 to 6 with some suggestions for warmer and cooler climates.

Keeping a journal along the way is a reference point that is encouraged by Ms. Lovejoy. She knows that only your own experiences will benefit your own garden.

Mark Lovejoy who has done other books for Ann does the colorful pictures. He is her principal photographer.

Each month chapter is subtitled to depict the major gardening pleasure. February: "garden rooms" (after all most of us are inside at this time of the year). June: "Putting Plants in Place" (for zones 4-6 this is perfect). September: "Big Picture Perennials. And, November: "Skeletons and Garden Bones" - my favorite. A sort of after the party-let's see what we have.

Ann Lovejoy is kind with all our insecurities of gardening. Learn we will.

"Garden Junk" by Mary Randolph Carter

Garden JunkAh........ my kind of book! Garden and junk what a better combination can there be for a garden of the 21st century? It's so yummy, for every collector alive - this is for you. Best of all, the author took all her own photos. So, she knows what she's got if no one else does. With a dear thank you to her mother and countless people she has met along her 'junking stints' it is hard to believe she has missed too many junk shops, dumps, or antique places along the way.

Page after page of wonderful garden junk. Yes in some people's eyes it is still junk but to the garden collector it's the added bones and sculptors of garden design.

With great suggestions on how to use the "stuff", Ms Carter does a great job in sharing her creative touch.

She leaves no object unturned in 1997.

Looking back three years to l994 "American Junk", an earlier version of western junk, kitchen junk, fishing collectives, glass of all kinds, is something you will equally enjoy.

Garden junk is my most favorite fun afternoon reading.

"The Gardener's Atlas" by John Grimshaw, Consultant Bobby Ward

Gardeners AtlasIf you are interested in the history of gardening and where the plants originated from, this book is a great reference.

Twenty plant families are traced around the world.

By understanding where our plants come from we can care for them better. We will have a feel for planting and placing them in the proper conditions.

Fascinating stories that historically trace the plants through the world.

For the history minded, you will enjoy the chase for the orchid, the trade for the the tulip, and the cost and lengths that Kew Gardens (under the guidance of Sir Joseph Hooker) went to acquire these specimens. 

Kew Gardens, which once began as a royal park in 1759, holds over five million specimens . To date it can boast having one of the world's largest reference collections.

One will marvel at the change - the great lengths man has gone to acquire plants from "nowheresland" and now to the ease of purchase in the modern local nurseries.

Great for winter reading.

"Bloom and Blossom The Reader's Guide to Gardening" Editor Mary Swander

Bloom and BlossomWhat a collection. All American writers brought together for the best garden collection armchair reader. Everyone from Thoreau, Garrison Keillor, Allen Lacy, and Sara Stein.

This sampler brings a few of the best garden writers past and present. With essays, poetry and book excerpts there is something for everyone.

Once started this is hard to put down. Each written section is the finest selected.

It definitely is: The Reader's Guide to Gardening with 32 authors it a teaser for further reading on your favorites.

Take your time and enjoy them all for all ones leisure intervals.