As recommended by a faithful DGC Member, here are a few great books to help you plan your next garden project or inspire your imagination! Click on the title to purchase, but many are available in the local libraries as well!
The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf
A Clearing in the Distance by Witold Rybczynski (bio of F. L. Olmsted)
Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy
The Ingenious Mr. Fitzgerald: The Forgotten Father of the Flower Garden by Michael Leapman (created first man-made hybrid)
The Living Landscape by Rick Darke & Douglas Tallamy
A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton by Kate Colquhoun
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
by Amy Cyman
As I sat at the kitchen table a few mornings ago watching the snow fall (again), I realized that I had been thinking non-stop about my garden since I put my head on the pillow the night before. This, for me, is the one true sign that I am OVER winter. There is always a moment in the dark days of January or February when I simply can't think of anything besides that glorious feeling I get when I pull out the gloves and shovel and start to turn over the soil in preparation for the seasons seeds and seedlings.
I pull out the garden journal, sift through the remains of what I didn't finish adding in about last year's successes and failures, and turn to a bright, clean, new page...full of possibilities. Should I try just herbs in that terraced garden this year? The zucchini didn't exactly prosper there. I definitely need more garlic, and luckily last fall I put in quadruple the amount thanks to my friend donating her leftover bulbs. I'm hoping the calendula that started to self-seed in the warm, late fall may possibly have fought through the snows - but even if it didn't I'm sure there are more seeds hiding just below the surface, ready to fulfill my desire for more bright, sunny blooms.
No matter what thoughts you might have of your soon-to-be-awakening garden, here are a few of my favorite resources that I find myself turning to time after time:
Pinterest - Honestly, whatever you want to know about you can find in Technicolor over at Pinterest. If you don't have an account, go get one and spend the next few hours of your life falling down the rabbit hole!
John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds - You can look at this online, but they have one of the loveliest catalogs around, and an amazing selection of Heirloom and organic seeds. Their purple garlic is the previously mentioned fall planting!
Mountain Rose Herbs - Oh, how I love herbs! And here they are...ready to buy for culinary or medicinal use or in seed form to plant and enjoy.
Little Green Fingers - For those of us who love getting the little ones in on the fun.
What are your favorite resources?
Don’t Plant a Pest!
According to the Nature Conservancy, invasive species are one of the top threats to our natural heritage, costing the US over $120 billion in damage and control. But the greatest cost of invasives is that they can crowd our native plants, effectively denuding an area of food and habitat for native wildlife. Do a little research before you buy. Some suggested sites containing good information are below. And always ask the nursery or other plant seller if what you are looking at is native to Maryland.
But what about our current gardens? Some of the most commonly known invasive plants - English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, lesser celandine, garlic mustard, porcelain berry, oriental bittersweet, butterfly bush, and orange daylilies, for example – are already in our yards. Unfortunately, suggesting that when they die we replace them with native plants doesn’t work, because these plants never seem to die. No, instead, we gradually have to dig them out and replace them with plantings that help our environment rather than continue to damage it.