I read a quote recently where someone asked if we could unplug 2020, wait a few minutes and then try restarting it. It’s been a long year already, hasn’t it – and we’ve got quite a bit of 2020 left! We may not be able to unplug and start over, but spring, which officially begins today, offers a fresh start of it’s own. Here are some recent gardening books that are guaranteed to brighten your day!
Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers by Erin Benzakein. Not only is this is a seriously gorgeous book, it’s packed with great information on how to grow and arrange your own cut flowers. Erin is something of a star in the flower grower world and she just announced that she has filmed a documentary about running a small business which will air on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new Magnolia television network sometime in October.
Garden Alchemy: 80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents and More by Stephanie Rose. The best way to ensure a lots of beautiful flowers and vegetables is to start with beautiful soil. Lots of tips and ideas in this book!
Gardening in Your Front Yard: Projects and Ideas for Big and Small Spaces by Tara Nolan. Stop wasting all of that land in front of your house – gardens are beautiful, add to the value of your house and are much better for the environment and wildlife than the mono-culture of grass.
Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening: a Gardener’s Guide to Growing Flowers, from Today’s Favorites to Unusual Varieties by Matt Mattus. You’ll want to keep your stack of seed and bulb catalogs close by while paging through this beauty – lots of inspiration for your next garden!
Small Garden Style: a Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers by Isa Eaton. Small doesn’t mean lacking in style and interest; this book will help you create a lovely garden no matter the size. Even a small front porch can benefit from a beautiful container garden!
Happy first day of Spring! This is, by far, my favorite time of year, when the earth wakes up from it’s winter slumber and all things are new and possible. And best of all, flowers are blooming in the garden again.
There is always a surge of new gardening books published in late winter and early spring – you will find many of them on the new book shelves at the library. Gardening books tend to fall into one of two categories – practical or beautiful. Now, there’s nothing wrong with beautiful – you can find a lot of inspiration and ideas from those gorgeous pictures and who doesn’t like whiling away a winter afternoon dreaming of colorful gardens? And there’s nothing wrong with practical – these are the books that get you through the growing season. (My favorite is Barbara Damrosch’s The Garden Primer) But the fact is, there’s not always a lot of overlap. Happily, this year there’s a gardening book that is both practical and beautiful – Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein.
If you have ever dreamed of being a flower farmer, or if you’re passionate about growing your own flowers (that’s me!), or if you simply want to grow a few flowers for your kitchen table, this book is for you. Over 170 plants are included in this book, all of which are easy to grow, some of which you may not have considered for bouquets (like vines, branches, and grasses). There is well-written practical information for each plants as well as lovely photographs (I love the use of lighting and perspective in these photos). And there are instructions for creating beautiful bouquets, arranged by season so that you can use readily available flowers from your yard or the farmers market. Erin includes “minor” flowers that are easy to grow but that you’re unlikely to find at the florist (something that I’ve been an advocate of for years) such as grape hyacinth and nasturtiums. It doesn’t take a lot of land or expensive tools to add a lot of life and beauty to your corner of the world.
I’ve long been a fan of the floret website and blog – there is an incredible amount of helpful information on the site (and, much like the book, it’s overflowing with gorgeous photography). I also enjoy the behind-the-scenes views of the job of growing flowers for a living – romantic yes but mostly lots of hard work. Much like their book, it’s the perfect combination of beautiful and practical.
OK Spring – bring it! I can’t wait!