Well, according to the calendar, it’s Spring again. This being the Midwest, Spring is likely to struggle a bit to really take hold, but it is definitely moving from winter to spring, the best season of all.
This also means it’s time to take a look at the new crop of gardening books. There are always new ones being published early in the year, taking advantage of cabin fever and greening grass. Here are just a few:
The Flower Powered Garden: Supercharge Your Borders and Containers with Bold, Colorful Plant Combinations by Andy Vernon.
Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor and Fun by Niki Jabbour
Martha’s Flowers: a Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering and Enjoying by Martha Stewart
My Floral Affair: Whimsical Spaces and Beautiful Florals by Rachel Ashwell
Color Me Floral: Stunning Monochromatic Arrangements for Every Season by Kiana Underwood
The Less is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard by Susan Morrison
Vegetables Love Flowers: Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty by Lisa Ziegler
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!