The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley

cut flower patchThere is something deeply satisfying about growing your own flowers to create bouquets for the house. Simple, colorful and surprisingly affordable, they bring luxury and color to any room. The Cut Flower Patch is a great guide to the best flowers for the home grower and full of inspirational ideas on how to use them.

Louise Curley looks at what makes a great cut flower, ideal conditions and soil and the tools you’ll need. There is advice on what to grow – from favorite hardy annuals, half hardies and biennials to spring and summer bulbs to adding foliage and fillers to balance arrangements – and advice on how and when to sow, how to support your plants and tips on weeding, deadheading, pests and feeding. (description from publisher)

The Creative Shrub Garden by Andy McIndoe

creative shrub gardenHome gardeners know the key elements to a well-designed garden: perennials that bloom year after year, annuals that add a burst of color, and bulbs that guarantee spring flowers. But what about shrubs–what role should these hardy plants play?

The Creative Shrub Garden by Andy McIndoe puts the shrub in its rightful place–front and center. This groundbreaking approach shows you how to make the most of the many benefits of shrubs – including their hardiness, year-long beauty, size, and low-maintenance nature – by making them the main element in a garden design. McIndoe teaches you the basics first, with tips on choosing shrubs based on a garden’s size, determining soil and climate needs, and pruning and maintenance. He then offers hundreds of shrub combinations that work with 15 main garden styles, including coastal, cottage, Mediterranean, tropical, urban, and more.

The Creative Shrub Garden celebrates a plant that is too often taken for granted and gives gardeners the confidence to use shrubs in the design-forward treatment they deserve. (description from publisher)

Drink the Harvest by Nan Chace

drink the harvestPreserving the harvest doesn’t have to stop with jam and pickles!

Many fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be made into delicious beverages to drink fresh or preserve for later — a healthy and inexpensive alternative to store-bought drinks. Drink the Harvest shows you how to create juices, ciders, wines, meads, teas, and syrups to savor any time of year. From strawberry juice to pear cider, dandelion wine to spiced apple mead, citrus peel tea to kombucha, you’ll love these delicious recipes. You’ll even discover how to create your own backyard beverage garden and how to harvest ingredients for maximum flavor and quantity.

Whether you’re looking for new ways to enjoy your garden’s bounty or want to experiment with pure concoctions made from farmers’ market finds, these recipes and techniques – including harvesting, canning, fermenting, and pasteurizing – will introduce you to a whole new world of garden goodness. (description from publisher)

Handmade for the Garden by Susan Guagliumi

handmade for the gardenThe DIY craze has moved beyond the craft room and into the garden!

Relying on easy-to-find, inexpensive, and repurposed materials, Handmade for the Garden is a treasure trove of original projects that not only make planting and growing efficient and successful but also add a personal touch to the gardenscape. Among the myriad projects in this hardworking book are mini hothouses; painted, stamped, and stenciled terracotta planters; hypertufa and cement pots and decorations; rustic and formal fencing and trellises; plant markers and stakes; and sieves and baskets.

With Handmade for the Garden to inspire them, gardeners of all skill levels will be empowered to experiment with form and function to discover creative, artful ways to personalize and beautify their gardens with handmade objects. (description from publisher)

Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

living landscapeA home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape that is made up of many living layers. The replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden’s biological diversity and ecological function. The Living Landscape seeks to reverse this trend by showing gardeners how to create a landscape that is full of life.

Written by Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy, two of the most important voices in sustainability and horticulture, The Living Landscape is the definitive guide to designing a beautiful, biodiverse home garden. The authors first explain the layers of the landscape and what role the plants within them plays in the larger environment, from providing berries for birds, food for bugs, or a place for bees to pollinate. The authors then put this information into context and offer design strategies to implement in a home garden. Helpful charts suggest plants, including natives and nonnatives, for each region.

In a gorgeously illustrated, inspirational, and practical way, The Living Landscape supports the important message of biodiversity by showing gardeners how to make it happen. (description from publisher)

Matthew Mead’s Backyard Style

matthew meadMatthew Mead applies his trademark approach – deceptively simple, surprisingly affordable, and always stylish DIY – to the great outdoors in Matthew Mead’s Backyard Style.

With step-by-step photos clearly illustrating how easy it is to create a shady nook with sail cloth, or an elegant alfresco dining room with flea market finds, Matthew bring his styling tricks of the trade to readers, showing them how to make their own spaces magazine-worthy. Creative as always, Matthew suggests painting old furniture with chalk paint – what’s more outdoorsy than that? He gives tips on how to throw the perfect fire pit pizza party, as always accompanied by incredible photos, and he’ll walk readers through how to make a charming evening light lantern.

From small projects to large ones, Matthew offers ingenious suggestions on how to optimize anyone’s backyard space, making it both easy and fun, but most of all inspiring. (description from publisher)

Spring is Here!

After the winter we’ve had – are still having! – it’s hard to believe that it’s actually, finally spring but as of yesterday, it’s true. And spring means it’s time to start planning your garden and flower beds – it’ll be green again before you know it. Really! Here are some of our latest books to inspire you.

plantifulPlantiful: start small, grow big with 150 plants that spread, self-sow and overwinter by Kristin Green –  Plantiful shows you how to have an easy, gorgeous garden packed with plants by simply making the right choices. Kristen Green highlights plants that help a garden quickly grow by self-sowing and spreading and teaches you how to expand the garden and extend the life of a plant by overwintering. Discover the perfect the art of editing, share the wealth, and learn for yourself that gardeners don’t have to dig deep to grow a lively, plentiful, and colorful garden year-round.

grow more with lessGrow More with Less by Vincent Simeone – Put your best foot forward in creating an efficient, sustainable home landscape. From composting and mulching to planting trees, author Vincent Simeone covers all the eco-friendly essentials in one straightforward handbook. Simeone makes the what, how, and why of sustainable gardening unmistakably clear: why we should plant for the long-term, how to make the best plant selections possible, how to manage invasive species, how to make the most of your lawn (regardless of its size), the importance of IPM (integrated pest management) in fighting insects and pests, how to conserve water with proper irrigation, installing rain barrels and cisterns, and more.

wildlife friendlyThe Wildlife Friendly Vegetable Gardener  by Tammi Hartung – This one-of-a-kind book shows you how to create a peaceful co-existence between your vegetable garden and the wildlife who consider it part of their habitat. By understanding and working with the surrounding environment – instead of continually fighting it – you’ll reap a larger harvest with much less stress and effort. Tammi Hartung explains how to start with a hardy and healthy garden, create beneficial relationships through smart planting, attract helpful insects and pollinators, intentionally create habitats for wildlife, and much more.

attracting beneficial bugsAttracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden by Jessica Walliser – It may seem counterintuitive to want bugs in a garden, but insects are indeed valuable garden companions. Especially those species known for eating the bugs that eat plants. Assassin bugs, damsel bugs, and predatory stink bugs are all carnivores that devour the bugs that dine on a garden. This complete, hands-on guide is for anyone looking for a new, natural, and sustainable way to control pests.

Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life by Marta McDowell

beatrix potterThere aren’t many books more beloved than The Tale of Peter Rabbit and even fewer authors as iconic as Beatrix Potter. More than 150 million copies of her books have sold worldwide and interest in her work and life remains high. And her characters – Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck, and all the rest – exist in a charmed world filled with flowers and gardens.

Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life is the first book to explore the origins of Beatrix Potter’s love of gardening and plants and show how this passion came to be reflected in her work. The book begins with a gardener’s biography, highlighting the key moments and places throughout her life that helped define her, including her home Hill Top Farm in England’s Lake District. Next, the reader follows Beatrix Potter through a year, with a season-by-season overview of what is blooming that bring her gardens alive. The book culminates in a traveler’s guide, with information on how and where to visit Potter’s gardens today. Richly illustrated and filled with quotations from her books, letters, and journals, it is essential reading for all who know and cherish Beatrix Potter’s classic tales. (description from publisher)

Four Season Farm Gardner’s Cookbook by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman

four season farmBarbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America’s foremost organic gardeners and authorities. Barbara is the author of The Garden Primer, and Eliot wrote the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they are the face of the locavore movement, working through their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they’ve written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow.

The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook is two books in one. It’s a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Barbara, a master cook as well as master gardener, who shows how to maximize the fruits – and vegetables – of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries. And it’s a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops. And, at the core, individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to fourteen essential culinary herbs.

Eating doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard. (description from publisher)

An Amish Garden by Laura Anne Lapp

an amish gardenAn Amish Garden: A Year in the Life of an Amish Garden by Laura Anne Lapp takes you to six working Amish gardens, from January through December. Matchless photos show the garden asleep, the Amish women putting together their orders for seeds, the preparation of the soil, parents and children planting, the emerging plants, the lush harvest, the food being preserved.

This close-up of a world seldom seen shows how the seasons and Amish life work rhythmically together. Laura Anne Lapp lives with her husband and three young sons in a tucked-away valley in Pennsylvania. Gardening is simply the highpoint of her year.

Step apart and enter this pastoral world of hard work, sturdy families, the freshest of flowers and produce, all in harmony with the seasons. (description from publisher)