Annual Gardening Books Reprise, With One Addition

  • Post published:01/03/2023
  • Post comments:1 Comment
The New Pie – Modern Techniques

The New Pie  (Clarkson Potter $26.99) has nothing to do with the garden, except that we gardeners are always pleased to have a sweet pie and a cup of tea in the afternoon. Although, some of us may have apple trees or other fruits in our gardens.   This New Pie provides Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert.

Chris Taylor and Paul Arquin are two skilled bakers who The first section gives great information about the kinds of pies, and the kinds of ingredients and equipment for making the pies. Then comes a whole section on The New Pie Crusts and writers Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin give wonderful information about how to make different kinds of pie crust.  Then comes the list of pie types – Cream Pies, Cocktail Pies, Nut Pies and more.  I did not expect that there was a Cocktail Pies Chapter, but that is where I  found a delicious  Sherry Raisin Pie  recipe. The book ends with Frills, Garnishes and Other Accessories – and great advice all around.


Emily Murphy immediately shows you how much can be attended to, and the benefits. Those phrases on the book cover, Go Beyond Organic, Rewild Your Land, Sequester Carbon and Support Biodiversity, suggest that gardens are giving us new ideas,  and new ways to give each of us – and the world – good health.  Grow Now (Workman $18.) is a book that will keep you gardening and making the world a better place.

Nature of Oaks by Douglas W. Tallamy

Douglas Tallamy is a great man – who is sharing his greatness with all of us in his books that explain how plants feed the natural  world – and us! The Nature of Oaks – The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees ($27.95) -is the third of his three books about trees and and the creatures that live on them. He continues, month by month beginning with October and ending with September, taking the reader on a written journey through an action-packed year in the life of an oak. Each month focuses on one aspect of the interaction between the trees and the creatures.  In addition to The Nature of Oaks, he has  Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens and Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard.

Plant Grow Harvest Repeat

The cover of Plant Grow Harvest Repeat (Timber Pres  $24.95) already tells us what we have in store. There is information about succession planting to plant, grow, and harvest vegetables and flowers. Meg McAndrews Cowden teaches us how to “Grow a Bounty of Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers by Mastering the Art of Succession Planting.” I think this is a great book, with lots of very specific advice from how to design succession gardens, interplanting, sowing, harvesting – everything. It is a useful book, and I can say that it teaches and pleases – and makes me want to dash outside right this minute.

The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Guide – Important book for gardeners

Jenny Rose Carey is just the woman to write the Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Guide. ( Workman 29.95).  She is a hands-on gardener but she has worked for long periods at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Meadowbrook Farm, lectured, and more. Now she has brought us a new book that is amazingly helpful for every gardener.

The chapters of takes us through Your Garden of Flowers with a look at shape, role, presence and color, and then followed by the Flower Gardener’s Calendar with a look at the types of flowers in bloom during the year. The Flower Gardener’s Palette is the largest part of the book because it presents flowers from Achillea to Zinnia. This section is absolutely vital to me. Right now many gardeners, like me are working to add lots of flowers to encourage the presence of pollinators. It is amazing the number of pollinators that will be welcome to the garden. Bees, of all types, are important, of course, but butterflies, hummingbirds, wasps, beetles,  and moths of different varieties are also important. It is essential to choose native plants to feed those creatures.

Attracting Garden Pollinators ($26.) by Jean Vernon is an amazing book, unlike other books about the importance of garden pollinators. She has gone beyond talking about butterflies and bees. Chapter One, What is a Pollinator? gives us 16 pages explaining the kinds of creatures that will pollinate the plants in our gardens.

We are familiar with butterflies and bees of many types. There are moths, in the morning and at night. There are wasps and beetles.  There are hoverflies, about which I never knew before reading this book.  Chapter Two gives us lots of unfamiliar information about unfamiliar plants and unfamiliar pollinators. Neither did I know that caterpillars are the most important food for butterflies!

A few weeks ago, after reading Garden Refresh: How to Give Your Yard Big Impact on a Small Budget, I was inspired and told my husband  that we really needed to take down a large viburnum to provide sunlight. Having an obliging husband makes it easy to give me more plants and the needed sunshine. This book provides many ways to help choose plants, and how to care for them. (The garden looked much better this summer without that viburnum!)

No matter how  many kinds of flowers and vegetables you plant, learning about improving your soil is very important. Information is given about ground  covers, fungus, manure, biochar – and worshiping the worm. Then comes compost, how to compost, what to compost and what not to compost. Did you know coffee grounds are really good for the soil? You can also make  a compost tea, a liquid fertilizer that uses your compost and soaks it in a bag (or old pillowcase) and a bucket for a time to make tea!

Kier Holmes provides endless tips on design, plant selection, and maintenance. She is a designer and writer and has written for Martha Stewart, Gardenista, Better Homes and Gardens and other magazines. She is also a children’s garden and science educator.

Which books entice you?

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Robin Ruff Leja

    Sitting to me right now is Gardening for Butterflies from The Xerces Society. Even if I never read it, it’s beautiful to look at!

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