Gardening books

We are down to the wire now with our holiday gift shopping. If you have a gardener in the family that you are trying to figure out what they would like to have for a Christmas present, here are a few ideas.

We are always in need of gardening tools. You name it, it seems like we could use it. There are always plants of any kind. We gardeners keep on gardening, even when the ground is covered in snow. We love houseplants such as ferns, orchids, and succulents. We would love to have gift certificates too. Gift certificates for next spring are always welcomed.

Since Minnesotans are well known for spending a lot of time reading, particularly during the winter months, how about a good book? The U of M Extension, along with Mary Meyer, who is a professor of horticulture & Extension educator, suggests the following books for that avid gardener in your family.

“Peonies: The Best Varieties for Your Garden” by David Michener and Carol Adelman, Timber Press 2017 is the first on the list. If you have someone who is very interested in raising peonies, this is the book for you to give to them. The best part of this book is that there are many great pictures to look at!

“Native Plants of the Midwest: A Comprehensive Guide” to the Best 500 species for the Garden by Alan Branhagan, Timber Press. Branhagan is the director of operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Do I need to say more?

“Understanding Orchids: An uncomplicated guide to growing the world’s most exotic plants,” by William Cullina, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2004. While this is not a new book to the aisles, it comes high recommended as a go to guide for raising orchids. They can sometimes seem rather complicated!

“Native Orchids of Minnesota” by Welby R. Smith, University of Minnesota Press 2012. This is a great book for anyone who spends time in areas where native orchids are living. If you find one while out walking the great trails in Minnesota, you can look up the plant.

“Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners” by James B. Nardi, University of Chicago Press 2007. If you are new to gardening or want to improve your skills as a gardener, this book will be for you. “‘Life in the Soil’ covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground.”

“No Waste Kitchen Gardening” by Katie Elzer-Peters, Cool Spring Press 2018. This book offers some unusual methods related to gardening. “Katie Elzer-Peters is a horticulturist in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her job here is to get gardeners into the habit of re-growing your food waste –i.e. vegetable cutoffs and scraps into harvestable, edible plants. She instructs you how to use everything from carrot stumps and cilantro sprigs to cabbage stalks.”

“Sedges and Rushes of Minnesota: The Complete Guide to Species Identification” by Welby R. Smith, University of Minnesota Press. If you are into raingardens or similar gardens, this book will be a great reference for your garden bookshelf.

The website for additional information on books for gardeners can be found at https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2018/12/gift-idea-good-books-for-minnesota.html. For more about gardening, you can reach me at s.dejaeghere@me.com

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