With the gardening season now underway, I thought it would be a good time to provide you with some more support by sharing some fantastic resource books that have been instrumental in developing my gardening knowledge.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you my top easy-reference books for day-to-day gardening and garden design. These books are so packed-full of information that they are known staples for many keen gardeners and are often the first thing you reach for at the start of the season…or every time you forget how far or how to deep to plant seeds or veggie transplants (which is often)!
It’s still early days however and not quite transplanting time. Fortunately the weather is cool enough to give us just a little more time to redesign the garden (always fun!) and design our planting plans for the year. This is also the ideal time to move around those perennial plants to more practical parts of the garden. Perhaps that thyme plant should be moved closer to the front door for easy picking, the tulips relocated and bunched together for a gorgeous display (tulips are edible by the way), or (in my case) that prickly variegated holly moved out of the new garden area to a hedge-row where its year-round beauty can be appreciated by all and do double-duty as a privacy screen.
Garden design and plant placement can be greatly informed by Permaculture design which, in its essence, is all about working with nature rather than against it, so that all the elements, including plants, are providing more than just one function, thereby reducing any waste and the work needed by you in the garden. Sound great?! Yes indeedy!
Observation is really the key to developing a great garden plan, and to give you some more practical techniques and information for growing your garden into a lovely paradise, I recommend Toby Hemenway’s book Gaia’s Garden ‘A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture’ (Second Edition).
In addition to all the fantastic information packed into this book (so much so that it will be a handy reference for YEARS to come for home gardeners and professionals alike), Hemenway provides the most incredible charts- everything from plants that attract beneficial insects, to exotic trees and shrubs, along with all their properties, Latin names and their hardiness zones.
The book discusses topics including soil-building techniques such as lasagna gardening, water conservation and collection, how to create microclimates in your garden, how to use cover crops, and so much more. For Toby’s overview of the book and the table of contents, see his site here.
In the gardening and culinary world, there is an infinite amount of knowledge and we will always be learning; every year I learn more about gardening I also glean more from this fantastic book.
I hope you will enjoy it just as much!