Friday, March 11, 2011

Top Ten Books to Read in Your Garden

Believe it or not but it's almost spring and this is definitely the time to start thinking about what you want to plant this year in your garden, buy seeds and get ready to do some gardening work. To celebrate the return of the garden to our life (although it's always in our heart, even when it's covered in snow for weeks..), we have a guest post with recommendations on 10 great books to read in your garden.

Top Ten Books to Read in Your Garden

This guest post was contributed by Garden

Gardening is invigorating, dirty, tender, satisfying work and nothing quite compares to sinking your teeth into a sun-warmed, just-picked tomato, its juice dripping down your chin. One that you planted months prior, first indoors then transplanted out in your composted soil - preparing a plot being an art in itself. Then staking it and pinching its first flowers so seedings establish before fruit production, and finally weeding and mulching and watering and doing it all over again, and again.

Reading a book
is a similar, delicious commitment, and one perhaps best enjoyed in your garden.

The following ten books all celebrate the outdoors, some in a grand way, others more quietly. May their contents inspire you to breathe your air more deeply, embrace your environs more fully.


Planet Earth - Alastair Fothergill

Maybe you saw the Discovery Channel's program and are already familiar with the wondrous footage, shot over five years, of the world's wildlife and their habitats. Page turn at your leisure through these awe-inspiring images and accompanying text. A particularly enthralling section is a feature on the otherworldly Lechuguilla Cave, it's top-secret entrance and then strenuous subterranean descent.


The Orchid Thief - Susan Orlean

New Yorker writer Orlean decides to explore the world of John Laroche, awaiting trial for stealing endangered orchids from Florida's Fakahatchee Swamp, after reading about him in a local newspaper. What follows is an eccentric, funny, and revealing story about an orchid-infatuated subculture.


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

A family's good-humoured and enlightening story about eating food only grown by them or from their local area for a whole year. It also includes recipes and sidebars on industrial agriculture.


French Dirt - Richard Goodman

An enchanting account of Goodman's move from New York City to a French village, and what he discovers from gardening there - about the village's inhabitants and himself.


The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love - Kristin Kimball

City girl moves upstate to start a cooperative farm with the man who will become her husband. The memoir, while initially idealistic, is refreshingly honest about the hard work necessary to build and maintain a farm.


National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders - Lorus and Margery Milne

A wonderfully authoritative visual guide - includes 702 photographs - with detailed descriptions of habitats, ranges, food and life cycles of North American insects and spiders.


Eat Your Yard - Nan K. Chase

Chase details the 35 different trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and flowers that you can grow on your property then enjoy at your next meal!


The Seasons on Henry’s Farm - Terra Brockman

Brockman expertly - and with tremendous heart - writes about the cycle of a year on her Illinois sustainable farm.


The Bucolic Plague - Josh Kilmer-Purcell

A hilarious read - and true story - about a gay couple who make a go of the rural life before they became Planet Green's Fabulous Beekman Boys.


In the Company of Stone - Dan Snow

Waller Dan Snow builds, yes, walls, but also dams, grottos, pathways, spheres, staircases, terraces, even softball field bleachers, all with found stone and without mortar or nails. Called dry-stone construction and completely hand built, Snow's art is celebrated in Peter Mauss's gorgeous photographs while Snow's prose - equally practical and poetic - are as engaging as his works.