Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Bumper Crop: Books to add to your Wish List

I thought that I would do one final review post highlighting books that have caught my eye, great reads I discovered in 2012 and books that I want to read in the new year. Breeze through and pause on the books that interest you.

Winter is the time when we gardeners get gardening in our daydreams!

Oh, and be sure to enter the book draw at the end of the post.

A Feast for the Eyes:

Bloom's Best Perennials and Grasses
by Adrian Bloom
Photographs by Adrian Bloom and Richard Bloom
Timber Press

Adrain Bloom's Gardening with Conifers is one of the books in my home library that I return to often to find inspiration. When I noticed that he also had a book on perennials and grasses, I went looking for a copy. Just look at that book cover to the left. Wow! Filled with expert plants choices and absolutely stunning pictures, this book is sure to inspire you too.

Natural Companions
by Ken Druse
with Photographs by Ellen Hoverkamp
Stewart, Tabori and Chang

This has to be one of the most beautiful books that I saw in 2012. Add in some wonderful writing by well-known author Ken Druse and you have a classic gardening book. See my full review here.

Image by Ellen Hoverkamp © Natural Companions by Ken Druse with Botanical Photographs by Ellen Hoverkamp. Published in 2012 by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York. An imprint of ABRAMS.

The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage
By David L. Culp
Photographs by Rob Cardillo
Timber Press

This is a another gorgeous book! Brandywine Cottage is David Culp's beloved two-acre garden in Pennsylvania. See my full review in the next post. 

Image from The Layered Garden by David L. Culp Photography by Rob Cardillo © Timber Press 2012

Great Reads for the Reflective Gardener:

The Untamed Garden: A Revealing Look at our Love Affair with Plants
By Sonya Day
McClelland and Stewart

This was possibly my favourite read in 2012. Master gardener and author Sonya Day takes a witty and often humorous look at our love affair with plants using a mix of myth, botany and plant lore. See my full review here.

Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe
By Charlotte Gill
Greystone Books

Charlotte Gill spent twenty years working as a tree planter in the forests of Canada. Her compelling memoir was shortlisted for numerous literary prizes and on the Globe and Mail 100 Best Books list in 2011. In Eating Dirt, Gill offers a glimpse at the gritty life of a tree planter caught in the turmoil between environmentalists and the logging industry.

Gardening for a Lifetime: How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older
By Sydney Eddison
Timber Press

This is a subject that many of us might want to avoid, yet growing older is something we all must face. Sydney Eddison offers the reader practical and heartfelt advice that helps to shorten the long list of everyday backyard chores, while preserving all that is enjoyable about gardening.

The Roots of my Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden
Edited by Thomas C. Cooper
Timber Press

There is nothing like writing about gardening yourself to help you appreciate great garden writing. In this essay collection, writers like Thomas Hobbs, Ken Druse, Margaret Roach and Amy Stewart reflect on their passion for gardening.

Books for the Crafty Gardener:

Concrete Garden Projects, Easy & Inexpensive Containers, Furniture, Water Features & More 
By Malin Nilsson and Camilla Arvidsson
Timber Press

There are some really awesome outdoor craft projects that you can do with basic building materials like concrete. Next spring, I might finally find the time to do my own project and this book is the prefect inspiration.

Watch a neat video on one of the book's projects here: Concrete House Numbers
Image from Concrete Garden Projects © Malin Nilsson and Camilla Arvidsson and Timber Press. Used with kind permission from Timber Press.

Handmade Garden Projects
By Lorene Edwards Forkner
Timber Press

Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that I have always got some craft project on the go. Here is a book with lots of fun, whimsical projects that will help you to add that personal touch to your garden.

Books for Plant Lovers: 

In Pursuit of Garlic
By Liz Primeau
Greystone Books

Written by best-selling Canadian garden writer Liz Primeau this book is on my reading list for the coming winter. Scientists are increasingly interested in garlic's antibiotic, anti-parasitic and cancer fighting attributes. In Pursuit of Garlic leads the reader on a tour following garlic's role in history, along with offering tips on growing garlic, and garlic-centered recipes. 

The Unexpected Houseplant: 220 Extraordinary Choices for Every Spot in Your Home
By Tovah Martin
Timber Press

My houseplants plants breath a sigh of relief when winter refocuses my attention indoors. Over the years fewer and fewer of them have survived a summer of neglect. To tell the truth, I think that I have become a bit bored with plants like african violets. Martin's approach to houseplants just might change my mind. More traditional plants, like the ivy below, are presented in novel ways and the author also recommends more unusual plants that you might never have thought to grow indoors. Houseplants are extremely beneficial. They clean the air, which can be up to ten times more polluted than the air outdoors. I think this book might just give me a whole new respect for houseplants!

Image from The Unexpected Houseplant. Photographs by Kindra Clineff © Tovah Martin 2012 Used with kind permission from Timber Press

Why Grow That, When You Can Grow This?
By Andrew Keys
Timber Press

This book offers hundreds of alternatives that replace or outshine common problem plants. Garden designer Andrew Keys introduces each problem plant and lays out 3 alternatives that include three or more of the original plant's characteristics. I love the way this book has been organized. All the permanent information is highlighted and available at a quick glance. Why Grow That, When You Can Grow This? is one of those great garden books you are likely to reference again and again. 

The Book of Little Hostas: 200 Mini, Small and Very Small Varieties
By Kathy Guest Shadrack and Michael Shadrack
Consulting Editor Diana Grenfell
Timber Press

Blame it on the influence of a fellow blogger's posts on mini-hostas: I have found a whole new reason to be interested in this dependable, but somewhat boring garden plant. How cute is this little container planting on the left! With over 200 color photos, and lots of valuable information, you will never think of hostas as dull or common again.

Coming in 2013:

The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening and Life
by Margaret Roach
Grand Central Publishing
Release date: Jan. 15th, 2013
Here is another book I am looking forward to reading. The Backyard Parables is the popular author's mediations on the natural world, gardening and life. Visit Margaret's blog here. See the book's trailer here.

Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm
by Debra Prinzing
St. Lynn's Press
Release date: Early in 2013

This is a perfect follow-up book to Debra Prinzing's book The 50 Mile Bouquet. The author takes the reader through the seasons with 52 bouquets using locally sourced materials-even in winter. Visit the Debra's blog.

Fine Foliage
by Karen Chapman ad Christina Salwitz
St. Lynn's Press

I would be remiss if I did not give fellow blogger Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz's new book for 2013 a mention. Karen, I can't wait to read your book! I am sure it will be terrific.

Timber Press has very graciously provided me with four review copies that I am going to giveaway in a book draw. They are: The Layered Garden, The Unexpected Houseplant, The Roots of My Obsession and Gardening for a Lifetime. I will do four separate draws, so be sure to state which books strike your fancy. Also feel free to enter all 4 draws if you like.

The holidays are a busy time and so I am going to leave this book giveaway open until Sunday, January the 6th. A comment left anytime up until the end of the 6th of January will enter you in the giveaway. Good luck everyone!

I am going to link this review to HolleyGarden's December Book Review Post. To read other thoughtful reviews, please click the link: Roses and Other Garden Joys.


  1. It was very interesting to read about the lovely books. Thank you for that! I don´t know if it´s possible to take part to your lottery if one does live in Europe, but it it´s okay, I would be interested in those two first ones: The Layered Garden and The unexpected houseplants.

  2. Please include me for the draw. I would love to read The Layered Garden.

  3. I would love all of them! Here's they are listed in order of my favorite - my favorite listed first: The Unexpected Houseplant, Gardening for a Lifetime, The Layered Garden & The Roots of My obsession.

  4. My preferred order is The Layered Garden, Gardening for a Lifetime,The Unexpected Houseplant,The Roots of My obsession. Thanks

  5. What a nice selection of books you have chosen for your give away! I think I would really like to read The Roots of My Obsession, because I'm sure I could identify! Thank you for sponsoring the giveaway!

  6. I would love to win any of them. This is the best time of the year to curl up in a comfy chair by the fireside and read a new garden book! I really, really would love The Layered Garden ! Can I enter more than once?

  7. Oooh I'd love the Layered Garden! My second choice would be the Unexpected Houseplant.

    I could so use some fresh ideas - next year is my landscaping year! At least I hope it is... things keep cropping up to distract me!


    Thanks for the giveaways!

  8. What a great list! And it's wonderful of you to hold giveaways! I'm going to add a few of these to my own wish list. Although, I think I need to take a course in speed reading! ;)

  9. Wow, you have great selections here. I think Tovah's book would be different and very creative. And like you, I crave creative.

  10. I would love to win... Unexpected Houseplant would be 1st pick; or Layered Garden... others both look nice as well :)

  11. "The Layered Garden" would definitely be my choice!

  12. I've already put my name in for The Layered Garden. A chance for the Unexpected Houseplant would be great too. I'm feeling the need for some indoor colour. The cover photograph is already motivating me to do "something'.

  13. OOOH! OOOH! OOOH! I want them all! To be more precise, I really want The Untamed Garden, Bloom's Best, Eating Dirt, Roots of My Obsession, or Grow This Not That. Hot damn! If they could write a book, I could write a book.... Maybe.

  14. Being a Garden Club secretary I would be honored with any of them as well then to pass from member to member :)

    I will be trying to learn all I can as I try to rally our group into making this town stunning as well as my own garden areas. I want the layered effect so I will try to put in an English Garden this spring.

    Thanks for the chance at the give away


  15. What a great collection of books. Think the Gardening for a Lifetime is a great topic for garden planning as we all age.


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