14 October 2012

My Gardening Library

I do most of my garden research online - the Master Gardener's office is filled with books, but I head straight for the computer.  It's more comprehensive and easier to search, but what if I couldn't use the internet?  I have not been a collector of books for a long time - in fact, I have been getting rid of books over the last decade, but I decided I needed a small reference library for my gardening questions - and there was no better place to get started than the local Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale.

My main goal was to pick up some good reference books, ranging from plant identification, to pest and diseases, and maybe some botany or soil science.  I didn't know the likelihood of finding what I wanted, but I was hopeful.  I should have been preparing for this a lot longer than I did - because of work and other factors, I didn't get there until nearly the last day.  I missed the member preview on Thursday night.  I missed Friday because I had to work late.  And I didn't get to the sale on Saturday until 3pm.  I did feel better when Robin bought me some books on Friday, and the sale didn't seem to have a lot that I was looking for.  Despite all of that, I did get a good start to building a garden reference library.

At first glance, I saw a lot of common types of books - small books dealing with one type of plant, probably from a book or gardening club, or those that you can pick up at Lowe's.  Then there were books about more interesting things like native plants, or weeds, or roadside plants, but they were specific to a completely different part of the country (or world).  Another type of book I ran across a lot was the older, complete gardening guides.  Some of these books had brittle pages, out-of-date information, old color photos, b&w photos, or no photos at all.  There were a lot of books that I would like to have looked at it, but not paid for the privilege.  So, I managed to find some books I could use, like:

Identification and problem solving books:
What Flower Is That? - 1000+ color photos
Southern Living Garden Problem Solver
Colour Dictionary of Garden Plants
Trees of the Eastern and Central US and Canada
Rodale's Garden Insect, Disease and Weed Identification Guide
Landscape Plants for the Southeast
Garden Guide to the Lower South
Taylor's Gardening in the South

Books on organic gardening:
Macmillan Book of Organic Gardening
Rodale's Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
The Chemical-Free Lawn
Gardening for the Future of the Earth
Growing Fruits and Vegetables Organically
The Organic Garden Book
Successful Small-Scale Farming

I'm planning to build a greenhouse, so:
The Complete Greenhouse Book
Your Homemade Greenhouse

Essays, Biographies, Curiosities:
A Gardener's Book of Words
Garden To Order - The Story of Mr. Burpee's Seeds
The Best Gardening Ideas for the 80's
Second Nature - A Gardener's Education - Michael Pollan
Plant Propagation - Principles and Practice
The Curious Gardener (essays)

Until I made this list, I didn't realize how many books I bought.  Wow!  Well, they will come in handy if I can use the internet - and they look good on my bookshelf.

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