17 May 2012

New books = fresh ideas

“Bulb Forcing for beginners and the seriously smitten” by Art Wolk, $24.95, AAB Book Publishing, www.gardenlunacy.com/.
Forcing bulbs is the method used to grow flowers in pots all year.  There are ways to successfully duplicate the conditions bulbs needs to grow and flower out of season.
This hardback book is written by an accomplished home gardener who has year-round flowers using products and conditions that can be duplicated in any home by anyone with the desire.
Want to have flowers all year? Start with the right planting material, some bulbs, corms, tuberous roots, rhizomes or tubers, a well-lighted growing space, and this book.
Wolk’s writing is humorous, easy to read and understand, the instructions are illustrated with Wolk’s award-winning photographs, and he gives  practical tips and advice for gardeners at all levels based on his own experience.
“Encyclopedia of Flowering Shrubs: More than 1700 outstanding garden plants” by Jim Gardiner, $49.95, published by Timber Press.
The director of horticulture for the Royal Horticultural Society gardens edited this 430-page hardback filled with 2,000 photos and descriptions of 1700 flowering shrubs.
Information for each variety includes: Size, flower color and season, fruit, stem color, autumn color, soil and light needs, pruning, cold tolerance and growing needs.
The information for each plant is brief, making it easy to decide which shrubs would work best for situations in a specific spot.
Shrubs are the framework of a garden and the addition of the right ones can make all the difference.
“Fairy Gardens: A guide to growing an enchanted miniature world”, by Betty Earl, $21.95, published by B. B. Mackey Books.
A fairy garden can be a miniature garden in a bowl or a magical spot in the landscape where small plants, houses, and mini-furnishings are installed to give the illusion of a home for tiny creatures.
This whimsical paperback explains that you can design a fairy garden as part of your landscape by collecting a doll-size abode and mini accessories and placing them into a scene. The house can be homemade or purchased, the features can include acorns, pebbles, or dollhouse furnishings.
Photos, planting ideas and fairy-scaping suggestions will help you with the project.
“Mini Encyclopedia of Garden Ponds: How to plan, construct and maintain a vibrant pond that will enhance your garden“, by Linda Adkins, $19.95, Firefly Books.
The first consideration in adding a pond to your garden is the type of pond you want: Wildlife, fish pond (over 222 gallons is mid-size), large (over 2,000 gallons), or a formal feature surrounded by hardscape such as rocks or a deck.
When the style and size decision is made, it is time to consider construction: Buy a form at the home improvement center, put liner into a shallow hole, build a concrete pond, or excavate a clay pond.
Pond features such as fountains, art, rocks, a quiet stream or a canopy add beauty. Filling the pond, maturing and testing the water, setting up pumps and filters all happen before plants and fish can be added.
Every topic from planning to planting and potential to problems is covered in this little paperback.
Container Gardening for All Seasons: Enjoy year-round color with 101 designs”, by Barbara Wise, $21.99, Cool Springs Press.
There are Ten Commandment topics of container gardening: Soil, sun, low-maintenance, plants, drainage, roots, size, fertilizer, pests, and water and they are all clearly presented with lists, diagrams and descriptions.
The recipes for beautiful containers give the sun preference, container size, difficulty level, shopping list, planting instructions, water and fertilizer needs.
Go shopping with this paperback in hand and you will be able to duplicate any of the recipes.

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