My garden is covered in at least 7 inches of snow today, but I still have my gardener hat on (figuratively, that is). That’s because these cold winter weeks when it feels like spring will never arrive are the perfect time to plan this year’s garden—and gazing at images of the lovely plants you’re going to grow is the perfect respite from staring out the window at an icy landscape.
Throughout the year, I mark pages in magazines that feature gardens I like, so this time of year I go back to those dog-eared issues to see what caught my eye. That means pulling out piles of Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, Organic Gardening, Mother Earth News, and (of course!) Natural Home.
After I finish with my magazines, I always flip through the pages of the one gardening book I own and adore: Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.
This year, however, I’m thinking about adding to my gardening book collection—particularly after discovering all the great books due out in February 2010:
The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way, by Fern Marshall Bradley, Barbara W. Ellis, and Deborah L. Martin
Organic Gardening for the 21st Century: A Complete Guide to Growing Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Flowers, by Frances Lincoln
Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: How to Grow Like a Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well by Turning Your Back (or Front or Side) Yard Into an Organic Produce Garden, by Sal Gilbertie and Larry Sheehan
Talking Dirt: The Dirt Diva’s Down-to-Earth Guide to Organic Gardening, by Annie Spiegelman
Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces, by Gayla Trail
Of course, if you can’t wait for February to purchase those great titles, there are plenty of gardening books already on the shelves that offer hardworking tips, garden plans, and great images. Here are a few I’m hoping to peruse this year:
The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! by Carleen Madigan
Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener: A Guide to Growing Your Garden Organically, by Karan Davis Cutler, Cavagnarok David, Barbara W. Ellis, and David Cavagnaro
Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening, by Louise Riotte
Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long, by Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch, and Kathy Bray
Your Backyard Herb Garden: A Gardener’s Guide to Growing Over 50 Herbs Plus How to Use Them in Cooking, Crafts, Companion Planting and More, by Miranda Smith
Organic Gardening, by Geoff Hamilton
The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food, by Tanya L. K. Denckla
And, just for fun, before I can get out and dig in the dirt, I’m thinking of snuggling up with a copy of The Gardener’s Bed-Book: Short and Long Pieces to Be Read in Bed by Those Who Love Green Growing Things, by Richardson Wright and Dominique Browning.
What books and magazines are on your gardening must-read list?