1. Backyard Composting (Harmonious Technologies, 1995). To set up your first compost pile or refine your existing one, this is the guide.
2. Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte (Storey, 1998). Learn the secrets of companion planting. Published in 1975 and it’s been popular ever since.
3. The Findhorn Garden by the Findhorn Community (Findhorn Press, 2003). A timeless classic that celebrates earth and spirit.
4. Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway and John Todd (Chelsea Green, 2001). This permaculture guide helps you design a home garden that’s a complete ecosystem.
5. Gardening with a Wild Heart by Judith Larner Lowry (University of California, 1999). This poetic book takes you on the author’s journey to reestablishing California’s lost native species.
6. Landscaping Revolution by Andy and Sally Wasowski (Contemporary Books, 2000). Replace your labor-intensive lawn with native plants that will please even your neighbors.
7. Rodale’s All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening (Rodale Books, 1993). This big green bible covers all the basics.
8. Spiritual Gardening by Peg Streep (Time-Life Books, 2003). Create sacred space and grow a sanctuary for the soul.
9. Taylor’s Master Guide to Landscaping by Rita Buchanan (Houghton Mifflin, 2000). Not just about plants, this book helps you design lighting, fencing, walkways, and outdoor “rooms.”
10. The Undaunted Garden by Lauren Springer (Fulcrum, 2000). The best techniques to avoid wilting and lilting, even in nasty climates.
Let your fingers do the walking
Questions about bamboo paneling, native plants and seeds, or graywater systems? Refer to Green Building Products, a new directory for homeowners and builders, co-published by BuildingGreen and New Society Publishers (2005). The handy guide includes more than 1,400 products selected by Environmental Building News editors—not because manufacturers paid for a listing. Criteria used to assess products include recycled content, FSC-certified wood, lack of toxic constituents, reduction of construction impacts, energy or water savings, and contribution to a healthy indoor environment.
Green Building Products, $34.95. (800) 861-0954 and selected book sellers.