professorroush
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Hard to decide exactly my favorite. My short list is:

The Undaunted Garden; Lauren Springer
Noah's Garden; Sara Stein
On Gardening; Henry Mitchell
In Search of Old Roses; Thomas Christopher
Second Nature; Michael Pollan
Gardening for a Lifetime; Sydney Eddison
Down to Earth; Helen Dillon
A Gentle Plea for Chaos; Mirabel Osler
Mrs. GreenThumbs; Cassandra Danz
Garden Musings; James Roush (sorry, had to include my own book).

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rainbowgardener
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next book club book?

I'm now reading [url=https://www.amazon.com/Omnivores-Dilemma-Natural-History-Meals/dp/0143038583/thehelpfulgar-20]Omnivore's Dilemma[/url], by Michael Pollan. It's terrific about what is really involved in our current industrial agriculture methods, what big business "organic" farming really looks like, what true sustainable agriculture looks like, etc. It is a great combination of hard science and nearly poetic writing. Entertaining reading with tons of information.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Got a new one; [url=https://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Dragons-Gate-Cultivated-World/dp/0553378031/thehelpfulgar-20]Gardening At The Dragons Gate[/url], by Wendy Johnson. While this is a study in Zen teachings as well as a gardening tome, the focus is far more on the latter, and the knowledge is well researched and presented. It is the organic holistic approach we preach so much here, offered with the same care and love we might give it. I feel a sure kinship to this woman and this book; as if we were taught from the same teachers (which in some ways we were; Fukuoka-sensei makes an appearance here once or twice).

Five stars.

HG
Scott Reil

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Thankd ofr everyone's posts, now I have some more books to add to my "to read" list!

For gardening info, I mostly use NC County Extension Web site. The one general refeence book I have is Burpee - The Complete Vegetable and Herb Gardener - A guide to Growing your garden organically - I think it has good general info.

I have been reading books with gardening as a theme:

I liked Joan Dye Gussow's: [url=https://www.amazon.com/This-Organic-Life-Confessions-Homesteader/dp/1931498245/thehelpfulgar-20]This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader[/url] and [url=https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Older-Chronicle-Death-Vegetables/dp/1603582924/thehelpfulgar-20]Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables[/url]. She is an inspiration for eating local and growing your own food.

I just finished My Empire of Dirt by Manny Howard (didn't like it), but this book did introduce me to Wendell Berry and I have requested one of his books from the library.

Other books I have read this year are: [url=https://www.amazon.com/Heirloom-Notes-Accidental-Tomato-Farmer/dp/B005UVUXKG/thehelpfulgar-20]Heirloom: Notes from an Accidental Tomato Farmer[/url] by Tim Stark and [url=https://www.amazon.com/64-Tomato-Fortune-Endured-Existential/dp/B002PJ4IW0/thehelpfulgar-20]The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden[/url] - these were both good reads.

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Hey Amelia

Just finished [url=https://www.amazon.com/Unsettling-America-Culture-Agriculture/dp/0871568772/thehelpfulgar-20]The Unsettling Of America[/url] by Wendell Berry and I am impressed with his mind. While I am likely to stay with his non-fiction works for a while, I will certainly head towards his fictional works in the future as his prose is simply wonderful. I have just read this one (wondering how I might have missed him all these years), but recommend it highly as a tome of truth (easily indentified by the fact it is as relevant and topical forty years later as the day it was written, perhaps even more so).

Enjoy the reading and let me know if you have any other good WB books for me; there's heaps.

HG
Scott Reil

ameliat
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:Hey Amelia

Just finished The Unsettling Of America by Wendell Berry HG
This is the book I reserved from the library! I guess it seems like a good place to start when looking over all the books he has written. I just started it, but so far I am learning a lot. It may have taken almost 40 yrs, but I am confident that the writings of WB and others are making a difference in 2011.

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Currently reading [url=https://www.amazon.com/What-Matters-Economics-Renewed-Commonwealth/dp/1582436061/thehelpfulgar-20]What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth[/url] by Wendell, even meatier than the aforementioned. Not so much about gardening as agriculture, but about reducing agriculture to a scale more like gardening (he is awful fond of Amish and Mennonite farms for just this reason). Good stuff.

HG
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rainbowgardener
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LOVE Wendell Berry! In the meantime, I just finished [url=https://www.amazon.com/Noahs-Garden-Restoring-Ecology-Backyards/dp/B005UVRHK0/thehelpfulgar-20]Noah's Garden[/url], by Sara Stein, which is wonderful! It is a similar message to [url=https://www.amazon.com/Bringing-Nature-Home-Wildlife-Expanded/dp/0881929921/thehelpfulgar-20]Bringing Nature Home[/url], about why we need to be planting natives, but much more personal and beautiful writing and I think in places a better exposition of all the complex interactions going on in an ecosystem.

I just discovered she has a follow up volume: [url=https://www.amazon.com/Planting-Noahs-Garden-Adventures-Backyard/dp/0395709601/thehelpfulgar-20]Planting Noah's Garden[/url], which I have not seen yet, but am anticipating!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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farmerlon
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My current favorite is [url=https://www.amazon.com/New-Organic-Grower-Techniques-Gardeners/dp/093003175X/thehelpfulgar-20]the New Organic Grower[/url], by Eliot Coleman.
His approach to "organic" agriculture is very much in line with my philosophy, and I find this book is absolutely loaded with practical advice and resources.

The book has an emphasis on commercial production, but there is bountiful information and insights that can be applied by the home gardener as well.

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Ms. Stein's books are faves for some time now, I have both...

Eliot is a National Treasure; I have customers adn friends who he shares info with all the time. An ubermensch... 8)

He has me thinking about hoops for the garden...

HG
Scott Reil

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Wife was dusting bookshelves this evening and roughly determined I have several thousand dollars worth of gardening books. "Where do they come from?" she muses aloud, as if to herself, but we both know better...
Scott,
My brother has the same addiction. I bet he orders at least two books per month. The latest, I've seen anyway, is a book by Dick Strawbridge. I've forgotten the title. If you think about it, a lot of the books are $35. to $50. so they add up fast.

This is my fist posting in Gardening Books. I don't hangout here because I'm half the reader that I should be and my writing probably shows it. :)

Anyway, One book that has influence my property is a book by Robert Kourik, designing and maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally. "Transforming your home with beautiful, bountiful landscape using natural systems"

Eric

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Yeah, it's a disease, but a useful one, like obsessive cleaning...

Eric having seen pics of your place, I think you might like Lee Reich's [url=https://www.amazon.com/Landscaping-Fruit-Strawberry-blueberry-paradise/dp/1603420967]Landscaping With Fruit[/url] or his [url=https://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Fruits-Every-Garden-Reich/dp/088192623X]Uncommon Fruits For Every Garden[/url]. I suspect you would like both. I think you'd like Lee, too. His first book,[url=https://www.amazon.com/Weedless-Gardening-Lee-Reich/dp/0761116966]Weedless Gardening[/url] is how you and I garden. Not bad for an old USDA soil researcher. Just like F-san, his scientific study brings him to the place of less being more...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

ameliat
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:Currently reading[url=https://www.amazon.com/What-Matters-Economics-Renewed-Commonwealth/dp/1582436061]What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth[/url] by Wendell, even meatier than the aforementioned. Not so much about gardening as agriculture, but about reducing agriculture to a scale more like gardening (he is awful fond of Amish and Mennonite farms for just this reason). Good stuff.

HG
I just finished the Unsettling of America and was checking back here to get this title. I am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for sharing!

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Cool, Amelia! This is what this thread is for!
8)

RBG, finished Omnivore yet? What say you? A goodie, eh?

Have you read Second Nature yet? Sort of Mike's prequel to getting the fervor for home raised, his inculcation to the organic as it were. One of my favorites...

HG
Scott Reil

ameliat
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ameliat wrote:
The Helpful Gardener wrote:Currently reading[url=https://www.amazon.com/What-Matters-Economics-Renewed-Commonwealth/dp/1582436061/thehelpfulgar-20]What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth[/url] by Wendell, even meatier than the aforementioned. Not so much about gardening as agriculture, but about reducing agriculture to a scale more like gardening (he is awful fond of Amish and Mennonite farms for just this reason). Good stuff.

HG
I just finished the Unsettling of America and was checking back here to get this title. I am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for sharing!
Unfortunately, my library doesn't have this title, but from the mention of WB"s fiction I am now reading a collection of his short stories called "that distant land" it is a collection of somewhat interconnect stories in chronological order starting in the 1888 and ending in 1986. It centers around a small country town in KY. I am really enjoying it. His stories bring you to a time and place. I just finished a story about a man walking home after being away fighting in the WWII - it was wonderful.

ameliat
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I just finished another interesting book, Fruitless Fall. It is about honey bees and the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has been widespread in the US.

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[url=https://www.wired.com/wiredscience/tag/imidacloprid/]Interesting side note to the last book topic...[/url]

HG
Scott Reil

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BarbaraParis
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Gardening 1-2-3 ... the green one... It's a book from Home Depot and it's the best book I have ... it's excellent for beginners and for gardeners with more experience it covers from planing a garden to fertilization, pruning etc... It has a lot of plants and how to grow them. It has a very nice guide on how to take care of roses and how to make a water garden... It's an excellent book and a MUST HAVE ! :D
What do you get if you divide the circumference
of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.

calvinjane
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I like to collect old gardening books and have quite a few - can't name a favorite. As for the books that I use the most, and these are Michigan specific and a series put out by Lone Pine Publishing. The series includes:

Perennials for Michigan
Roses for Michigan
Tress & Shrubs for Michigan
Annuals for Michigan

I beleive that Lone Pine Publishing also has books for other specific areas. I find them to be a great reference and have great pictures.

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froggy
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I like picking up old gardening books at used book stores etc...
Gotta love references where you clearly see it was a different time - as in home mixed fertilizers and pesticides etc - i doubt you could still go to an apothecary and ask for the ingredients listed...
or i have one that hails the qualities of asbestos cement for containers...

I find the illustrations way more helpful than in most newer books. Heck, photographs may look nice, but a properly done illustration can make things so much clearer (but it would cost the publisher more :) )

The older books also tend to offer you more incentive to "do" instead of "buy"... oh and they usually come in around $4 a piece :P - so no 1000s worth of gardening books here...
;)

Artemesia
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Favorite books

The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by Rodale
The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener by Burpee
Taylor's Guide to Fruits and Berries
American Horticultural Society, Pests & Diseases
by Pippa Greenwood
Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth
Biological Control of Weeds and Plant Diseases
by Elroy L. Rice
Roots Demystified by Robert Kourik
Lessons in Nature by Malcolm Beck

I like these books because they provide breadth and depth of detail. They provide ideas that are not the most popular, but they work.

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farmerlon
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calvinjane wrote:I like to collect old gardening books ....
I also enjoy reading old gardening books.
However, I would caution anyone (especially those new to gardening) to be very careful and double-check recommendations [especially any recommendations about chemicals] before following the advice given in older books.

As an example, I have enjoyed the Victory Garden television series through the years. For fun, I started acquiring old books that were published as companions to that TV series... I suppose that I enjoy the nostalgia of that sort of thing.
But, many of the old books from the 1970s and 80s have information that is in stark contrast to the Organic gardening that I practice.
A beginning gardener would probably come away from those books thinking that it is impossible to garden without a supply of chemical fertilizers and pesticides ... not to mention that many of the chemicals sited are no longer available (banned). :shock:

So, yes, enjoy old garden books, but just be aware of the potential pitfalls.

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Excellent advice Farmer Lon. Couldn't have said it better...

HG
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applestar
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*waving madly*
!! Hi Scott !! :D

WildcatNurseryman
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Easily the two most important books to the nursery industry are Manual of Woody Landscape Plants 6th edition by Dr. Michall Dirr and Armitage's Garden Perennials by Allen Armitage. To a lesser degree Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an illustrated encyclopedia (Dirr's Tree's and Shrub's for Warmer Climates: an illustrated encyclopedia, for those of you in zone 8+) is VERY GOOD as well.
Generally ANYTHING that TIMBER PRESS puts on the shelf is exemplary.

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Great minds think alike, as they say. Some of those books you recommend are on our [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/tips/03/book-2.html]recommended gardening books list[/url].

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LadyHails
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I haven't read as many as those of you who are established gardeners, being a bit of a newbie, but one I found really useful in my first ventures was "Back to the Basics: Traditional Garden Wisdom: Time-Tested Tips and Techniques for Creating a Natural, Sustainable Outdoor Space" What drew me to the book was "traditional" and being published by Reader's Digest.

There are many little side notes; they covered so many things that other instructional books just didn't touch on. Reading it was like having a mentor.

I've been hunting down other Back to Basics books as well, like "Back to Basics: Traditional Kitchen Wisdom: Techniques and Recipes for Living A Simpler, More Sustainable Life" Which has inspired some of the produce and herb choices in my garden.

Everyone's posts have been really helpful in my search for gardening knowledge. I've started my own reading list, which is growing exponentially.

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EnchantedDaisy
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P. Allen Smith

I have all of P. Allen Smith's books and I just love them. They are beautiful resources for me. I have learned a lot in the areas of garden design and color theory from his books.

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ElizabethB
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I just finished "One Straw Revolution". A great read just don't know how applicable his therories are to urban gardening. I have not yet pursued the subject on the "One Straw" forum. I did enjoy the read. I have a much treasured book from my college days in the early 1970's. It is a plant encyclopedia. The cover and the table of contents are long gone. The pages are tattered and soil stained. This book was my plant bible long before the internet. Until recently I had a library of plant books. Like 30+ books. I finally donated them to a local non profit thrift store. With the info available on the internet I no longer used my reference books and needed the room. I did keep my much used and much loved encyclopedia.

I am very interested in some of the books that you guys and gals have recommended. I am an avid reader and will look into your recommendations.

BTW - Love Square Foot Gardening. I have both versions.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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EnchantedDaisy
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ElizabethB wrote:
BTW - Love Square Foot Gardening. I have both versions.
Me too! Love them. My first childhood garden of my own was a square foot garden.

HamptonsGarden
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Re: What are your favorite gardening books and why?

Here are my suggestions and favorites:

Michael A. Dirr, Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs
Tracy DiSabato-Aust, The Well-Tended Perennial Garden
David Austin, et al., Botanica's Roses
Piet Oudolf, Planting the Natural Garden
Piet Oudolf, Designing with Plants
Oehme van Sweden, Bold Romantic Gardens
John Brookes, Natural Landscapes
Jeff Cox, Perennial All Stars
Rick Darke, Timber Press Pocket Guide to Ornamental Grasses
Noel Kingsbury, Natural Garden Style
Ken Druse, The Natural Shade Garden
Beth Chatto, The Green Tapestry
Hugh Johnson, Principles of Gardening
Rand B. Lee, Pleasures of the Cottage Garden
Christopher Brickell, The American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training
Michael A. Dirr, Hydrangeas for American Gardens

I love gardening books and love the inspiration and education they provide.

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vinyl217
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Re: What are your favorite gardening books and why?

Some that I reference regularly:
Louise Riotte: "Carrots Love Tomatoes"
Ron Engeland: "Growing Great Garlic"
Mel Bartholomew: "Square Foot Gardening"
DeWitt & Bosland: "The Pepper Garden"

I recently read Steve Solomon's book "Gardening When It Counts" which was insightful, but not real full of practical information I could use in my current setup.
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