Books, Reading

Dishing Up Dirt: Gardening Books to Get Your Hands Filthy

Here’s the dirt: the May long weekend is almost here! That means, in fine Canadian tradition, we gardeners will be out in droves. With the threat of snow and frost (hopefully) behind us, it is time to plant. Greenhouses will be swamped as sprouts and seeds fly off the shelves. Like hibernating bears we poke our heads outside, sniff the air and lumber out to enjoy the green unfurling before us. It is time to go outside and play in the dirt.

Gardening is spring fever at its most potent, and soon it will be reaching epidemic proportions.

Conventional wisdom up North dictates this weekend as the safest time for planting your garden. Anytime sooner can be a gamble. Normally, I like to play garden roulette: tucking my seeds into soil that has just thawed, living dangerously… More often than not, my wager pays off in blooms and produce long before my neighbours. Due to some other big projects though (like the wedding cake I documented on my Instagram profile) this year I am joining the crowd. At least I know what I’m getting into.

Joining the crowd it’s all too easy to get swept up in all the excitement. This usually ends up with me buying plants I don’t like (my family hates zucchini, and I can only eat so much of it), or plants just dying a prolonged and miserable death. Thus, my battle plan is as follows:

  1. Only buy plants/seeds I love. Unless it’s beautiful, or I know we’ll eat it, don’t bother.
  2. Books- not that friendly sales person- are my best guide in how to manage the garden season successfully.

Already (my love of gardening being what it is) I’ve mentioned how to develop your own green thumb. Some of my favourite books of garden inspiration have been shared. Let’s face it: like anything else, not all garden books are helpful. Some you simply skim the pages and that’s it. Others you take home, consult over and read again and again.

Guess which kind I’m sharing with you today? Let’s dish up the dirt on gardening books.

You Dig It?

Bookaneer pick

“Lois Hole’s Vegetable Favorites” by Lois Hole

This author has taught me more about gardening than anyone else. Simple, straight forward, and with a sense of humour, this book is fantastic! Thanks to Lois Hole, from these pages my garden transformed from a dense jungle of weeds into a lush vegetable patch.

While she has written books for nearly everything you can grow in a garden (and I own them all), this is the one I use the most. No matter the question, Hole has got you covered: soil, different techniques and an A-Z vegetable guide, and how to care for all of them, you will be set to grow a crop of anything your gardening heart desires.

Bookaneer pick

“Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert

Yet another gorgeous storybook that my kids and I love to pour over! Given its faded cover, this is a well-loved story time favourite. Each time we read it, all of us want to go out and dig up some dirt.

Beautiful illustrations, a simple story chronicling the adventure of gardening… Lois Ehlert has done it again!

Play in the Dirt

What are you going to grow? Even a simple container can help soothe the need for green and growing things if you don’t have a bit of earth to call your own.

But now you must excuse me. It is time to go out and get my hands dirty. With book in hand I’ll be planting with confidence.

I’m off to go play in the dirt.




2 thoughts on “Dishing Up Dirt: Gardening Books to Get Your Hands Filthy

  1. Alright, you have convinced me to get off my butt and get a garden plot this year again.
    Honestly, I’ve even got Sam excited about the plot this year so maybe it won’t be so bad.

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