Saturday, January 14, 2012

Adventures In Gardening: Gardening Reads, A January Tradition

Has Old Man Winter returned from holiday? Yesterday morning we dropped more than 15* after starting the day at 50*f and had sleet & snow! Wind roared through the hills around us, crashing the wind chimes together & driving me to distraction (perhaps I have too many now?), knocked containers clear off the front porch and snapped the Flag as if it were a sheet hung on the line to dry. The rapidly changing weather also brought a flurry of feathers to the feeders & bird bath and sent the squirrels into a tizzy, all providing some exciting entertainment for the kitties in the house.

It was a perfect day to stay in and write, as the case may be, or read! Only instead of reading, I perused my collection of gardening related book (which snowballed into things like re-organizing shelves, updating my online reading list - you know how that goes). I love a good gardening read at any time of year really, but especially, it seems, in January. Typically at this time of year, here and at our home up north, the gardens are fully at rest for Winter and I'm in the midst of battling some kind of secondary infection (this year it's an inner ear infection) so reading is definitely on my agenda! (No, I'm still not quite ready to give in to that ever-growing stack of catalogs!)

Unlike with gardening, I've been an avid reader since I was a little girl. Reading was my "first love" in the hobby department, if you will. Of course, as my love of gardening has flourished over the last 12 or so years, so has my love of gardening books! (Not to mention the size of said collection). I have older traditional how-to's dating back decades which I still refer to & find solutions in, encyclopedia style references which are great for their inspirational photos, histories of specific flowers/gardens/gardeners; the list goes on & on!

The genres I enjoy reading most, however, are fiction novels with a gardening focus (or lots of garden descriptions) and gardening/farming memoirs. I love being transported to a garden, real or imagined, when mine is at rest (or when I'm unwell and unable to be out in mine which happens often). I love relating to the discoveries, struggles, joys & heartbreaks of those venturing into the worlds of gardening & farming, either for the first time or after a life-change, etc.. I got several title suggestions during #gardenchat a couple of weeks ago that I've added to my "to-read" list. (You can find my reading lists via my blog Diggin' Around by clicking here. This page is new and a work in progress, thank you for your patience). I'm always on the hunt for more!

Instead of boring you with bland details of books, I've created a slideshow (below) to show you bits & pieces of my collection: favorite gardening related novel reads & memoirs (and some I haven't read yet, but "keep meaning to"), what I'm reading now as well as some favorite oldies. *If the slideshow moves too quickly for you or is too small, just click on it and you'll be brought to the online album where you can look at each picture individually and enlarge them if you need to.*

So tell me, what are your favorite gardening/farming related reads, fiction & non? Please share with me below when leaving a comment, I'd love to hear them!

NJ Zones 7a & 6
Diggin' Around
New Jersey Through My Eyes


essuzy said...

Love reading this! Last week at public library I realized I have a better collection of gardening books than it does! Have you read Gertrude Jekyll's Lost Garden?

Native Gardener said...

Love this idea. Your slideshow is a great way to share what's on your garden bookshelf! Next, let's add some music!

Southern California Woman Rancher said...

Great garden shares to read love the slide show Annie

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Nice post! Reading this makes me ready for spring so I can garden and READ!

SolakNC said...

I'm currently lost in "Gathering-Memoir of a Seed Saver" by Diane Ott Whealy.

It's the story and history of the Seed Savers Exchange. Diane will also be the guest host on Twitter's #seedchat this Wednesday, Jan 18th at 9;00 Eastern. This will be one of the few chats I've participated in where I will sort of feel like I actually 'know' the host, since the way Diane wrote the book allows the reader to feel like they are/were part of the story. I highly recommend it to any gardener, especially those who strive to protect our past through seeds.

Tom Mann/@SolakNC

jchapstk said...

I prefer non-fiction. The Fragrant Year by Helen Van Pelt Wilson and Leonie Bell is my all time fave.

SolakNC said...

Hmmm - I left a comment here the other day and now it's gone. I'm currently reading "Gathering~Memoirs of a Seed Saver" by Diane Ott Whealy. The fascinating story behind the Seed Savers Exchange.

Jo said...

Testing comments.

Jo said...

First off I'd like to thank everyone for their patience while their comments were in limbo as our gracious & awesome administrator Brenda was away!

essuzy: I don't believe I've read Gertrude Jekyll's Lost Garden so I've added it to my list!

Thanks Native Gardener! Music, eh? I'm not sure I'm that slideshow savy yet lol! But who knows what the future holds? :o)

Thanks for the title mention Tom/SolakNC! Another added to my list :o)

Good to see you here Weekend Cowgirl!

jchapstk: I haven't heard of that one (yet another added to my list!) but it reminded me that I have The Scent Trail by Celia Lyttelton sitting on the livingroom shelf!

Jo said...

Thanks Annie! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!