Weather Forecast


Good garden reads

By Robin Trott - U of M Extension Educator

What do gardeners do in the off season? Feed birds, dream, plan and read!  

I’d like to introduce you to several American Horticultural Society (AHS) 2013 Book Award winners. 

If you are looking for a good garden read, maybe one of these tomes will catch your fancy.

A Guide to Bearded Irises by Kelly Norris: In this comprehensive and definitive guide, iris expert Kelly Norris provides an accessible yet authoritative overview of these deservedly popular plants. What makes this one truly extraordinary is the author’s “unbridled enthusiasm,” said Marty Wingate of AHS.

The Organic Seed Grower by John Navazio: This is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using organic farming practices. Though this book is aimed at seed producers on a larger scale than the average gardener, all book committee members agreed that the issue at its core – food crop biodiversity – is a crucial topic for a much wider audience.

A Rich Spot of Earth by Peter Hatch: This engaging, first-person account of the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s edible garden at Monticello is “unquestionably a superb work of scholarship,” said Rand Lee of AHS. It pays homage to Jefferson’s contributions to our national gardening heritage as well as a treasury of information about the many varieties of plants he experimented with in his Virginia garden.

The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray: The riveting stories of ordinary but dedicated gardeners working to preserve our seed heritage from the “dustbins of history” hold an irresistibly empowering, hopeful message. “This book immediately drove me to action,” said Kathy LaLiberte of AHS, who was inspired to seek out rare sweet potato varieties to grow. 

Until next time, happy reading and happy gardening!