Great reads for gardeners

By Pam Roy | Jan 23, 2013
Courtesy of: Pam Roy Wheelbarrows parked at a local farm wait to be put to work.

Too cold to get out into the garden? This is a great time of the year for the gardener to settle in with a garden book and educate, inspire and or entertain oneself in a warm, cozy spot at home or at a favorite coffee shop.

Learn to connect the inside of your home with the yard in “Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love” by Julie Moir Messervy. With lots of photos and examples, this entertaining book explores a variety of methods to create a better flow between the rooms in your home and the garden.

Each home and landscape offers several possibilities for creating a seamless connection between the areas, allowing you to enjoy a garden that draws you out into it in a welcoming manner. The author guides the reader to find their own comfort zone and find the pieces to help connect the inside to the outside.

With a title that gets quickly to the point, “Let it Rot: A Gardener’s Guide to Composting” by Stu Campbell is one of the many books available for those interested in home composting.

Though this book was written in 1998, it can still be found on the bookshelves of popular garden centers, as it has clear information that makes the process of dealing with compost easy to understand in an easy-to-read manner.

Make your own compost and use this to enrich the soil in your gardens, increasing the yield of vegetables and other produce.

Has the urban farm movement spread through your neighborhood yet? Are you smitten with an interest in how you can grow some of your own crops, preserve the food for year round use, perhaps have a few chickens?

“The Urban Farm Handbook” by Anne Cottrell and Joshua McNichols bills itself as a “City Slickers Resource Guide for Raising, Sourcing, Preparing and Trading What You Eat.”

This well-written book has hundreds of resources and tips appropriate to the Pacific Northwest. It also features a selection of recipes for delicious meals created from crops grown in your garden.

It is a great book to read through to help you plan out what to grow in your vegetable garden this year, where to plant which crops, and how to prepare the planting areas for maximum yield.

A must have for every local gardener is a manual put out by Seattle Tilth. The “Maritime Northwest Garden Guide” is a manual geared specifically to gardens in the Pacific Northwest.

This manual lists month-by-month garden tasks and can benefit both the beginning and experienced gardener and has been an essential part of my garden library for years.

Enjoy the quiet time our winter months bring; do some reading and get inspired for your best year in the garden ever!

Pam Roy, owner of Planscapes, has been a landscape designer and horticulturist for 30 years in the Northwest. Contact her at 425-252-9469 or go to

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