Home and Garden Recent Picks: What to do about everything

Although these new items include one book that will tell you what to do about everything – which is extremely handy – there are some more in-depth guides too. A couple I have my eye on teach how to build a wood fired oven – backyard pizza! – and how to cultivate a lawn that never needs to be mowed. Find your own projects below …

Syndetics book coverWhat to do about everything : a manual for domestic life / Barbara Toner.
What to Do About Everything is the ultimate guide to 21st century living. It covers everything from changing a tire to surviving divorce, and addresses all kinds of households, not only the traditional nuclear family. Applying researched information and empathy to all aspects of domestic life, this book ensures that anyone with a roof over their head can find the help they need.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving in a nutshell : posh and portable decorating ideas for small spaces / Janet Lee ; photography by Aimée Herring.
“A do-it-yourself guide to transforming the smallest of spaces into fun and functional living areas easily and economically features tips on organization, personalization, and using colors and vintage materials.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBird-friendly nest boxes and feeders / Paul Meisel.
“Invite feathered visitors to your yard with these simple projects. Meisel  offers a range of unfussy birdhouses and feeders. Each project is well organized, including lists of materials, templates with dimensions, and instructions. Knowledge of woodworking is assumed, though Meisel provides lots of useful information about materials and the birds themselves. This slim volume delivers, with great dimensional charts for attracting specific bird species. While more bare-bones than fanciful birdhouse books like Richard T. Banks’s Designer Birdhouses, this is a solid addition. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverEnvisioning the garden : line, scale, distance, form, color, and meaning / Robert Mallet ; drawings by Yves Poinsot ; translation by Bryan Woy. 
“An expert shares practical, easily achieved principles for making beautiful gardens.What style to give a garden and how best to lay it out are perennial puzzles for creators of gardens. Gardener/designer Robert Mallet shows how the basic elements of design—line, scale, distance, shape, color, and other sensory associations—can open the viewer’s outlook toward broad perspectives or, conversely, can lock us up in a cage. Reviewing all these elements, Mallet explains what really works, offering a range of practical ideas that can be adapted to visually enlarge space and liberate the mind.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gardener & the grill : the bounty of the garden meets the sizzle of the grill / Karen Adler & Judith Fertig.
“Maintaining a brand can sometimes be a thankless proposition. Adler and Fertig, better known in the previous decade as the BBQ Queens, wore tiaras in their 2005 The BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue and proclaimed, “We grill and smoke like girls.” Seven years and several cookbooks later, they appear to have taken a Shakespearean tumble and are now humble gardeners, “two women who love to cook and especially grill.” It is indeed a matured collection featuring a host of complicated taste combinations.  (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

Syndetics book coverBuild your own wood-fired oven / Alan Watt.
“This book is a treasure trove of guidance and wisdom, advice based on years of practical and personal experience. It is a comprehensive guide to building your own wood-fired oven. It offers a brief history of wood-fired ovens, basic design considerations, and a guide to starting your wood fired oven project.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautiful no-mow yards : 50 amazing lawn alternatives / Evelyn J. Hadden.
“In many American towns and cities, the steady hum of lawn mowers and gasoline-powered weed whackers constitutes a summer symphony.  Drawing examples from expert gardeners from around the world, garden design expert Hadden (Shrink Your Lawn) suggests a number of ways that lawns can be replaced by meadow and prairie gardens, rain gardens, or edible gardens, among others. She then takes us step-by-step through the process of converting a lawn to a garden and maintaining it, offering very thorough recommendations for a significant variety of plants that thrive in various types of gardens. With refreshing zeal, the author urges us to rethink our yards, helping us to see that a lawnless or a less-lawn landscape can fascinate us with its beauty, complexity, and variability. (Feb. 7) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)