Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks for August

Get some inspiration on the garden that you can draw energy from, and tips on bee-keeping and positively aging.

Syndetics book coverThe simple home : a month-by-month guide to self-reliance, productivity and contentment / Rhonda Hetzel ; photography by Julie Renouf.
“Award-winning blogger Rhonda Hetzel shares the day-to-day practicalities of a simple life and shows you how to rediscover the heart of your home. With a year of monthly projects that make household management easier, Rhonda encourages you to set up good systems, make what you need and appreciate what you have. Learn how to stretch money further, safely clean your home and cook from scratch with 40 favourite recipes, including step-by-step guides to baking bread and making cheese. Whether you’re part of a family, living alone or thinking about retirement, this is an inspiring, indispensable guide to slowing down, taking stock of your life and finding pleasure and satisfaction at home” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHealing garden / David Kamp
“The idea of a ‘healing garden’ is well established in many developed countries as a specific form of landscape design method; it meets the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the people using the garden, as well as their caregivers, family members and friends. Shown through detailed theory and illustrations, the first part of this book focuses on the concept, types, and design considerations. The second part of the book provides insightful design descriptions, detailed plan drawings and photos showing the final, built projects on a wide range of types of healing gardens.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe garden wanderer / Julie Kinney ; photographs by Freedom Garvey-Warr & Chris Gurney.
“Take an armchair ride around a small corner of Australia’s south-west and discover some hidden treasures in gardens of the region. Julie Kinney has lived in the area for twenty years and has an intimate knowledge of its gardens, from grand visions to pristine bush properties. Visit with her and share her enthusiasm through a selection of stunning photographs by Freedom Garvey-Warr and Chris Gurney.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVictory gardens for bees : a DIY guide to saving the bees / Lori Weidenhammer.
“Who knew modern civilization may be brought down, not by plagues or war, but by bees? Or, more correctly, by no bees? This book investigates the growing problem of bee mortality and offers practical measures we can all take to help. Now that bees are facing unprecedented levels of die-off caused by a toxic mixture of environmental stresses, a community-based effort is needed to make gardens, fields and landscapes healthy sanctuaries for bees. Planning a bee-friendly space can provide a beautiful and bountiful selection of edible crops, native plants and fragrant ornamentals, as well as herbs that have medicinal properties for both pollinators and people…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo patterns needed : DIY couture from simple shapes / Rosie Martin.
“If you want to sew your own clothes but are put off by the idea of cutting out pattern pieces covered with dotted lines and symbols, this is the book for you. Using Rosie Martin’s innovative method, you begin with nothing but a rectangle, circle, or triangle of fabric and some basic body measurements. Next, follow the detailed step-by-step photographs and diagrams to complete your garment. You’ll need a sewing machine, but no special equipment or expensive fabrics. With plenty of variations suggested for each garment, there’s lots of room for your own creative touches, too.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFix your garden : how to make small spaces into green oases / Jane Moseley & Jackie Strachan ; illustrations by Clare Rollet.
“Don’t know what to do with a messy garden or bleak-looking balcony? Want to stake your claim on a little corner of a shared garden? No gardening experience whatsoever? This book is the perfect solution. Packed with tips and tricks to get your green fingers going, this beautifully illustrated little book will help you make the most of your outdoor space, even if you’ve only got a tiny windowbox. …With tips on garden design and how to conquer common pests and diseases, this is a crash course in getting your outdoor space sorted, and also contains information on houseplants so you can bring a little bit of the outdoors in.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKathryn at home : a guide to simple entertaining / Kathryn M. Ireland with Ithaka Roddam.
“Beyond pulling a room together with great fabrics and furniture pieces, Kathryn M. Ireland has an extraordinary talent for pulling together stunning tabletops and delicious meals. Here she celebrates good friends and great food in the French countryside and in southern California. In an elegant scrapbook style, she shares her notes and advice on entertaining, particularly outdoors. Join Kathryn and her talented friend Ithaka for a breakfast, lunchtime picnics, a candlelight dinner, afternoon tea, a barbecue, and a wedding–all interlaced with signature Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew small garden : contemporary principles, planting and practice / Noel Kingsbury ; photographs by Maayke de Ridder.
“Small gardens are a challenge to design and to keep looking good. This title aims to inspire and inform gardeners to make the most of their small spaces by looking at more than 50 contemporary and inspirational gardens, at how their designers have created them and how their owners use and develop them. In this serious review of the perennial subject, Noel explains the theory and practice of planting a small garden, he advocates on the use of containers, revitalises growing your own, and explains design tricks, storage solutions and vertical planting to help small garden owners maximise their small spaces…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterior inspiration : Scandinavia / Sonia Lucano ; [translated by David Wilson].
“Natural materials; neutral colours; clean, elegant lines: the Scandinavian look is one of the most popular in contemporary interior design. This book is the perfect introduction to its history and major practitioners, covering such great designers as Arne Jacobsen and Stig Lindberg, and such key furniture and textiles designers as Litala and Marimekko. It will also teach readers how to recreate Scandinavian style with 30 step-by-step DIY projects that show them how to customize furniture and common household objects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHappy retirement : the psychology of reinvention / Kenneth S. Shultz, PhD, with Megan Kaye and Mike Annesley.
“A practical, fully illustrated guide to planning and enjoying retirement, grounded in psychological research. Retirement can bring immense fulfillment but also can be a source of stress, especially today. Retirement: The Psychology of Reinvention uses psychological research and a unique visual style of infographics and illustrations to provide readers with a retirement roadmap just right for them.” (adapted from –Amazon.com.)