September is Bee Aware Month

Spring is here at long last and that means it’s time to Bee Aware!
Did you know that without bee pollination we’d have no apples, blueberries, coffee, chocolate or even jeans? These are all foods and products pollinated by busy little bees and now they need our help. Not only do bees produce a wonderful, natural food source, they also play a significant role in supporting our food chain.
We want to do our part to help raise awareness for our buzzing little friends and how important they are so we’ve thrown together some tips and resources to help you get started.

These new bee books are a must see:

Syndetics book coverBackyard bees : a guide for the beginner beekeeper / Doug Purdie.
“Just about anyone can keep bees. All you need is a bit of space in your backyard (or on your rooftop) and a little love for the creatures that pollinate the vegie patches of your neighbourhood. Once introduced to the charms of beekeeping and the taste of warm honeycomb direct from the hive, you’ll be hooked. Backyard Bees is the ultimate guide to installing and maintaining a hive through the seasons. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSave the bees with natural backyard hives/ Rob and Chelsea McFarland, founders of HoneyLove.org.
Save the Bees will walk readers through the inexpensive and easy to use equipment, caring for the bees as they grow their colony, harvesting honey and prepping their bees for the cooler months. With the Save the Bees approach, readers will learn to attract wild bees and with minimal upkeep, the hives will pollinate local crops and flowers and provide a bounty of delicious, all-natural, backyard honey.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe rooftop beekeeper : a scrappy guide to keeping urban honeybees / Megan Paska with Rachel Wharton 
“This useful manual, at once a good read and a pretty object, features a relatable first-person narrative, checklists, numbered how-tos, beautiful illustrations and 75 color photographs. Covering all aspects of urban beekeeping, this book also provides readers with plenty of sweet recipes for delicious treats, tonics, and beauty products to make with home-harvested honey.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLetters to a beekeeper / Steve Benbow, Alys Fowler.
“Part beautifully designed coffee-table book, part manifesto, this collection of engaging letters, emails, texts, recipes, notes and glorious photos creates a record of the trials, tribulations, reward and joys of working with, rather than against, nature. For lazy gardeners to novice beekeepers (and everyone in between), this is the best rule-breaking, wildlife-friendly, guerilla, urban gardening insect-identifying, honey-tasting, wax-dripping, epistolary how-to book you could ever hope to own.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe urban wildlife gardener : how to attract birds, bees, butterflies, and more / Emma Hardy.
“Packed with planting ideas and simple gardening techniques to attract birds, bees, butterflies, beneficial bugs, and more to your outside space, if you would like to attract wildlife to your garden, you need to learn which plants to grow, how to provide nesting areas, when to prune shrubs or mow the grass and more.  No matter what size your outside space–from a single windowbox to a full-sized backyard, The Urban Wildlife Gardener contains hundreds of easy-to-follow tips and techniques, simple projects, and essential plant know-how.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Also, don’t miss the September issue of New Zealand Gardener from one of our branches or borrow an online copy through PressReader.
Wondering what happened to our Central Library rooftop bees? Don’t worry they have been hibernating all winter but will be out there looking for pollen soon so get planting.

If you want more info or want to see what’s on during Bee Aware Month, check out these websites:

Apiculture New Zealand
Bee Aware Month Facebook Page
Wellington City Council Bee Aware Month Info
Wellington Beekeepers Association
News – Dominion Post, 7 Sept 2016

So let’s all help spread the bee love and don’t forget to tag your social media posts with #beeawarenz17

Sowing seeds for Christmas

Spring is at the door and it’s perfect timing to sow some seeds and grow plants indoors. You can grow herbs, beetroot, broad beans, cabbage, rocket, onion and tomatoes now and harvest for Christmas.

Syndetics book coverYear-round indoor salad gardening : how to grow nutrient-dense, soil-sprouted greens in less than 10 days / Peter Burke.
“You can grow all the fresh salad greens you need for the winter months (or throughout the entire year) with no lights, no pumps, and no greenhouse. The result: healthy, homegrown salad greens at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the market. The secret: start them in the dark. Growing “Soil Sprouts”– a method that encourages a long stem without expansive roots, and provides delicious salad greens in just seven to ten days, way earlier than any other method, with much less work. All you need is a windowsill or two. (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomegrown herb garden : a guide to growing and culinary uses / Lisa Baker Morgan and Ann McCormick.
“Take your home cooking to the next level by incorporating fresh homegrown herbs! You don’t need lots of space for a huge herb garden, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fresh herbs at the grocery store or farmers’ market. With Homegrown Herb Garden , you can choose the herb or herbs you will use the most and build your herb garden around them. Start with an overview of how to grow, harvest, and store herbs. Then, learn how to handle each herb and what flavors they work well with. The culinary section includes how to prepare and use your herbs, plus savory and sweet recipes to feature them in. Choose your favorite herbs, learn to grow them successfully, and never be at a loss for what to do with them!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlantiful : start small, grow big with 150 plants that spread, self-sow, and overwinter / Kristin Green.
” Plantiful shows you how to have an easy, gorgeous garden packed with plants by simply making the right choices. Kristen Green highlights plants that help a garden quickly grow by self-sowing and spreading and teaches you how to expand the garden and extend the life of a plant by overwintering. The book features plant profiles for 50 self-sowers (including columbine, milkweed, and foxglove), 50 spreaders (such as clematis, snow poppy, and spearmint), and 50 plants that overwinter (including lemon verbena, begonia, and Chinese hibiscus). Additional gardening tips, design ideas, and inspirational photos will motivate and inspire gardeners of all levels.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new kitchen garden : how to grow some of what you eat no matter where you live / Mark Diacono.
“Mark captures the spirit of adventure and imagination of those growing food in the twenty-first century. He takes ideas from gardens around the world, including that of his own home, Otter Farm in Devon, with its unique blend of orchards, vineyards, forest gardens, edible hedges, perennial garden and veg patch. Mark shows you the full exciting breadth of what a kitchen garden can be. Everything is here – the tools, the techniques, the ideas and the knowledge – to enable you to realise that vision of your own kitchen garden.Whether you have a few pots of chillies or a community farm, whether you wish to plant in ordered rows or create an edible jungle, The New Kitchen Garden is for you.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourtyard kitchen : recipes and growing tips for herbs and potted fruits / Natalie Boog.
“80+ recipes using herbs and potted fruits – for urban foodies who crave a taste of the country in their home-cooking” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrowing beautiful food : a gardener’s guide to cultivating extraordinary vegetables and fruit / written and photographed by Matthew Benson.
“Author Matthew Benson restored a time-worn gentleman’s farm and operates a CSA on one small acre of the land, offering vegetables, orchard fruit, cut flowers, herbs, eggs, and honey from the property. His garden-to-table operation offers an edible feast of textures, colors, and aromas and has grown into a way to feed others. Growing Beautiful Food is both inspiration and instruction, with detailed growing advice for 50 remarkable crops, a memorable narrative, and evocative imagery. It’s a photographic journey through four seasons in the garden, fueling the dream that you can connect to the land by growing your own food. Whether gardeners, families, farmers, or chefs, readers will cometo the table motivated by the flavor of homegrown, the message of self sufficiency, and the beautiful food that’s as local as their backyards.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe garden forager / Adele Nozedar ; illustrated by Lizzie Harper.
“In high-end restaurants and in the home, more and more cooks have discovered the joy of using natural, foraged ingredients. But, what few realise is that you don’t necessarily have to go rootling in hedgerows or woodlands to find them.  Most gardeners are completely unaware that what they have actually planted is a rather exotic kitchen garden. The Garden Forager explores over 40 of the most popular garden plants that have edible, medicinal or even cosmetic potential, accompanied by recipes, remedies, and interesting facts, and illustrated throughout in exquisite watercolours by Lizzie Harper. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourtyard kitchen : recipes and growing tips for herbs and potted fruits / Natalie Boog.
“80+ recipes using herbs and potted fruits – for urban foodies who crave a taste of the country in their home-cooking” (Syndetics summary)

Garden for Winter and Plan for Spring

Autumn is well and truly here and we can start thinking about getting the garden ready to withstand those winter woes. We can also prepare for the spring by planning what bulbs to plant in the backyard. Our selection will help you do these two things and more: how to make your garden beautiful for both seasons. We also have books for you to get your home ready for a Mid-Winter Feast with plenty of Kiwi recipes to make the occasion a success. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverBackyard winter gardening : vegetables fresh and simple, in any climate, without artificial heat or electricity – the way it’s been done for 2,000 years / Caleb Warnock.
“Without fresh, all-natural winter gardening in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries people would have starved to death. The good news is that feeding your family fresh food from your own backyard garden all winter long is far easier and less time-consuming than you might imagine. And you won’t find better-tasting food at any price!” (Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe winter garden : structure, planting and romance in the garden in winter / Eluned Price, photographs by Clive Nichols.
“After the exuberance of summer, the garden in its winter transformation is every gardener’s greatest challenge. The Winter Garden looks at the ways of creating a garden that is beautiful in adversity, when the weather is cold and inclement. With the loss of the rich colours of autumn, it explores the importance of shape and form, of choosing trees as much for their leafless winter frosts as for their summer foliage and textures. Using beautiful and varied gardens as examples, it looks at ways of shaping the garden with topiary, trellis and tunnels, of providing form with architectural planting, of using statuary, urns and tubs. This beautifully illustrated book explores what it is that makes the winter garden magical, unpacking the aesthetic thrill that goes with the sight of the ghostly white arcs of bramble or the flaming wands of dogwood, the clean frame of yew hedging or the filigree of interlaced leafless branches.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverBest winter plants / Stefan Buczacki ; special photography Andrew Lawson.
“Gardening expert Stefan Buczacki presents advice and information on growing the best winter plants. A reference for both beginning and expert gardeners about all aspects of plant care from propogation and pruning, to problem solving.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverSpring bulbs / Peter McHoy ; photography by Peter Anderson.
“Tolerant and trouble free, spring bulbs can play an essential part in any garden. This guide for growers is full of advice on cultivating bulbs and protecting them from harm done by pests and diseases.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverWinter house / Charlotte Moss ; written with Jennifer Cegielski ; photographs by Jason Dewey.
“One of America’s top interior designers presents a beautifully illustrated guidebook for creating a comfortable, inviting winter home. With 200 color photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

The garden in autumn / by Allen Lacy.
“Gardeners who believe that autumn brings merely clean-up tasks and the occasional frowsy chrysanthemum will think differently after reading this book. Lacy ( Farther Afield ), gardening writer for the New York Times , has a vested interest: “to encourage fellow gardeners to pay attention to the neglected but glorious possibilities of the fall garden.” Before reading more than a handful of pages, any floraphile will be feverishly taking notes on new plants and plant combinations to try, and eagerly awaiting the waning of the year. Rather than offer gardening advice for the whole U.S., Lacy sticks to what he knows: the plants that thrive in his region of southern New Jersey. But as he points out, in quoting Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, “the universal is the particular and the concrete, not the abstract or the general”–plenty of information here pertains to gardens in any climate. Lacy devotes a chapter each to lingering summer perennials, fall-flowering perennials, bulbs, grasses, annuals and woody plants. An epilogue describing blooms in December will have gardeners in higher latitudes sighing enviously. Included are an extensive list of nurseries, a bibliography and an index of plant names and nurseries. Photos not seen by PW. Advertising; author tour; Garden Book Club main selection; first serial to HG; second serial to Horticulture and Organic Gardening. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)

Taste of New Zealand winter / Robyn Martin.
“A recipe book for the winter months, illustrated with full colour photograph. The chapters range from ‘stock pot saviours’ and ‘fireside meals’ through ‘hot and hearty’ and ‘things to make on rainy days’ to ‘winter puds’. It is a companion book to Taste of New Zealand Summer. The author is food editor of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.” (Syndetics summary)

What’s Old in the New Year?

It’s all about the New Year in January and it was very tempting to offer you a selection of what’s new on the Home & Garden front in 2013. What about what is not so new and what you can re-use or recycle at home or in the garden? That might be a New Year resolution of yours to do less in the garden and to keep and transform home wares instead of chucking it away and buying new and expensive. And why not! We have a selection of books that might convince you to do just that.

Syndetics book coverTomorrow’s garden : design and inspiration for a new age of sustainable gardening / text and photographs by Stephen Orr.
“Stephen Orr (gardening editorial director Martha Stewart Living magazine) shares his vision of 21st century gardening in over 200 gorgeous photographs he has taken of gardens in 10 US cities. Gardens now (and will in the future), he says, take into account local climates and ecosystems without sacrificing aesthetics. In sections titled “Garden where you live,” “Consider the materials,” and “Edible gardens and community” he indeed has his finger on the pulse of modern gardening’s commitment to sustainability coupled with fabulous design and passion for invoking a commonality of purpose. Street gardens, an urban apiary, gardens of stone and water, a modernist children’s garden, seaside gardens, and a family farm are but a few of the featured spaces, which along with Orr’s engaging narrative and judicious advice, make this a likely favorite among this year’s crop of gardening books. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPerennials for every purpose : choose the plants you need for your conditions, your garden, and your taste / Larry Hodgson.
“Perennials for Every Purpose This is a plant encyclopedia with a purpose! You’ll discover more than 1,000 perennials, organized by special feature (that’s the “purpose!”), such as bloom time or site condition. This makes it simple for you to choose plants according to your needs. You can go directly to the chapters that interest you most, whether they’re perennials that require very little care or ones that thrive in cool-summer climates. Plant lover Larry Hodgson lives in Quebec, where the winters are punishing to perennials. Undaunted, he has ventured where most gardeners wouldn’t dare, attempting to grow perennials that “just aren’t hardy there”– and succeeding! He has nursed usually tender perennials like hakone grass and monkey flowers through tough Quebec winters even though they’re supposedly not hardy north of Pennsylvania. He’s glad to share his tips for success.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCaring for perennials : what to do and when to do it / Janet Macunovich ; photographs by Steven Nikkila.
“With Macunovich’s techniques for prioritizing, planning, and record keeping, you’ll be able to grow a world-class perennial garden in an average of one hour of maintenance per 100 square feet per month.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRemake it : home : the essential guide to resourceful living with over 500 tricks, tips and inspirational designs / Henrietta Thompson ; illustrations by Neal Whittington.
“This is the indispensible, inspirational and practical guide to being resourceful by design in your home. Save money, save the planet and stay ahead in the style stakes: if theres something going spare, theres a use for it somewhere. With a wealth of tricks and tips, design examples from leading luminaries such as Jasper Morrison and Marcel Waanders, and step-by-step projects you can try around the house, Remake It: Home provides design inspiration and practical know how in equal measure. Smart, savvy, entertaining and fully illustrated throughout, this book will show you how to make the most of the things you already have in style.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverRestore. Recycle. Repurpose. {create a beautiful home} / Randy Florke ; with Nancy J. Becker.
“Florke (Your House, Your Home) explores decorating every room of the home with flea market finds, a trend that’s been popular for years, with an eye toward sustainability. He intersperses his grandmother’s advice on household frugality with trivia about waste in the United States. Recommended where green-living guides are popular. (c) Copyright 2010. 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.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverSalvage style : 45 home and garden projects using reclaimed architectural details / Joe Rhatigan with Dana Irwin.
“”Create something new with all the elegance of the original.”–“Better Homes & Gardens Decorating” “Recommended.”–“Library Journal” Even as a building gets renovated or demolished, it often yields authentic, irreplaceable, and sometimes historic architectural detailing. Out of the wreckage come one-of-a-kind, ornate weathered doorknobs, flooring, mantels, windows, and doors. Forty-five projects, developed by the finest craftspeople, focus on transforming your finds and giving them a whole new function. You’ll obtain tips on locating and selecting the best of these materials and crafting with wood, metal, glass, and mirrors. Begin your creative handiwork with such intriguing pieces as a Cabinet Door Picture Frame, Iron, and Funky Miscellany.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLeftover gourmet / Richard Till.
“Create delicious meals with this brilliant guide to making the most of the leftover food in your fridge, freezer or pantry.”(Syndetics summary)

The Art of Creative Pruning

Just imagine what some creative pruning or perhaps a green roof could do for your garden….  Or if you would like some up to date tips on vegetable gardening or organic gardening we have some new books that could appeal….

Syndetics book coverThe art of creative pruning : inventive ideas for training and shaping trees and shrubs / Jake Hobson.   “Nothing brings a touch of artistry to the garden like ornamental pruning, and a series of deliberate cuts can create landscapes and evoke faraway places. All that’s needed to recreate the effect in the garden are a sharp pair of pruners, some imagination, and the instruction found in The Art of Creative Pruning.  Picture boxwoods trimmed into whimsical Russian nesting dolls, hedges inscribed with words, and a tree snipped to resemble the toppling tiers of a wedding cake. These are just a few of the unusual ideas featured in the beautifully photographed pages. All the practical considerations are here as well, including pruning to improve a view, remedial pruning to fix problems, and pruning fruit trees to increase yield.” (amazon.com) 

Syndetics book coverSmall green roofs : low-tech options for greener living / Nigel Dunnett … [et al.].
“This colorful guide to building small scale living roofs provides practical instruction for creating ecologically friendly coverings for sheds, garages and accessory buildings with grasses, moss, lichens and other growing plants. Sections cover the structural requirements for building green roofs and retrofitting existing structures, types of plants and planting strategies and encouraging biodiversity. The bulk of the volume showcases finished small scale green roof projects form the UK and the United States in numerous color photographs. (booknews.com)” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreen roofs : a guide to their design and installation / Angela Youngman.   “Environmentally friendly buildings are a must for the future, and among the many new ideas for buildings are green roofs—but what exactly is a green roof, and how do they work? Why are individuals and businesses installing them, and how difficult is it to install and maintain a green roof? This guide introduces the range of green roofs available, from the small garden shed to towering skyscrapers. ” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe Timber Press guide to succulent plants of the world : a comprehensive reference to more than 2000 species / Fred Dortort.   “A great companion book for beginners as well as avid collectors of these fabulous plants.”–Nancy Szerlag (Detroit News) (Fishpond)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand vegetable book / [written by Glenda Gourley ; gardening tips by Dennis Greville].   “Everything you need to know about the wide variety of vegetables available in New Zealand, including: * What to look for in selecting the best quality vegetables * How to prepare * How to keep * Ways to eat * Tips on growing * Nutritional value * Selection of delicious recipes From Artichokes to Watercress – a huge variety of veges, and even herbs and garnishes are covered.” (fishpond.co.nz)

Syndetics book coverThe complete countryman : a user’s guide to traditional skills and lost crafts / Alan Titchmarsh ; special photography by Jonathan Buckley.  ” In a comprehensive and practical guide to the countryside, passionate and hugely knowledgeable countryman Alan Titchmarsh explores the heritage of rural Britain, its landscapes and wildlife, and its traditions, customs, and crafts.  He identifies the best breeds of cattle for meat and milk, explains how best to look after a pig, and shares the secrets of a successful small holding. From keeping chickens to dressing a stick, from dry-stone walling to creating a wildflower meadow, the essence of country life and the best places to encounter it are identified in this celebration of the British countryside and its delights, skills, and treasures. Lavishly illustrated, beautifully produced, and information-packed, this is an inspirational showcase for all that is best about rural Britain and a primer on how to reconnect with its wonderful wise ways.” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverOrganic gardening for dummies / by Ann Whitman and the editors of the National Gardening Association.  “For many gardeners, the term “organic” has become synonymous with “safe, ” which makes sense, since avoiding harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers is a big part of organic gardening. But going organic also involves selecting the right plants and garden locations. This guide offers: Ways to develop soil naturally, use safe fertilizers, manage pests, and battle plant disease without harmful chemicalsSteps to grow an organic lawn, plus hands-on advice for cultivating vegetables, herbs, fruit and nut trees, and flower gardensResources for organic supplies and information Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.” (Syndetics summary) 

Syndetics book coverThe new organic gardener / Tim Marshall.  “Organic gardening is much more than simply throwing a bit of mulch onto your garden beds.. Tim Marshall’s passion and love of gardening is present on every page of this book. He not only guides you through the principles of organic gardening, he explains the reasons behind these principles and why they work. Successful organic gardening, Tim fervently argues, is not just a matter of blindly following a set of rules, it is about experimenting, being creative and making discoveries about how plants best thrive and flourish in your unique garden.The New Organic Gardener shows you how to grow a large range of not just vegetables and herbs but also flowers, trees, including fruit trees, shrubs and even a traditional lawn.” (fishpond.co.nz)