Neighbours Day Aotearoa is just around the corner

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2021 runs from March 20-March 30th this year, and the theme is The Great Plant Swap to support neighbourhoods to growing stronger together. We’ve lined up an inspiring list of books to spark your creative ideas, from help with your own garden plants to ideas for activities. Share a plate with your neighbours and also grow connections on this Neighbours Day. Or, it’s never too late to plant something now to share later.


The sharing solution : how to save money, simplify your life & build community, by Janelle Orsi.
Sharing is the answer! This book is packed with heaps of ideas to connect with your neighbours :
Meals and food, through bulk buying clubs, meal-sharing arrangements, community gardens, neighbourhood fruit harvests, household goods, a book club, tools and toys to appliances and exercise equipment, car-pooling, caregiving for pets, children, older family members, or relatives with disabilities…. the list could go on. The ultimate beauty of sharing is that it’s a solution we create for ourselves.

Day walks of Greater Wellington, by Marios Gavalas.
Consider sharing transport to go on walks together. This book is a really helpful guide to over 70 walks (with approx times and grades) divided into 5 regional sections – across Otaki, Wellington city, the eastern bays, Wainuiomata Valley and the Hutt Valley. Illustrated with maps and plenty of photographs, this is a handy tool to choose the right path for the day.

The everything plant-based meal prep cookbook : 200 easy, make-ahead recipes featuring plant-based ingredients, by Diane Smith
“Enjoy hundreds of delicious plant-based recipes to mix and match with your meal prepping, like: Tropical Spinach Smoothie, sheet Pan Ratatoville with Creamy Polenta, Cauliflower-Sweet Potato Mash, Pan-Seared Artichoke Hearts with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Loaded Tahini-Spiced Potato Skins, Chocolate-Orange Zucchini Cake, and tasty meals for every part of the day!” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The LEGO neighborhood book : build your own town! by Brian Lyles.
Pool your LEGO resources to build on a much larger scale! Try your hand at creating your own neighborhood in miniature. Add buildings, shops, and then design the interiors by filling your buildings with furniture and light fixtures, as well as the finishing touches to your models with plants, traffic lights, scaffolding, and park benches.

Modern potluck : beautiful food to share, by Kristin Donnelly.
This updates the potluck concept into a new generation, These 100 make-ahead recipes are perfect for a crowd and navigate carnivore, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan preferences gracefully. With beautiful color photographs and lots of practical information such as how to pack foods to travel, Modern Potluck is the ultimate book for gathering friends and family around an abundant, delicious meal.

Root, nurture, grow : the essential guide to propagating and sharing houseplants, by Caro Langton,
The handbook is a practical guide with step by step instructions on how to make the most of your favourite houseplants through simple, propagation techniques. There are also welcome techniques projects including homemade rooting mediums, seed-bombs, and a self-watering plant pot. Share your plants with neighbours by making beautiful gifts and displays.

The thrifty pantry : budget-saver family favourites from under $2.50 per serve This cookbook is for the thrifty minded, with 100 recipes using common staple ingredients. Each recipe is helpfully costed out, this tailor made for cooking on a budget or at short notice. Chapters are organised into cost per serve plus there’s a handy recipe key for gluten free, vegetarian and freeze-ahead meals.

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

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

A beautiful garden doesn’t have to take a lot of space. Get great tips on small scale gardening or event table top gardening. Plus, we have tips on brewing your own beer.

Syndetics book coverThe art of the natural home : a room by room guide / Rebecca Sullivan ; photography by Nassima Rothacker.
“More than ever, we appreciate the importance of health and well-being, and place great emphasis on the word ‘natural’. For many of us, though, this is limited to focussing on what we eat and drink. If we really want to achieve a natural lifestyle and optimum health, we need to take a more holistic approach. And that is what this book is about – natural recipes and products for the entire home, from the kitchen pantry to the cleaning cupboard, from your make-up bag to the medicine cabinet (and, happily, a few treats for the drinks trolley, too).” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverBuild it yourself : weekend projects for the garden / Frank Perrone ; photographs by Nicholas Perrone ; illustrations by Christopher Perrone.
Build It Yourself is a fun, accessible, and portable guide to constructing twelve practical, tasteful projects for your garden and home. Author and master woodworker Frank Perrone instructs with the novice in mind. Each project is designed for simple building, complete with a materials list, a cut sheet that makes getting lumber a snap, dimensional diagrams, illustrated step-by-step instructions with attention to every detail, and “Helpful Hints,” plus space for notes.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy tiny flower garden : beautiful blooms in surprisingly small places / Matt Collins ; photography by Roo Lewis.
“With colorful cutting patches, sweet-scented city streets and pickup trucks perfect for pollinators, we’ve unearthed 25 amazing unconventional plots. Meet the couple packing pavements with flowers, the landscape architect who has constructed a meadow in the middle of London, and the Detroit florists who created an awe-inspiring installation in an abandoned building (before deconstructing the site and turning the land into a community flower farm).” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe foodscape revolution : finding a better way to make space for food and beauty in your garden / Brie Arthur.
“Once upon a time, veggie gardens lived in the backyard, isolated from the rest of the landscape. that’s so yesterday! Welcome to a whole new world of food gardening–right up front, sharing space with your ornamental plants for year-round, knockout beauty and function…in a way that even homeowners associations (HOAs) would approve.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverSunshine spaces / Beci Orpin.
“In “Sunshine Spaces”, designer Beci Orpin shows us how to make and create a range of fun homewares and other fabulous ideas for your outdoor space, including outdoor entertaining as well as how to bring a little of the outdoors inside your home! Inspired by the color and beauty of nature, projects include planter pots and hanging pots, picnic blanket and outdoor cushions, hammock and swing, sun umbrella and many more. Beci also includes advice on the best indoor plants and their care, some great pots to put them in, flower arranging and natural art installations, as well as a complete guide to plant-based fabric dying.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny tabletop gardens : 35 projects for super-small spaces– outdoors and in / Emma Hardy.
“No matter how small your space you will find these 35 projects simple and achievable. Why not try some indoor projects on rainy days; plant some little ferns under glass domes, make Japanese moss balls for the roots of some colorful orchids, or why not create a unique water garden in glass goblets? Make use of any outdoor space you have with hanging lantern planters, little place name pots for a party, a tower of plants, and a beautiful chandelier with small planted glasses.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrew Your Own big book of homebrewing : all-grain and extract brewing, kegging, 50+ craft beer recipes, tips and tricks from the pros / editors of Brew Your Own.
“For more than two decades, America’s homebrewers have turned to Brew Your Own magazine for the best information on making incredible beer at home. From well-tested recipes to expert advice, Brew Your Own sets the standard for quality. Now, for the first time, the magazine’s best homebrew guides, recipes, troubleshooting, and tips are brought together in one book.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe value of weeds / Ann Cliff.
“Weeds are wild plants that have survived in the face of centuries of hostility. Many gardeners who are unfamiliar with the versatility of weeds think of them as a nuisance. They can be good, bad, dangerous, or beautiful. Above all, they are tough. This essential guide explores the virtues of good weeds, including how they can protect soil and add to soil fertility; act as companion plants in gardens; provide food for farm livestock; support wild life; provide herbal remedies for minor ailments; yield vegetable dyes; and finally, give us weed cuisine: nutritious food and drink for free.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWood floors : hardwood, laminate, bamboo, wood tile, and more.
“While home interior trends change, and some of the flooring options may come and go with them, the popularity of wood flooring does not wane. It’s an enduring material choice that can add value and charm to a home. DIYers with moderate tool skills can tackle a wood-flooring project and enjoy the cost savings that go along with their successful efforts.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gardening in miniature prop shop : handmade accessories for your tiny living world / Janit Calvo ; with photographs by Kate Baldwin.
The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop is the next big thing for the crafters and gardeners already captivated by gardening small. Organized by playful themes–including gardens around the world, holidays, and fantasy gardens–it’s a fun-filled guide to creating one-of-a-kind gardens and the accessories that make them shine. Thirty-seven projects are included with fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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)

Recent Garden Picks

These new gardening books cover a variety of subjects from the inspiring and unattainable, to everyday practical advice – there’s even a book full of projects that children can get excited about!

Syndetics book coverThe new English garden / Tim Richardson ; photographs by Andrew Lawson ; with Jane Sabire and Rachel Warne. 
“Tim Richardson has selected twenty-five gardens which have gone through an intense phase of creativity and innovation during the past 10 to 15 years. The gardens chosen (most of which are open to the public), cover the wide range of styles flourishing in English garden design today and range from the Prince of Wales’s garden at Highgrove, Arabella Lennox-Boyd’s own garden and ‘laboratory for design ideas’ at Gresgarth and Dan Pearson’s Gardener’s Cottage to Christopher Bradley-Hole’s Modernist garden at Crockmore House, and Alasdair Ford’s truly original garden of sculptures and poetic inferences at Plaz Metaxu.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

 
Syndetics book coverEdible garden design / Jamie Durie.
“Practical and inspiring, Jamie Durie’s Edible Garden Design is a book for our times. Here Jamie shows you how to create productive edible gardens that look great. He gives you the lowdown on the design function of each plant, and reveals how to incorporate edibles into even the smallest of outdoor spaces without sacrificing style. Be inspired by real-life case studies in Australia and the US, from Jamie’s mum’s beloved vegie patch and kids’ community plots in Chicago to Matt Moran’s classic kitchen garden in Sydney and New York’s buzzing green produce markets.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRHS garden projects : loads of fun things to make and do in the garden / [senior editors, Deborah Lock, Penny Smith and Carrie Love ; photographer, Will Heap.
“RHS Garden Projects is full of different projects for children to get excited about. From making their own garden buddy to baking a blueberry cheesecake; from lemonade lollies to Wild-West cacti. Each project and recipe is easy to make and has clear steps to follow. Beautiful photographs inspire children to make their own projects whilst bringing the garden to life – further proof that there’s so much fun to be had in their own back yard.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

 Syndetics book coverYates garden guide.
“Practical advice on all aspects of gardening: designing and planning your garden, preparing and maintaining your garden, organic gardening, water-saving gardens, gardening for kids, low-allergen gardens, pests, diseases and weeds, hundreds of handy hints from New Zealand’s leading gardeners, container gardening for courtyards.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUrban gardening for dummies / by Paul Simon, Charlie Nardozzi, and the editors of the National Gardening Association.
“This book helps you make the most of what you have in order to create an urban garden. Proven small-space gardening techniques will allow urban gardeners to maximize the use of their space, and get creative with gardens on building rooftops and balconies.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTeeny tiny gardening : 35 step-by-step projects and inspirational ideas for gardening in tiny spaces / Emma Hardy.
“35 fun and inspiring step-by-step projects for the small-scale gardener, from edible crops in pots and a child’s fairy garden to an elegant fern terrarium and brightly colored woven baskets.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGardening with free-range chickens for dummies / by Bonnie Jo Manion and Rob Ludlow.
“Home gardens can be great chicken habitats if designed well, and Gardening with Free-Range Chickens For Dummies provides a plain-English guide with step-by-step guidance for creating a gorgeous chicken-friendly landscape that helps the chickens and the garden thrive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall garden handbook : making the most of your outdoor space / Andrew Wilson ; special photography, Steven Wooster.
“Expert garden designer Andrew Wilson guides you through the process of planning, planting and maintaining a small garden that will make you happy every time you step outside.” (Syndetics summary)

I love reading with my Mum and Dad – Books for families

It’s family reading time! Share your hobbies and favourite books, and enjoy the laughter and joy they create.

For engine and speed lovers:
Syndetics book coverSupercars / [written by Mark Hillsdon].
“Your heart is pumping faster to the revs and roars of the engines. Yes, the love of cars is in the big and small boys’ gene.” (Staff review)

Syndetics book coverTop Gear : the cool 500 : the coolest cars ever made / Matt Master.
“Ever since Karl Benz first powered up his Patent-Motorwagen in 1885, man has salivated and swooned over automobiles. And none more so than the motoring fanatics at Top Gear Magazine, who have test-driven, critiqued and worshipped some of the finest cars in motoring history.” (Library catalogue)

For the creative science fantasists:
Syndetics book coverEnder’s game / Orson Scott Card.
“Six-year-old Ender Wiggins, a star pupil in Battle School, suddenly finds himself in a real war when he’s chosen to lead Earth’s people to victory in an interstellar battle against insectoid aliens.” (Adapted from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverAirborn / Kenneth Oppel.Airborn
“A swashbuckling new fantasy by the bestselling author of the Silverwing trilogy. In the early 20th century, a young orphan serves as a cabin boy aboard an airship and is witness to life-and-death battles in the sea and above land.” (Syndetics summary)

For those with unstoppable feet and adventurous minds:
Syndetics book coverThe world is waiting for you / Barbara Kerley.
“”What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question kids get asked over and over. But very few connections are made for kids between the present and the future. This book shows kids a pathway from their current interests and talents to a future career or interest. And in so doing, it also encourages adventure, exploration, and discovery, three core principles of National Geographic’s mission. It’s a celebration of possibility–so simple and so profound.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book cover125 years : the moments, the people, the discoveries that changed the world.
“A collection of memorable National Geographic programs to celebrate 125 years of the society.” (Syndetics summary)

For the colour and flavour cultivators:
Syndetics book coverPasta sauce! : grow your own ingredients / Cassie Liversidge.
“K-Gr 4-Kids interested in digging into this project will need to bring an engaged grown-up along for the ride, but it shouldn’t be hard to find one. Adorable, friendly vegetables take readers on a chapter-by-chapter guide through each ingredient in the garden: tomatoes, onions, basil, peppers, and garlic. Supplies for growing each one are laid out, and step-by-step instructions follow, with a few hilarious veggie jokes interspersed throughout. The introduction provides a “rough guide” for when to sow and harvest, but makes the wise recommendation to check the local weather. Some terms are defined while others, like “worm tea” and “wormery” are not. The pasta-sauce recipe is a little vague at times, using “about ten big handfuls” and “a bunch” as measurements. Each step is illustrated with photos and includes instructions for kids to cut onions and garlic, but recommend asking an adult to help cut the pepper. In spite of a few inconsistencies, this is a fun concept in an attractive package that could get kids growing and cooking their own food.” (Adapted from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverGrow your own plants / [Alan Titchmarsh].
“Using a variety of simple propagation techniques, learn how to grow your own plants for free. Alan Titchmarsh shows how to sow seed, take leaf and root cuttings, divide shrubs, and how to promote growth in your young plants. He covers all the essentials and provides inspirational ideas for filling your garden with flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables, all grown from scratch.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent Garden Picks

Here are some beautiful, shiny new additions to our gardening section.  There are a couple of standouts for me, notably Garden Rescue and Paradise Lot. I like the first because it is so practical and Paradise Lot because it shows that getting a permaculture setup and running can be quite simple and extremely rewarding – not to mention a positive way for people to feel more connected.

Syndetics book coverCreating your garden farm : how to grow fruit and vegetables and raise chickens and bees / Nicki Trench.
“If you dream of growing, harvesting and eating your own produce, here’s how to begin. Author Nicki Trench, who has created her own garden farm from scratch, shares with you everything there is to know about growing vegetables, fruit and herbs, including making your own compost, growing in raised beds and protecting your crops from pests and disease.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarden plants & flowers in Australia / Ian Spence ; Australian consultants, Jennifer Wilkinson and Kevin Walsh.
“This is a comprehensive guide book and the one book gardeners will need as their easy reference to all of Australia’s garden plants and flowers. In this paperback edition, create a garden that looks wonderful all year round with this photographic guide, packed with all the information you need to help you choose the best plants for every season.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful edible garden : design a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits, and herbs / Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner ; photography by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo ; floral arrangements by Studio Choo.
“A stylish, beautifully photographed guide to artfully incorporating organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs into an attractive modern garden design. Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner are co-founders of Star Apple Edible + Fine Gardening, a San Francisco Bay Area landscape design firm focusing on aesthetic edible gardening. At Star Apple, they bring together ecologically sound landscape design principles and small-scale urban agriculture, working with both ornamental and edible plants to create integrated landscapes. A stylish, beautifully photographed guide to artfully incorporating organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs into an attractive modern garden design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall garden handbook : making the most of your outdoor space / Andrew Wilson ; special photography, Steven Wooster.
“Expert garden designer Andrew Wilson guides you through the process of planning, planting and maintaining a small garden that will make you happy every time you step outside.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRHS garden projects : loads of fun things to make and do in the garden / [senior editors, Deborah Lock, Penny Smith and Carrie Love ; photographer, Will Heap].
“RHS Garden Projects is full of different projects for children to get excited about. From making their own garden buddy to baking a blueberry cheesecake; from lemonade lollies to Wild-West cacti, RHS Garden Projects is chock full of inspiring ideas.Beautiful photographs inspire children to make their own projects whilst bringing the garden to life – further proof that there’s so much fun to be had in their own back yard.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarden rescue : first aid for plants and flowers / Jo Whittingham “Rescue remedies for your garden – if you need to know how to prevent everyday troubles from turning into gardening disasters, Garden Rescue will save the day. This “first aid manual” for your garden will help you identify, understand, and tackle a wide range of common problems, from poor fruit harvests and unruly trees and shrubs to preventing pests and diseases.Using anatomy guides, symptom flow charts, and plant clinics, you’ll solve any problem facing your fruit and veg patch or flower garden. You’ll learn what’s normal and what’s not, how to spot early warning signs of distress, and preventative measures to keep your plants healthy.Whether your wisteria is wilting or your fatsia isn’t flowering, Garden Rescue has hundreds of practical solutions so you can be your own garden medic.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe artist, the cook, and the gardener : recipes inspired by painting from the garden / Maryjo Koch ; photographs by Wendy Candelaria ; additional paintings by Jonathan Koch
“Great artists and great cooks have long been inspired by gardens and the many sensory gifts they provide. This connection between art, cooking, and the garden is celebrated in this cookbook by artist Maryjo Koch. The painter provides insight into her inspiration for her paintings of flowers, plants, and nature that comes from her studio garden. Her studio garden also provides the culinary toolbox for the delectable and visually beautiful feasts that she prepares for her family and friends.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover10 garden design principles / Susie White.
“A lovely garden can please the eye in the same way as a beautiful painting can, but the advantage of a garden is that it can also involve all the other senses. But what separates out an aesthetically pleasing garden from a simple field of plants and flowers?
In this book, the author sets out the ten principles for designing a garden. Whether you have a tiny plot of land or more than an acre, the areas outlined here give direction and provide inspiration to anyone creating a garden from scratch or redesigning an existing patch. Covering all aspects of garden design from planning its configuration, to the mixtures of heights and colours that will work together, to choosing the types of plants which allow the garden to transcend the seasons, experienced garden designer Susie White guides the way.”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParadise lot : two plant geeks, one-tenth of an acre and the making of an edible garden oasis in the city / Eric Toensmeier ; with contributions from Jonathan Bates.
“When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. In telling the story ofParadise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden,Paradise Lotis also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Gardening Recent Picks

Once again we have a selection of gardening books that cover a spectrum of topics. From personal cultivation odyssys, histories of landmark horticultural events, plant breeding, foraging, and practical advice on how to get your garden thriving. There could be something in this selection to interest anyone who loves plants.

Syndetics book coverGardening in a changing climate : inspirational and practical ideas for creating sustainable, waterwise and dry gardens with projects, garden plans and more than 400 photographs / Ambra Edwards ; with special photography by Lynn Keddie.The approach of this new book is the garden styles of nine regions which have always dealt superbly with heat, drought, and water shortage: the Italian Garden, the Islamic Garden, the Patio Garden, the Mediterranean Garden, the Gravel Garden, the Desert Garden, the Bush Garden, the Flowering Desert and the Jungle Garden. This is a critical read for any gardener, offering a practical and inspirational insight into the classic gardens defined by sunshine, humidity and lack of water that will inform the gardens of tomorrow.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThis organic life : confessions of a suburban homesteader / Joan Dye Gussow.
“Joan Dye Gussow lives in a home not unlike the average home in a neighborhood that is, more or less, typically suburban. What sets her apart from the rest of us is that she thinks more deeply, and in more eloquent detail, about food.  At the heart of This Organic Life is the premise that locally grown food eaten in season makes sense economically, ecologically, and gastronomically. You won’t find an electric can opener in this woman’s house. In fact, you probably won’t find many cans, as Joan has discovered ways to nourish herself, literally and spiritually, from her own backyard. If you are looking for a tale of courage and independence in a setting that is entirely familiar, read her story.”(Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBackyard foraging : 65 familiar plants you didn’t know you could eat / Ellen Zachos. “Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods.  Full-colour photographs make identification easy, and tips on where certain plants are likely to be found, how to avoid pollution and pesticides, and how to recognize the plants you should never harvest make foraging as safe and simple as stepping into your own backyard.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverPlant breeding for the home gardener : how to create unique vegetables & flowers / Joseph Tychonievich.
“Gardeners have been  creating unique vegetables for centuries, simply by saving seed of the varieties that tasted or performed best. By following the advice in Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener you’ll learn how to set achievable goals in your breeding program; the ins and outs of genetics (in non-technical language!); how to pick the best parent plants; how to cross-pollinate; the best techniques to use for popular vegetables and flowers; and how to harvest and store seed. In no time at all, you’ll be producing a tastier tomato, a perkier pepper, or a more ravishing rose!” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverTeaming with nutrients : the organic gardener’s guide to optimizing plant nutrition / Jeff Lowenfels.
“In easy-to-understand language, Jeff Lowenfels illuminates the science behind plant nutrition and offers 100 percent organic recommendations on what to feed plants, including fertilizer recipes tailored to specific kinds of plants. Teaming with Nutrients is sure to open your eyes to the importance of understanding the role of nutrients in healthy, productive organic gardens.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverGardening for geeks : DIY tests, gadgets, & techniques that utilize microbiology, mathematics, and ecology to exponentially maximize the yield of your garden / Christy Wilhelmi. “With Gardening for Geeks, you’ll examine your ecosystem and discover how you can create the right environment for your plants. From analyzing meteorological patterns in order to plant productive beds to experimenting with the carbon and nitrogen levels in your soil, this book will teach you all about the developments and chemical reactions that occur at each phase of growth and how you can alter your planting techniques to construct the most thriving, productive garden possible.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverMy garden and other animals / Mike Dilger ; illustrations by Christina Holvey. “,Mike has long had a desire to own and manage his own personal garden nature reserve. Mike and Christina saw the potential in their new rural town ‘house-and-garden-to-be’ with its long, uncared-for lawn which ran down to a tree-covered bank revealing at its base a small, tinkling stream. So begins their year-long journey to create their very own wildlife sanctuary. This light-hearted, amusing narrative will appeal to anyone interested in quirky nature tales with a twist, and wildlife enthusiasts generally.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverRHS Chelsea Flower Show : a centenary celebration / Brent Elliott. “For one hundred years, RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been the annual event in the world of horticulture. This is the essential centenary souvenir, and an enduring look at what makes Chelsea special. Royal Horticultural Society insider Brent Elliott explains how the show has grown and changed, how it is has formed part of the social calendar and how the nation’s taste in garden design and planting has been reflected and shaped by Chelsea over the years.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverThe man who plants trees / Jim Robbins.This is an extraordinary book about trees. Trees and forests are far more than just plants: they have myriad functions that help maintain the atmosphere and biosphere. The global forest is also in crisis, and when the oldest trees in the world suddenly start dying – across North America, Europe, the Amazon – it’s time to pay attention. At the heart of this remarkable exploration of the power of trees is the amazing story of one man, a shade tree farmer named David Milarch, and his quest to clone the oldest and largest trees – from the California redwoods to the oaks of Ireland – to protect the ancient genetics and use them to reforest the planet.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverA gardener’s guide to bulbs / Christine Skelmersdale ; [foreword by Alan Titchmarsh].Bulbs are always a delight for gardeners, whether used to burst freely in drifts or caught to add color and exuberance within a border or container. This book captures that sense of joy by celebrating the potential of bulbs throughout the year. It gives practical advice on choosing and growing bulbs, including how and where to grow, and planting for succession. It provides a detailed listing of the most common and interesting bulbs, ideas for the ordinary gardener, and includes detailed reference for the more experienced.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverSucculents simplified : growing, designing, and crafting with 100 easy-care varieties / Debra Lee Baldwin. “A complete primer on choosing, growing and designing with succulents. Along with gorgeous photos packed with design ideas, Debra offers her top 100 plant picks and explains how to grow and care for succulents no matter where you live. Step-by-step projects, including a cake-stand centerpiece, special-occasion bouquets, a vertical garden, and a succulent topiary sphere, will inspire you to express your individual style.” (Adapted 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)

Winter warming

With the temperature dropping and the Summer season of home maintenance well and truly over, we bring you winter warming cookbooks and a selection of gardening books to peruse for ideas for your Winter garden!

Syndetics book coverDelia Smith’s winter collection / illustrations by Flo Bailey.
“A collection of recipes for wintertime, featuring ingredients from a progression of winter produce from October to April. Both meat and vegetarian dishes are included, and many of them reflect the influence of French, Italian, Spanish and oriental flavours and ideas.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWinter on the farm / Matthew Evans ; photography by Alan Benson.
“Join chef, food critic and author Matthew Evans as he embraces winter with more than 85 warming recipes – from Winter Potato and Bacon Soup, and Stout, Beef Shin and Mushroom Pie to an exceptionally delicious Kentish Cherry and Elderflower Fruit Pudding. Winter on the Farm is the ultimate guide to cooking nourishing and hearty food, and will inspire you to create these rich, wonderful flavours as soon as you feel a winter chill in the air.” (Library Catalogue)

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)

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)

Syndetics book coverGrowing year round : vegetables, fruit, herbs / Dennis Greville.
“Dennis Greville is respected internationally for his plant and garden photography and is New Zealand’s most published gardening author and photographer. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, growing year round will encourage and inspire you, with practical advice that will help you achieve optimum results in your garden, whatever its size, climatic conditions and soil type. Dennis provides readily accessible information and tips on how to do things better. These easy to follow ideas will enable you to take charge of your garden and its productivity.” (Fishpond) Includes seasonal recipes.

Syndetics book coverSeasons in my house and garden / written and photographed by Holly Kerr Forsyth.
“In her latest outing, beloved gardening writer Holly Kerr Forsyth takes readers from her garden into the home and kitchen. Season by season, and month by month, Holly shares her gardening secrets and hard-won wisdom from years in the garden. Inside the house, Holly offers ideas on how to transform the produce into beautiful dishes, as well as tips for flower arranging, table setting, and more. Fully illustrated throughout, and with useful identifying pictures for flowers and produce, Seasons in My Garden is the perfect companion for gardeners experienced and novice, homemakers and keen cooks.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverWinter in the Alps : food by the fireside / Manuela Darling-Gansser ; photography by Simon Griffiths.
“Take a culinary journey from the peaks of St. Moritz down to the glittering streets of Zurich–home to some of the most delicious food in all of Europe–in this attractive cookbook of Alpine cuisine. Be tempted by Cloud Souffle, Pappardelle with Duck Ragu, melt-in-your-mouth Spatzle, Rosti, and Creamy Zabaione; sip warming Gluhwein and roast chestnuts over the open fire and be transported to the enchanting heart of continental Europe during winter. Showcasing the culture, lifestyle, and food of this remarkably diverse region, this beautifully illustrated book is a stunning depiction of the unique cuisine and breathtaking beauty of the Alps.” (Syndetics 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)

Syndetics book coverWhat to eat now : the best of autumn and winter eating / Valentine Warner ; photographs by Howard Sooley.
“In ‘What to eat now : the best of autumn and winter eating’ Valentine Warner take us on a mouth-watering journey seeking out the foods and ingredients the colder months have to offer. In this seasonal guide Valentine shows how autumn’s meat, including lamb, pork, duck and partridge, is often roasted, braised or served in stews and pies. Fish is found in batter, soup, on toast and quickly fried. There are rich dairy dishes and an abundance of vegetable dishes using beetroot, cabbage, sweetcorn, pumpkins and so much more. This is a book for the inquisitive eater with the recipes that are both simple and satisfying. Most of all with Valentine’s engaging style, it promises to bring a little pleasure into your kitchen and joy to your table.” (Amazon)

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)

Herb Awareness Week – A chance to meet the Wellington Botanical Garden Herb Curator

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If you are interested in herbs and herb growing you will not want to miss the opportunity to meet and talk herbs with our Wellington Botanical Garden’s Curator of Herbs.

This event kicks off Sunday 11 March from 10am – 12 noon at the Herb Garden, Wellington Botanic Garden.

Here at the Central library we have set up a display in honor of Herb Week on the first floor. There are assorted books on herbs and the display also includes free information sheets on four selected herbs.

New Books on Gardening and related subjects…

Syndetics book coverGorgeous garden railways / Marc Horovitz and Pat Hayward.
“Enjoy vivid, full-color photographs that convey the essence of the hobby that combines model railroading with the great outdoors: garden railroading. Recognized garden-railroading and railroad-gardening experts Marc Horovitz and Pat Hayward have collected 140 inspiring images of garden railroads from all over the world, a pictorial tour of some of the world’s most beautiful garden railways.Open the pages of Gorgeous Garden Railways to be thrilled and motivated. Combine the magic of model railroading with the splendor of gardening-and create a unique, beautifully landscaped yard in the process. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDecoding garden advice : the science behind the 100 most common recommendations / Jeff Gillman & Meleah Maynard.
“Anyone who has been in the home-gardening game for any length of time has probably encountered much dubious advice passed on by neighbors, self-styled experts, and even Internet posters. In this concise, well-written guide to separating the scientifically valid tips from the invalid, seasoned horticultural specialists Gillman and Maynard cover a great range of gardening topics, from soil chemistry to watering to lawn care. A well-researched, indispensable resource that belongs on every gardening shelf.–Hays, Carl Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverShrubs : a gardener’s handbook / Ian Cooke.
“With colour foliage, flowers, bark and scent, shrubs are one of the most versatile and significant groups of plants for the gardener, and they come from all corners of the globe. This new book extols their virtues, and describes how to successfully design with them, grow and propagate them. There are thirty new and wonderful shrubs described and illustrated with planting suggestions.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverRain gardens : sustainable landscaping for a beautiful yard and a healthy world / Lynn M. Steiner and Robert W. Domm. “Rain gardens are at the forefront of the green revolution. This environmentally friendly landscaping captures rainwater runoff rather than redirecting it into storm drains. The result is less erosion, less water pollution, and a beautiful, low-maintenance, sustainable garden. This is the first rain garden handbook for the backyard home gardener. Learn about city grants, how to calculate runoff, rain barrels, attracting wildlife, gray water recycling, and much more.”(Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverLawns and ground cover. “Using a combination of easily accessible information and inspiring photographs, the “Simple Steps” series promotes gardening as a real pleasure rather than a back-breaking chore. In “Lawns and Groundcover,” you’ll find a one-stop guide to creating and maintaining beautiful lawns, meadows, or beds of groundcover.”(Fishpond.co.nz)

 

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)

Is your compost a load of old rot?

The recent composting seminars held at Newtown and Central libraries were a big hit with many of our customers! The seminars looked at the micro-organism style of composting known as Bokashi in New Zealand. The speakers gave a great presentation on the science behind Bokashi, and how to use it at home for getting rid of unwanted food scraps.

For more information, click the images below to  check out the slides from the seminars! Please note these files are quite big, at over 2MB each.

bokashi presentation effective microorganisms presentation