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)

Christmas gifts & meals – Home & Garden November Newsletter

Welcome! We have a selection of new library books featuring fabulous ideas on making Christmas cards and gifts, easy and healthy meals, as well as exploring gardening projects that can be fun. Read about ways to address children’s health problems by both medical and natural methods, and challenge preconceived ideas about meditation. Enjoy!

Cooking

This collection of cookbooks will inspire you to create wholesome, healthy meals easily and without stress.

Syndetics book cover Salads in a Jar / Courtney Roulston.
“In our busy lives, we are always looking for nutritious, delicious, satisfying meals that are fast and simple to prepare. Salads in a Jar will show you how you can take it to another level, layering jars with salads to create lunches or breakfasts on the go….the salads are portable, the packaging is environmentally friendly and the recipes are delicious. Because the salads can last for several days in the fridge, you can always have yummy breakfasts and lunches ready to go.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover From Venice to Istanbul / Rick Stein.
“From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavors to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond–the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. This book includes more than 100 spectacular recipes discovered by Rick during his travels. this collection of inspiring recipes evokes the magic of the Eastern Mediterranean at home.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Janella’s Super Natural Foods / Janella Purcell.
“With more than 150 fantastic recipes for healthy and delicious meals, desserts, snacks, drinks, and dressings,…Janella’s philosophy of using “food as medicine” is simple and easy to follow. Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Clearly marked with relevant codes–gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, raw, soy free, nut free, or grain free–each recipe also contains a few alternative ingredient suggestions to please all of the friends and family seated around your table. ” (Syndetics summary)
Overdrive cover 天天吃海魚, 陳紀臨 (eBook)
“每菜一魚,標有其特徵、別名和烹調方法,還兼附魚相片,方便確認。作者是飲食世家出身,博學多聞,游走四方,全書挑選40多道魚菜,深入考究每種魚的資料,運用不同的烹調技巧,突顯菜式。篇末還附加海魚概說,增加閱讀興趣和常識。” (Overdrive description)

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Craft

There’s nothing more satisfying than making Christmas cards and gifts for your family and friends and you will find lots of new library books, packed with magical ideas and inspiration to help you make this season special.

Syndetics book cover Half yard Christmas : easy sewing projects using left-over pieces of fabric / Debbie Shore.
“Are you craving a crafty, creative Christmas? Let Debbie Shore show you how to create all the accessories you’ll need in the latest addition to her best-selling Half Yard series. Featuring six themed chapters – rustic, traditional, contemporary, monochrome, Scandinavian and kids – there’s something for everyone: you can select your favourite Christmas style or mix and match throughout your home. With over 30 simple, stylish projects requiring only half yards of fabric, this book will have you feeling festive in no time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The artful year : celebrating the seasons and holidays with family arts and crafts / Jean Van’t Hul.
“Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It’s also a fun way to decorate, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you’ll find art activites, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. By doing so, your family will create memories and mementos, you’ll develop creative growth in your children and yourself, and you’ll have lots of fun!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew many dresses, sew little time : the ultimate dressmaking guide : interchangeable patterns to create 200+ unique dresses / Tanya Whelan.
“Tanya Whelan believes that dressmaking is easier than most people realize but that most sewing books are more complicated than they need to be. With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya Whelan gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew fab : sewing and style for young fashionistas / Lesley Ware.
Sew Fab is a style and sewing workbook for any girl aged 8-13 who loves fashion. It will teach you not just to sew, but how to wear your creations with flair. Start by finding your style tribe, learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for you, and more. Now get ready to sew. Make yourself a mini studio, stock your sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. There’s a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress (but in the color that suits you best!). Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, you will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Handmade interiors / project editor, Laura Palosuo.
Handmade Interiors is the most comprehensive guide to soft furnishings and home sewing projects on the market. Handmade Interiors leads you through sewing projects such as how to sew curtains, a cushion cover or a Roman blind using step-by-step instructions and images. Compiled by experts in home design who offer advice on fabrics and variations to tailor to your specific home decoration needs. The easy to follow format makes this the perfect guide for novices and experts alike, covering the whole process of creating professional looking furnishings, from measuring, all the way through to installing your finished project.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Gardening and DIY

Spring is slowly on its way. This month’s gardening books highlight inspirational ideas across the world and DIY projects that are fun and practical.

Image from Fishpond DIY garden projects : step-by-step activities for edible gardening and backyard fun / Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon.
“Practical projects for small-space edible gardening and backyard fun from the much-loved Little Veggie Patch co. The book has 6 chapters – Kids, Recycled/Upcyled, X-Factor, Vertical Gardening, Gardening basics and Kitchen. There are 38 projects, and each chapter includes a break-out patch favourite feature project.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Gardens in France / edited by Angelika Taschen.
“From stylized Zen gardens in Provence to cactus displays on the Cote d’Azur, from classical palace gardens to quaint domestic beds, travel round the most beautiful gardens in France, home to some of the most elegant, charming, and inspiring horticulture in the world. The typical plants of each climatic region are represented–delphiniums, roses and irises in the North, and Californian poppies, santolinas, and lavender in the Midi. With pictures through every season, celebrate the particular beauty of spring, summer, fall, and winter, and discover plenty of inspiring ideas for your own garden.” (Library catalogue)
Syndetics book cover Kyoto gardens : masterworks of the Japanese gardener’s art / text by Judith Clancy ; photography by Ben Simmons.
Kyoto Gardens is a labor of love from master photographer Ben Simmons and Kyoto-based writer Judith Clancy. Simmons’ photographs present a fresh and contemporary look at Kyoto’s most important gardens. Their beauty is enhanced and humanized by gardeners tending the grounds using the tools of their art. Clancy’s graceful text provides historic, aesthetic and cultural context to the gardens. Combining wonder and rigor, she describes how Kyoto’s most beloved gardens remain faithful to their founders’ creative spirit and conception.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Life spaces : 120 award-winning interiors from the 2014 IDEA Awards.
“Since its inception in 2003, IDEA (Interior Design of Excellence Awards) has been celebrating the very best of an industry full of remarkable people and projects. This year, for the first time, we are publishing a book to celebrate the high quality of projects of the past year, the ones that have continually risen above the crowd to surprise and delight us.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Gracious rooms / Barbara Westbrook ; written with Heather MacIsaac.
“In her first book, the South’s most inviting designer explores her principles for creating a beautiful home rich with comfort and warmth. Barbara Westbrook has been designing classically inspired homes full of Southern charm and a European touch for more than twenty years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Health

This month we read about running, children’s health through a combination of conventional and alternative medicine, diabetics management and how to develop healthy habits to give us the best chances to fight cancer and stay generally healthy.

Syndetics book cover Children’s health A to Z for New Zealand parents : help your child get better and stay well naturally
“Paediatrician Dr Leila Masson is well-known to many Auckland parents through her work in children’s health. She combines a traditional medical with complementary treatments in what is known as a `biomedical approach to children’s health. Her book is a practical guide to caring for your children using a mixture of traditional medicine alongside natural remedies, and the tried-and-true know-how of our mothers and grandmothers. Organised by symptoms, it is an essential guide for parents caring for children with sore tummies, bumps and bruises, skin irritations, ear infections, fevers and colds.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Thriving with diabetes : learn how to take charge of your body to balance your sugars and improve your lifelong health
“This book empowers you to take charge of your diabetes, so you don’t just deal with your symptoms, but change the way you think to improve your health, happiness, and quality of life. Through a simple four-step process, you’ll learn how to intuitively understand your blood sugars and what causes both good and bad numbers. This proactive approach results in the ability to manage diabetes personally, not just by a set of notes from the doctor. The result is immediate and satisfying improvements to total health, both physically and mentally!” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Can food be medicine against cancer?
“Does eating certain foods make any difference against cancer? How do I know which foods to eat? Can I trust what I read? In answering these questions, surgical oncologist Dr David Wilkinson, points out that nearly all cancers are not primarily genetic, but are influenced by factors under our control, including what we eat. You will be taken on a tour of the top foods that protect against cancer, and learn the scientific reasons why these foods are effective. Discover how cancer cells work and what turns them off. This book will change the way you look at food forever, and point you in the right direction to achieving cancer-resistant health for life.” (Syndetics summmary)
Syndetics book cover Light on yoga
The seminal yoga sourcebook for generations of yoga students around the world, first published in 1966, was republished in 2015.
“This definitive work features photo-illustrated, step-by-step guide to every yoga routine, and includes a week-by-week development plan, breathing techniques and yoga philosophy and spirituality for beginners and experienced teachers alike. B.K.S. Iyengar was the world’s most respected yoga teacher, widely credited as the person who brought yoga to the West. One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Infulential People in the World, his teaching practice has been hugely impactful over the years. He died in 2014, aged 95.” (Book cover)
Syndetics book cover Attacking anxiety : a step-by-step guide to an engaging approach to treating anxiety and phobias in children with autism and other developmental disabilities
“Drawing on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), this book sets out a clear, enjoyable, step-by-step approach for addressing the sorts of anxieties, fears and phobias that are so common in children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related challenges. Using this easy-to-follow model, parents and professionals will have the tools they need to help children and teens cope with and sometimes overcome anxieties caused by everyday occurrences. This book is an excellent resource for successfully alleviating many of the anxieties and phobias that interfere with life enjoyment, not only for the child but for the entire family.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Personal Development

This month we read books that challenge many preconceived ideas about the benefits of meditation, listening to our feelings and the trappings of the pursuit of happiness. Intrigued? Read on.

Syndetics book cover The outside edge : how outsiders can succeed in a world made by insiders.
“Our culture celebrates outsiders while in reality slamming the door in their face. The modern world encourages creativity while shutting-out all but a privileged few from individualistic expression. The Outside Edge is all about learning to harness the unique vantage point you possess in order to give yourself the edge required to succeed. It will show you when to embrace your outsider status and go against convention, and when to play the game, do as the insiders do and make sure you can get progress. Think of The Outside Edge as a manual for positively directing your insecurity, awkwardness and role-confusion towards a meaningful future, shaped and pursued on your own terms.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The Buddha pill : can meditation actually change you?
“In this new book, psychologists Dr. Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm explore the human ambition for personal change and its possible illusions, with a focus on yoga and meditation. They examine the psychological and biological evidence, from early research on Transcendental Meditation to recent brain-imaging studies on mindfulness. Controversially, The Buddha Pill argues that personal change effected by these spiritual practices can vary widely from one individual to another, and that peace and compassion may not always be the end result. Combining insights from decades of scientific research with fascinating accounts from gurus and prisoners, The Buddha Pill weaves together a unique story about the science and the delusions of personal change.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The happiness trap : how to stop struggling and start living
“Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Whole body intelligence : get out of your head and into your body to achieve greater wisdom, confidence, and success
“Executive coach Steve Sisgold, knows that the body–not the mind–is the most reliable and effective pathway to realizing your innermost desires and achieving success. His unique, body-centric approach will show you how to get out of your head and take charge of every area of your life with increased awareness, clarity, and confidence. Whole Body Intelligence teaches you how to become aware of subtle body sensations–such as gripping the phone or clenching your jaw during a tense conversation–and how to interpret their meanings, linking them to negative thoughts and behaviors that are impeding your success and happiness.” (Syndetics)

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Home & Garden Newsletter for August

Finding ways to grow all the ingredients for an entire dish in your garden would be the dream of many and this month’s selection of cooking books offer lots of ideas and inspiration. Take a look at the latest in sewing, knitting and crochet and find new ways to maintaining good health and mindfulness, preventing mental disorders and addictions. Check out the newest books at your local Wellington library and enjoy.

Cooking

This month’s selection of cookbooks feature seasonal foods with emphasis on local produce and growing your own food. Other books include ‘how to’ books like Dudefood, The First Foods Book and Cooking for Geeks.

Syndetics book cover DudeFood. Volume # 1 / [by Daniel Churchill].
“Are you a guy who has wanted to cook but doesn’t know where to start? The Dude Food book is here to educate, motivate and inspire men of all ages. With its colloquial dude language and easy to read recipes, dudes no longer have an excuse to avoid the kitchen bench. Dude Food incorporates the many scenarios guys find themselves in each day – what to have around the gym, how to impress a girl, what to feed your mates. This book will turn a standard TV dinner guy into an appealing kitchen master.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The First Foods Book : 130 yummy recipes from weaning to the big table.
“Covering every step of the weaning journey, from six months to a year, The First Foods Book includes more than 130 recipes – from single-veg purees to exciting combinations and full meals. Every one has been rigorously tested to ensure it meets with Ella’s Kitchen nutritional standards. There is also lots of practical advice to give every parent confidence at this key stage of their baby’s development…making weaning easy and stress-free – introducing solids becomes as much of an adventure for parents as it is for the little one whose taste exploration has only just begun.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cooking for Geeks : Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food / Jeff Potter.
“More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks inspires you to be inventive in the kitchen and piques your curiosity about food. Presents recipes ranging in difficulty with the science and technology-minded cook in mind, providing the science behind cooking, the physiology of taste, and the techniques of molecular gastronomy.” (Book Jacket)
Syndetics book cover A Table in the Orchard : my delicious life / Michelle Crawford.
“I dreamed of a rambling old farmhouse where I could grow my own food, learn how to bake cakes and make jam. I wanted to wear gumboots. Every day.” Organizing cocktail parties at the Sydney Opera House sounds perfectly glamorous, and for a while it was for Michelle Crawford. But once she became a mother, the yearning to find her own little slice of heaven in the country could no longer be ignored….A Table in the Orchard is breathtaking proof of how seductive a taste of slow living in one of the most beautiful valleys in Tasmania might be. Like Michelle, you might be tempted to make your own crumpets or run away to the Apple Isle.” (Syndetics summary)

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Crafts

Draw creative energy from this delightful collection of new library books including knitting designs for every season, clever sewing projects and fresh ideas for lace work, including how to make beautiful buttons. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Sew organized for the busy girl : tips to make the most of your time & space : 23 quick and clever sewing projects you’ll love / Heidi Staples.
“Fit sewing into your busy lifestyle with practical tips that will help you put hours back on the clock Heidi Staples, a creative mom of three, will help you organize your sewing space and works-in-progress so they are ready to roll at a moment s notice. Revive your creative life and make the most of your time with easy-to-implement advice. Stitch up 23 projects, ranging from handcrafted quilts to home decor, children’s gifts, and attractive storage cases. With an arsenal of time-savers, you ll finally finish those projects while enjoying a little “you” time at the sewing machine.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Warm days, cool knits : lighter designs for every season / Corrina Ferguson.
“Knitting is not just for cold and snowy climates! For anyone who has ever stopped to wonder what knitters in the South are wearing–and knitting–for the changing seasons, Florida designer Corrina Ferguson has set out to show us in Warm Days, Cool Knits: Lighter Designs for Every Season. Cardigans and hoodies stand in for winter coats, knitted tees and short-sleeve cardigans are perfect for spring, tanks and cropped cardis are comfortable on warm summer nights, and pullovers and shawls are just right in fall. Through her choice of lightweight yarns and bold colors, Corrina has set these pieces apart from the crowd of everyday knitted garments and shown them off as a versatile knitted southern wardrobe.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover How to make beautiful buttons / Beate Schmitz.
“Make buttons out of fabric, clay, beads and more! There are 25 designs to make with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step photographs accompanying every project. Buttons are not only practical additions to bags, jackets and other garments but they also make great fashion accessories all on their own. Starting with a detailed explanation for making each button, the projects span an incredible array of crafts including crochet, embroidery, knotting, felt and paint for embellishing yourhandmade beautiful buttons.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Learn to crochet, love to crochet / Anna Wilkinson ; photography by Laura Edwards.
Anna Wilkinson encouraged a new generation of crafters to take up knitting with her debut book, Learn to Knit, Love to Knit. Anna is now set to popularise the creative craft of crochet in the same way with the companion book, Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet. The book is made up of a collection of twenty garments and accessories that will add ‘wow’ to your wardrobe but also, through making each project, you will learn the fundamentals of crochet. While the ten Learn to Crochet projects guide you through the most basic crochet techniques, the ten Love to Crochet garments provide all the inspiration and know-how you need to really master this highly versatile craft. By making your way through the book you’ll have an enviable wardrobe of handmade garments.” (Syndetics summary)

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Health

This month we take a holistic view of health, from preventative to curative, from yoga to mindfulness. We read about mental disorders, addictions and Alzheimer’s and improve our knowledge of medical terms.

Syndetics book cover Yoga for life : a journey to inner peace and freedom
“From a rebellious young woman with a dangerous heroin habit to a globe-trotting fashion model to ‘First Lady of Yoga’ (The New York Times), Colleen Saidman Yee tells the remarkable story of how she found herself through the healing power of yoga–and then inspired others to do the same.” (Library catalogue)
Syndetics book cover Fight Alzheimer’s with vitamins and antioxidants
“In this practical scientific guide, leading researcher in cancer, heart disease, and diabetes prevention Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., reveals the latest revolutionary discoveries on the use of antioxidants to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. He details how the proper combinations of vitamin and antioxidant supplements can greatly increase the effectiveness of standard medical treatments for Alzheimer’s as well as delay or even prevent onset despite a family history of the disease. This guide provides a truly holistic approach to Alzheimer’s prevention, treatment, and care.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The gut balance revolution : boost your metabolism, restore your inner ecology, and lose the weight for good!
“Recent cutting-edge research shows that human intestinal microbiota influences metabolism, appetite, energy, hormones, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Because gut microflora plays a central role in weight management, losing weight is much more than cutting calories, fat, or carbs. When the trillions of live bacteria in our digestive tract-the gut microbiome-are balanced, excess pounds melt away and we feel revitalized. A leading authority on digestive health and the gut microbiome, Dr. Gerard E. Mullin reveals how to stifle the fat-forming, disease-promoting gut bacteria, reseed your gut with good fat-burning ones, and fertilize those friendly flora with just the right foods to reboot, rebalance, and renew your health–and lose weight for good.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The Headspace guide to… a mindful pregnancy
“Mindfulness in Pregnancy is the concise and practical guide to achieving and maintaining mindfulness throughout every stage of having a baby. With helpful exercises for both mother to be and her partner, Andy shows how to live mindfully and get the most from pregnancy and the early days of parenthood. From creating the right conditions for conception and reducing anxiety around pregnancy and birth, to managing pain in labour and promoting well being for mother and baby in the first hours, days and weeks after birth, Andy’s simple and empowering exercises have been created to give both mother and baby a gentle, happy and positive experience.” (Syndetics summary)

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Personal Development

This month’s selection delves into the workings of co-dependent relationships and offers tools to free yourself from them, cultivating intimacy, yet separateness, creativity and inner peace.

Syndetics book cover How to predict the unpredictable : the art of outsmarting almost everyone
“We are hard-wired to believe that the world is more predictable than it is. We chase ‘winning streaks’ that are often just illusions, and we are all too predictable exactly when we try hardest not to be. In the 1970s, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky coined the phrase ‘representativeness’ to describe the psychology of this behaviour. Poundstone makes these techniques fun, easy, and profitable for everyone, in the everyday situations that matter. You’ll learn how to tackle multiple choice tests, what internet passwords to avoid, how to up your odds of winning the office Premier League sweepstakes, and the best ways to invest your money.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Calm : calm the mind, change the world
“Join the Calm revolution. Modern life is hectic and relentless. There has never been a more important time to rediscover your pause button. Calm is the book that will show you how to take back a little bit of peace, space and all-important calm. It is a practical and pleasurable guide to twenty-first century mindfulness. Regular meditation is medically proven to be good for you. Calm is about simple, achievable habits that work with the demands of your busy life instead of pretending those demands don’t exist. Calm does not require specialist training: it uses abilities that every single one of us is born with, like creativity, spontaneity and simply noticing the world around you. Calm demystifies mindfulness and shows you the many simple ways to be mindful while carrying on with your life.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The upside of stress : why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it
“The author of The Willpower Instinct delivers a controversial and groundbreaking new book that overturns long-held beliefs about stress. More than forty-four percent of Americans admit to losing sleep over stress. And while most of us do everything we can to reduce it, Stanford psychologist and bestselling author Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. In The Upside of Stress, McGonigal highlights new research indicating that stress can, in fact, make us stronger, smarter, and happier–if we learn how to embrace it. McGonigal combines science, stories, and exercises into an engaging and practical book that is both entertaining and life-changing. McGonigal’s TED talk on the subject has already received more than 7 million views.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Lessons of lifelong intimacy : building a stronger marriage without losing yourself–the 9 principles of a balanced and happy relationship
“Michael Gurian offers a groundbreaking plan for couples seeking to build a healthy relationship, work through past hurts, and create greater intimacy. Recent university studies show that the most frequent reason relationships dissolve is not abuse, alcoholism, money, or even infidelity, but rather a lack of emotional fulfillment. Most books on love and marriage focus on teaching communication and conflict skills, but neglect to help couples with the “other half” of intimacy–separateness. In this practical yet personal guide to love, Gurian details the benefits of creating a lifelong balance of closeness and separateness. Rich with examples and case studies, this book presents strategies for communication and conflict that build more emotional balance, while showing how intimate separateness can be the key to lifelong happiness.”(Syndetics)

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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)