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Nurture Your Garden

Illustration of a variety of gardening tools on a green background

Springtime is here! Warm sunlight and gentle breezes are calling us to spend some time outside. Whether you have a huge back yard, a tiny patch of earth, or a porch with a few pots, gardening is a great way to do just that. Henrico County Public Library has a plethora of online options to get you growing!

Rocks, Dirt, Worms, and Weeds: a Fun, User-Friendly Guide to Creating a Vegetable or Flower Garden with Your Kids by Jeff Hutton – Spend some quality time with your kids while engaging them in S.T.E.M. projects. Build some simple bird feeders, or decorate some egg carton gardens and start some seeds. Jeff Hutton’s book has four whole seasons of garden and nature-related projects for you and your kids to enjoy.

A Garden of Marvels by Ruth Kassinger – After killing her 12-year old kumquat tree, Ms. Kassinger goes on a quest to become a better gardener. Along the way, she encounters a one-ton pumpkin and an animal that photosynthesizes, and she learns that flowers have active sex lives.

Composting for a New Generation by Michelle Balz – Now is a great time to start composting! You can reduce your food waste, enrich your soil, and even give your internal flora a helping hand. Michelle Balz covers traditional bins, worm composting, and newer techniques like keyhole gardens and compost-based raised beds.

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant – Have you ever inherited a mysterious houseplant and wondered, “What is this thing? How do I take care of it?” This book can help. Pleasant’s book contains a step-by-step flowchart to identify any houseplant, plus detailed care and feeding instructions for 160 varieties.

The American Meadow Garden by John Greenlee – Are you looking for a low-maintenance yet beautiful way to plant your garden? Native grasses and plants are a way to save water and avoid harmful chemical use while attracting birds, bees, and butterflies to your garden. Skip the lawn mowing blues and try a meadow garden instead.

Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants by Richard Mabey – Is that unidentified plant springing up in your yard a medicinal herb, a wildflower, or just a pest? Mabey writes, “What had been a crop or medicine…falls from grace and metamorphs into a forest outlaw.” This natural history shows that “weediness” depends heavily on time, place, and who is answering the question.

The Hummingbird Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes and Bird Food Recipes by Rhonda Massingham Hart – Birds in your garden will control the pest population, fertilize your plants, and help curb your weed problems. And the bonus? They are beautiful to watch. Check out these books and start attracting some feathered friends to your own garden.

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