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Gardening for Well-Being

The book covers from the titles listed in this post surrounding a gloved hand holding a garden trowel.

Spring is here, which for many people means gardening! Gardening offers benefits not only for people and communities but for the earth, animals, and insects, too. Gardening can mean much more than just reaping a harvest; it can provide health and well-being for everyone and everything involved! Explore the following titles to learn more about the positive impacts of gardening.

For Kids

It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona – Award-winning photographer George Ancona visits Acequia Madre Elementary School in New Mexico to photograph the school garden and talk with students, families, and teachers. This lovely picture book follows the school and garden through the seasons, teaching the children about plants, the ecosystem, cooking, and art. Illustrations by the students are included alongside the photographs. Children and adults alike will find this to be an informative and joyful presentation of the garden’s many benefits.

Let’s Get Gardening by Radhika Haswani – This fun-filled, colorful book is from the folks at DK publishing. You will find all kinds of information and projects to get children involved in growing a garden. Some of the topics include: basic plant biology, gardening tools, how to grow certain plants, wildlife gardening, and recycling. The step-by-step projects emphasize and teach while appealing to kids of all ages. This is a great book for any budding gardener (pun intended)!

For Adults

The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen – Will Allen’s story is one of determination and vision. As the son of a sharecropper, he was no stranger to farming, and his vision led to the creation of Growing Power, an urban farming organization that developed community food systems throughout the United States. He established a holistic urban farm in Milwaukee that employed and taught young people from the surrounding communities. He successfully demonstrated how an urban community garden initiative can not only provide healthy sources of food in areas lacking nearby resources, but opportunities for improvement of well-being as well. His is an inspiring story of how farming and gardening can effect positive change.

American Grown by Michelle Obama – Michelle Obama first considered the idea of establishing a vegetable garden at the White House in her Chicago kitchen: that if her husband were elected, such a garden would be a means to initiate a national conversation about food choices and how it affects our lives and our children. Once in residence, she wasted no time in establishing the garden. Its purpose was not just to grow vegetables- it was also intended as the People’s garden; a place where children and families could come to learn and connect with the earth. This book takes you through the journey beginning with Mrs. Obama’s inspiration, the history of White House gardens, to the site planning, through the seasons, and meeting the people along the way who contributed to as well as benefitted from the garden. This is a beautiful book full of pictures that can be enjoyed by all ages- plus, lots of delicious recipes created by the White House chefs. It is the story of another vision of how gardens can bring people together and nourish communities.

101 Organic Gardening Hacks by Shawna Coronado – The author demonstrates that there are many ways to enrich and enhance your garden while being cost effective and environmentally conscious, which is beneficial for the well-being of the gardener and the planet. Coronado shares ideas about design, growing, maintenance, attracting pollinators, and more. There are lots of ideas for recycling common household items into useful garden tools and objects. Try creating your own seed tape with toilet paper or planting globe basil to ward off rabbits. Have fun discovering creative and environmentally friendly ways to garden!

Sustainable Gardening for the Southeast by Susan M. Varlamoff – A sustainable landscape or garden maintains and gives back to the environment while protecting all of the life within. Proper plant selection, good soil and water management, and attracting pollinators will help you create a healthy, sustainable environment. Varlamoff has compiled a comprehensive, accessible guide to instruct and encourage homeowners in applying these practices. Clear explanations, personal anecdotes, and abundant illustrations reinforce their importance to a healthy environment.

The Pollinator Victory Garden by Kim Eierman – The importance of pollinators is commonly known but many of today’s landscapes don’t offer habitats that attract and sustain them. Unfortunately, some are declining in population. Understanding and attracting a variety of species is made easy with this guide. The author discusses the importance and types of pollinators, habitat requirements, including plant lists, and tips for creating a successful garden. Supported by beautiful photographs, anyone should find this an inspiring resource for pollinator gardening.

The Guide to Humane Critter Control by Theresa Rooney - Gardens and lawns inevitably draw critters of all types. Some are beneficial but many can wreak havoc. Knowing which ones are good for the garden and which aren’t is a first step in controlling pests but it is also important to know how to control them safely without endangering the environment. This guide will help you identify and control insects without harmful chemicals, attract beneficial predators and pollinators, and repel unwanted guests of all kinds. There is an abundance of helpful information here for conscientious gardeners looking to control nature’s critters humanely and in an eco-friendly fashion.

All of these titles can be found in the HCPL catalog. You can also subscribe to the Home, Garden, and DIY LibraryAware newsletter for more recommendations, or try My Next Read to get a custom book list from an HCPL librarian.

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