Our friend and client Joyce asked us a couple months ago if we could share some of our favorite gardening books. We became so busy trying to keep our online shop updated and well maintained that we had a hard time finding the time to make the post. We did not forget though and were waiting for the right week to make the time for such a post :) We decided this week would be it! We will list the books below and why we love them. Thank you Joyce for your request - we are so happy to finally bring this to our blog <3
All these books are available in our shop, just not online... if you have any interest, we are happy to ship. The best way would be through email :)
1. A Garden Can Be Anywhere - Creating Bountiful and Beautiful Edible Gardens by Lauri Kranz with Dean Kuipers (1st and 2nd photos) --- Lauri Kranz is the founder of Edible Gardens LA - they build and sustain edible landscapes and vegetable gardens for chefs, restaurants, museums, schools and anyone interested in growing their own food. Her book is an inspiring resource filled with ideas, techniques, dos and don'ts on composting, soil amendments, planting high and low, etc... all punctuated by beautiful photography. We have used inspiration from this book ourselves to design our own garden beds. It's a fabulous book - useful as a resource but also inspiring through both the words and photos.
2. The Hidden Life of Trees - What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben (3rd and 4th photos) --- The preluding question is "Are Trees Social Beings?" ... this had us intrigued and our imaginations running wild. The author uses scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families - tree parents live with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending danger. This book is absolutely fascinating and one that brings a new way of understanding the natural world.
3. The Story of Trees and how they changed the way we live by Kevin Hobbs and David West (3rd and 5th photos) --- This book entwines interesting facts about 100 trees with inspiring stories of their importance to civilizations, trade, religious and pagan beliefs, well being and medicinal uses over the ages. A curious mind will love this book! The fifth photo above shows the page on the kapok tree. We chose this because we love kapok stuffing and it is used in a couple different designer's work we carry. The description of this tree goes into its origins, where it is found and what it is known for - which is mainly the fiber inside its large seed pods. This is the fiber that can be used as stuffing - it is waterproof and much lighter than cotton. This fascinating book includes pages on Douglas Fur, English Oak, North American Nutmeat among many others.
4. The Photographer in the Garden by Sarah Anne McNear (6th, 7th, 8th photos) --- This is more of an art book than a how to or resource book... but the subject is the garden. The photographs shared span the timeline from 1839 to present day. The book includes commentary on the relation of photography and it's historical uses in relation to the garden. The photos themselves are inspiring and depict gardens in ways that give thoughts of composition, color and space.
5. The Trees of North America by Michaux and Redouté (9th and 10th photos) --- This book is a selection of American forest trees surveyed by François-André Michaux and Thomas Nuttall from the New York Botanical Garden. It features illustrations by different artists including Pierre-Joseph Redouté. More than 270 full color reproductions are presented together here for the first time. Every tree species featured has capsule summaries along with additional reference illustrations. This is a great reference book for color, design and factual information. It's a lovely book.
6. Embracing the Seasons - Memories of a Country Garden by Gunilla Norris (11th photo) --- This is a beautiful book that takes you on a soulful journey through the seasons of a year in a country garden. The author shares her observations of this garden and surrounding land as the seasons change, coming and going. She also reflects on the abundance and meaning of nature and its cycles of renewal. The language is inspiring and the emotions that are expressed through the relationship with nature is rather moving. We highly recommend reading this book <3
We would love to share a passage from Embracing the Seasons as it feels so relevant to the moment we are all going through and speaks on such a universal level through poetry. As we all go through a lot of change, awareness and understanding - we do it as we can with effort. That looks different for each person, as we bring our communities along... or we stumble... or we have a moment of epiphany that comes and carries us forward. For us, the below passage speaks of the ways in which we can be open to moving forward through change. Writing and reading about nature can give us such a good reflection of ourselves and inspiration for the future.
Here it is, written by Gunilla Norris -
A space is needed between the daytime mind
and the creating mind.
The daytime mind wants clarity, facts, timeliness,
It will do what it thinks is necessary to survive.
The creating mind wants space and freedom.
It is at home in mystery and in timeless time.
More than in stability, it wants to live in the realm
How do we honor both - since both are necessary?
Perhaps we do it by respecting the threshold, the space between them.
When we learn not to charge from one state of being
to the other,
but to transition with care and awareness, we form a habit that honors both.
Then something new in us can hatch out
with a pair of well-matched and beautiful wings.