2010-12-16 / News

Books that can make great gifts for gardeners

The Island Garden
By Roger Marshall

As a gardening writer and author I get a lot of press releases and other info about garden stuff that might be of interest to readers. This week I thought I’d mention a couple of books that you might like.

The first is an almanac and gardener’s guide that has been around for 186 years. It’s Baer’s Agricultural Almanac published by John Baer and Sons of Lancaster, Pa. It runs to 96 pages and contains a weather forecast for each week of next year as well as a lot of farming and gardening lore. I figure the weather forecast has about as much chance of being correct as those guys on television and that’s about 50 percent.

More interesting is the gardening and planetary lore. For example, you can find the time when all the planets are visible in the morning or evening sky, what planets are brightest and when they will appear and even those that are faint or almost invisible to the naked eye. If you garden by the phases of the moon, then the almanac provides the date of each new, first quarter, half, last quarter and full moons.

At the back of the almanac are pages and pages of lore. For example, in March it tells you that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox. Bet you didn’t know that!

In April the oldest garden tour in the country takes place. It is the annual historic Garden Tour in Virginia now in its 78th year. The tour takes place all over the state and you can decide which part you’d like to join. You can find out more at www.vagardenweek. org. Baer’s Agricultural Almanac and Gardener’s Guide costs $5 and is available from John Baer’s Sons, P.O. Box 328, Lancaster, PA 17608. Or you can call them at 717-392-0733.

Another book that I liked is the Perpetual Gardening Record Book. The book is illustrated by Lauren Graves who used her own images and quotes from her grandmother Evelyn Corley Buzbee who was a national judge of hostas and daylilies for more than 35 years.

Graves says that they took the quotes from speeches that her grandmother made at garden conventions around the country. The saddle-stitched book is designed for people who want to know at a glance what is happening in their garden. It is laid out like a diary with space for about 10 lines per day.

The first two pages show you how to organize your entries. Graves hopes that people will use the book to create a record of their gardens and eventually create a family record of lore that can be passed down from generation to generation. Almost all of the pages have a garden photo and many pages have extra space for notes or sketches. At the back of the book are additional pages for more sketches with the last page reserved for references and resources.

The book has a nice warm feel to it and is a real enhancement for your garden bookshelf. In addition to the book, CabinTiger produces a set of gift cards that you can use to send notes to your gardening friends. The book costs $20 ($15 as a special holiday price until Dec 20). The gift cards – eight in all – are available for $5. The book and cards are available from www.cabintiger. com or connect directly with Lauren Graves at Lauren@cabintiger. com and order a copy for the holiday.

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