No, really, you can! Even if you live in an dwelling without a yard, you can still turn your food waste into rich, useful compost. Michigan garden expert Colleen Vanderlinden shows you how over at Planet Green. You can also check out some of our many resources on composting:
Now is the time when many gardeners in our area begin to start seeds indoors, so they'll have lovely seedlings to transplant into the garden when the weather warms up. You can even reuse many items from around the house, to save both money and time. We also have a number of books that will help you with starting from seed:
Are there other ways that you've found to save money in the garden? I like to reuse household objects to make garden items, and I recycle my friends' and neighbors' decorative straw bales as mulch each fall. What tips do you suggest?
Success with small-space gardening by Graham Clarke — Many people would like to have a garden, but find that they are limited by a lack of space. Perhaps you have a small yard, or your homeowner association or condo board limits your options. You can still have a beautiful and even productive garden, no matter how small. This book show how to design for whatever space you have available, using clever and unusual but easily executed techniques.
How to grow practically everything by Zia Allaway, Lia Leendertz — This hefty volume is truly chock full of ideas for gardening projects. From creating garden beds to container gardening to edibles to attracting wildlife, this book really covers a lot of ground (ha!). Beginners will find the introductory sections useful, while more seasoned gardeners will be able to jump in to the particular project that suits their interest.
One of the most rewarding things I've done in the past few years was to start growing my own veggies. It not only encourages me to eat better, it also gives me a fun way to exercise, saves tons of money on my grocery bill, and provides me with a bounty that I can share with friends and neighbors. This book is a terrific guide for how to integrate veggies into your garden or start a vegetable plot from scratch. It contains a wealth of tips and tricks in addition to the basic how-to info. I got inspired to start growing my own food by reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
This comprehensive guide to flowering bulbs is filled with useful information and gorgeous photographs. Description, historical context, and growing condition information is provided for each variety. Many bulbs are included and the book concludes with a section on growing bulbs. This book is not only useful, it is beautiful to look at. The earliest bulbs are now blooming in my garden. Are they blooming in yours?
This book is just what you'd expect from the title, and it's filled with brief, detailed explanations of plant problems accompanied by color illustrations of each. There is also a full-color photo gallery of problems that I found extremely helpful for seeing the difference between similar-looking problems. There are also a bunch of organic remedies, safe for use on edibles and in areas where children or pets are active. This is a book I can see myself coming back to on a regular basis.
This book profiles a series of gardens, each of which demonstrate particular techniques, design elements, and themes. These gardens are stylish but completely achievable and many of them are of reasonable size - no sprawling estates beyond the reach of a suburban gardener like me.
Druse is an author, podcaster, and lecturer on gardening, and this book features the plants he has found and loved in his many years of working with them. He writes here about many of the issues gardeners struggle with including zone denial, garden design, and native/nonnative species. Beautifully designed, this book is gorgeous to look at as well as quite informative.
I'm an amateur gardener and roses are the plant that I find most intimidating. Gardening for me is a go-with-the-flow activity in which I try things and hope for the best. Roses have always seemed to me to be too high maintenance for my style, but after reading this book I think I may give them a try. There are certainly some lower maintenance climbing roses featured here that seem quite doable.
This book is really a one-stop shop for just about everything you'd want to know about perennial gardening. In addition to an extensive guide to many specific perennial plants, it includes sections on designing and creating a perennial bed, caring for and maintaining perennials, and transplanting and troubleshooting problems with these long-lived plants. I can tell that this is a book I'll come back to many times.
I am currently in the midst of a multi-year project of turning our front yard into a front garden and I've selected black, white, purple, and silver for my color scheme. This book is an excellent resource for choosing plants with either black flowers or black foliage. While a number of these plants overwinter only in tropical zones, there are a great many that will thrive here in zone 6. What a striking contrast they provide to plants in a more typical color palette.
This book looks at gardens designed by Power, providing details about their history and design in addition to stunning double page spreads of gorgeous photographs. Many styles and types of gardens are included. Power's goal in each garden is to provide a place where people can relax, refresh, and feel at home, and it's easy to see that she's been successful.
When designing a decorative garden, it can be quite helpful to think about the finished look as an artist might when painting. This book suggests plants and plant combinations selected with a painterly eye. These suggestions are divided into sections including horizontals and tiers, verticals and diagonals, clouds and transparents, and more. This is a book to spend some time with when in the design phase, or when something about your garden just isn't working and you need a new idea.