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gardening

You can compost

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:

The compost specialist : the essential guide to creating and using garden compost, and using potting and seed composts by David Squire

Starting Your Veggie Garden From Seed

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:

Gardening with heirloom seeds: tried-and-true flowers, fruits, and vegetables for a new generation by Lynn Coulter

To-may-to, To-mah-to

Don't those tomatoes look delicious? This winter weather may have us stuck inside, but we can at least prepare for the glorious gardening days to come, right? There are many types of tomato cages you can use to support your plants, several of which are highlighted in this post over at Mother Earth News. Personally, I've never used anything as architectural as these folding wooden tomato cages, but I think I might try building some.

How do you Save Money in Your Garden?

Gardening has many rewards, but as we all have to scrimp and pull our belts a bit tighter, it can seem like it's expensive to get started. There are many things we can do to be more thrifty in the garden, though! Over at The Home Gardener, Dave Townsend offers three really great tips: start from seed, propagate your own plants, and participate in plant swaps.

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

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

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.

How to Become a Master Gardener

Do you want to make your green thumb even greener? Earth Week is a great time to learn how to grow and care for your own vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and flowers. Master Gardener Anita Callendar will be at the Library on April 20 with an overview of the Master Gardening Program presented by the Michigan State University Extension. Join her and other future gardening gurus in the Community Room from 7:00-8:30PM. No registration is required.

Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs: A Bountiful, Healthful Garden for Lean Times by Jim Wilson

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.

Bulb

Bulb by Anna Pavord

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?

What's Wrong With My Plant?

What's Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?) A Visual Guide to Easy Diagnosis and Organic Remedies by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth

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.

The New Low Maintenance Garden

The New Low Maintenance Garden The New Low Maintenance Garden: How to Have a Beautiful, Productive Garden and the Time to Enjoy It by Valerie Easton

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.

Planthropology

Planthropology: The Myths, Mysteries, and Miracles of My Garden Favorites by Ken Druse

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.

Right Rose Right Place

Right Rose Right Place Right Rose Right Place: 359 Perfect Choices for Beds, Borders, Hedges and Screens, Containers, Fences, Trellises, and More by Peter Schneider

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.

Perennial Care Manual

Perennial Care Manual Perennial Care Manual: A Plant-by-Plant Guide: What to Do & When to Do It by Nancy J. Ondra

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.

Black Plants

Black Plants: 75 Striking Choices for the Garden by Paul Bonine

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.

Power of Gardens

Power of Gardens by Nancy Goslee Power

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.

Gardening with Shape, Line and Texture

Gardening with Shape, Line and Texture: A Plant Design Sourcebook by Linden Hawthorne

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.

What happened to the honeybees?

honeybeeThere has been a lot of speculation about why honeybees have been disappearing, and now scientists have a new theory: it's because of us. Luckily there are many things you can do to help foster good environments for honeybees, such as planting a diverse garden with plants that are attractive to bees. And if you're looking for honey or info on how to raise your own bees, you can't get more local than Bobilin Honey from right here in Canton.

2009 Design Excellence Award

Canton Public Library is the proud recipient of a Design Excellence Award for commercial landscape. The award was presented to the library by the Canton Committee for Community Excellence. The colorful READ berm, on the east side of the library facing Canton Center Road, was recognized by the Committee as promoting community pride. The library strives to be a pleasant, welcoming environment for the many patrons who visit. (A special thanks to Reliable Landscaping of Canton which does a wonderful job of taking care of the library grounds, especially the ladies who take care of the READ flowers.)

The Curious Garden

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown is one of our new picture books, located on the new shelf in the children's department. It is about a young boy named Liam who decides to grow a small garden in the midst of a new cement filled city. Before he knows it the whole city is becoming greener as his garden grows and his efforts inspire others to grow their own gardens. The pictures are busy and fun to look at again and again. This is a great book about spring, gardens and making a difference in the environment.