It’s back-to-school time for the kids, so why not take some time and educate yourself on how to use a rain barrel, how to create a vertical garden, or learn the botanic names of all the plants in your garden? The Library is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, in the PHS headquarters at 20th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.
A Fruit Is a Suitcase for Seeds, Jean Richards. “Many seeds travel inside fruits. The fruit is like a suitcase for the seeds. It protects them on their trip.” Young readers will learn how fruits are designed to protect a plant’s seeds and also to help the plant spread its seeds to new places. Ages 5 and up.
Creating Rain Gardens, Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Apryl Uncapher. Creating Rain Gardens is a comprehensive book for the DIY-er, covering everything from rain barrels to simple living roofs, permeable patios, and other low-tech affordable ways to save water in the garden. Water conservation experts Cleo Woelfle-Erskine and Apryl Uncapher walk homeowners through the process, with step-by-step instructions for designing and building swales, French drains, rain gardens, and ephemeral ponds—the building blocks of rain-catching gardens.
Free-Range Chicken Gardens, Kate Baldwin (photographer) and Jessi Bloom. In this essential handbook, award-winning garden designer Jessi Bloom covers everything a gardener needs to know, including chicken-keeping basics, simple garden plans to get you started, tips on attractive fencing options, the best plants and plants to avoid, and step-by-step instructions for getting your chicken garden up and running.
Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms, Richard Fortey. From one of the world’s leading natural scientists and acclaimed author comes a fascinating chronicle of life’s history told not through the fossil record but through the stories of organisms that have survived, almost unchanged, throughout time. Evolution, it seems, has not completely obliterated its tracks as more advanced organisms have evolved; the history of life on earth is far older—and odder—than many of us realize.
Jack’s Garden, Henry Cole (illustrator). Jack’s Garden is a cumulative story that traces a little boy’s backyard flower garden from tilling the soil to enjoying the blossoms. The text delightfully catalogs the process in a take-off on the old rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Built.” As the garden takes shape, readers see seedlings sprout and bud, flowers open, insects and birds visit and, at last, a lovely garden in full bloom. Ages 3 and up.
Small-Space Container Gardens, Fern Richardson. This exciting guide layers practical gardening fundamentals with creative solutions that encourage thinking outside the pot. Maybe this means re-purposing a shipping pallet to create a colorful vertical garden of nasturtiums and lobelia. Or simply seeing walls, rafters, railings, and everything in-between as fair game. It’s in these containers–traditional or not–that you’ll cultivate your own food, attract beneficial insects, grow flowering vine privacy screens, and so much more.
The A to Z of Plant Names, Allen J. Coombes. Botanical names can be baffling to even the most experienced gardener. The A to Z of Plant Names clears the confusion and allows every gardener to name plants with confidence. This comprehensive yet handy guide features the botanic names of the plants that gardeners really grow. Additional information includes suggested pronunciation, the common name, the derivation of the scientific name, the number of species currently accepted, the type of plant and the distribution.
The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Ellix Katz; Michael Pollan (Foreword by). The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners.
The Surprising Life of Constance Spry, Sue Shephard. Spry is better known as the author of that bible of middle-class housewives throughout the land, The Constance Spry Cookery Book. But who was she? Those of us who recognize the name think only of recipes, but her story is in fact that of a profoundly unconventional woman, who went from a poverty stricken childhood to the height of London society, taking in a career as rich and varied as it was unusual for a woman of her era. Today, her influence can be seen in every unorthodox flower arrangement, every “natural” bouquet tied with rattan and, of course, in the gardens up and down the country planted with the Constance Spry rose.
The Tudor House and Garden, Paula Henderson. This book focuses for the first time on sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century country houses in their settings. Investigating the complex relations between Tudor and early Stuart houses and the landscapes in which they were set, Paula Henderson offers new perspectives on some of England’s most magical buildings. She examines natural and man-made landscapes as well as gatehouses, garden buildings, banqueting houses, and other ancillary structures. More than 200 splendid images illustrate the book, which also features a complete gazetteer.
The Vegetables We Eat, Gail Gibbons. Who knew there were so many different kinds of vegetables? From glossy red peppers to lush, leafy greens to plump orange pumpkins, vegetables are explored in depth in this fascinating picture book that clearly explains the many vegetable varieties, how they are grown, and why they are so good for us to eat. Ages 5 and up.
What If There Were No Bees? Suzanne Slade; Carol Schwartz (illustrator). Grassland ecosystems can be found on nearly every continent. Countless animals and plants live in them. So what difference could the loss of one animal species make? Follow the chain reaction, and discover how important honey bees are. Ages 7 and up.
Interested in any of these great books? Click here to visit the Library catalog.