my love of gardening started as a young child. i had a little garden of my own nestled under the huge birds nest fern at my grandparents house and one at home beneath the lemon tree. there i grew violets, busy lizzie's and sprinkled ‘cottage garden mix’ seeds.
now i have much more space to construct a garden bed or three and my attention has turned to productive plants. lemon grass, nasturtiums, rosemary, thyme & lavender are dotted amongst the existing shrubs in the front garden. the mushroom compost filled beds out the back are filled with vegies. green beans climb a wire trellis with lettuce seedlings in front. rows of beetroot, spring onions and silver beet are interplanted with marigolds and more nasturtiums in the other recycled timber-edged beds.
growing a plant. nurturing it from a seed as those first green leaves appear. it grows taller and later its small limbs hold produce: beans, tomatoes, pumpkins or peas. such a rewarding experience it is being able to pick, prepare and then eat.
alongside my love of gardening is that of reading and studying the images in gardening books. over the years my collection has grown; consisting mostly of thrifted books along with gifted titles from my wish list.
my top gardening books are-
'introduction to permaculture' by Bill Mollison. my go-to book. packed full of info on designing a productive and practical garden (and home) using permaculture principles- from a small backyard to commercial farm size. there are plenty of helpful hand drawn diagrams throughout too. i’ve been lucky enough to find 3 copies over the years from op-shops.
'Esther Deans’ gardening book: growing without digging'. an oldie but still very relevant. all about constructing a no-dig garden using layering methods, composting and pest control.
'the permaculture home garden' by Linda Woodrow (who also has a lovely little blog). another thrifted book. easy reading based again around the permaculture principles. topics of this book include choosing a site for your vegie beds and introducing chickens into the garden system.
'one magic square': grow your own food on one square metre' by Lolo Houbein. great for the small area gardener and those new to growing their own food. it has instructions on plant spacing and garden bed layout to make the most of limited space. also featured are themed plantings- the curry plot, the pizza plot and the soup plot.
the latest addition, my easter gift this year is 'seasons in my kitchen garden: a journey from paddock to potager' by Marcelle Nankervis. this book is written season by season about Marcelle’s experience on moving to her family’s farm and starting a beautiful garden from scratch. plenty of beautiful photography too.
do you have a favourite gardening book? maybe one you always seem to turn to when you have a gardening query?