My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view. ~H. Fred Dale
Winter still has its grip on us here in central New York. 90% of the ground is still covered by snow with frigid temps. Not much is stirring outside, but the good news is the sun is coming up earlier, staying out later and warming the ground more. Well that is when we get the sun. So I am dreaming of my garden.
My seed sowing and garden plans have not gotten far as work has consumed my life. Long hours have left me drained and exhausted so any free time is spent daydreaming and resting. I had hoped to have my veg garden plans ready for this post, but they are not finalized yet as I am still contemplating if I have time and space for everything I want to grow this year.
A perfect way to celebrate the coming of spring was to read this book about organic gardening and so much more. So I decided to review the book for Holley@Roses and Other Gardening Joys Garden Book Review meme that takes place on the 20th of every month.
Paperback: 264 pages Publisher: Bunker Hill Publishing Inc (April 16, 2011)
Amazon Price: $13.13 (Paperback)
In a Few Words
Organic Gardening (not just) in the Northeast is organized around the calendar year starting in March. Homeyer gives advice about all sorts of gardening chores and topics such as: starting plants from seed, making good compost, organic lawns, dealing with insect pests without chemicals, biennial flowers, saving the harvest, saving seeds, growing garlic, forcing bulbs, poinsettias, study your landscape and make plans and seed catalogs. These are just a few of the many topics arranged monthly.
There is also one interesting topic monthly that you might not expect in a how-to gardening book. One of these topics is, Listening to the Garden Spirits which is in the March section. Homeyer discusses the Findhorn Garden in Northern Scotland and dowsing here in the US. Homeyer’s words about others’ beliefs regarding so-called spirits in the garden made me smile and realize this was a man with an open mind and in tune with his garden:
Surely I will never understand how the energy of living things flows through plants and animals. But I do accept that there is mystery in the garden, and that I should be open to all theories of how that happens. And I hope I will be listening if a deva speaks to me.
I thought I would read a month or two in advance so in February I read March and April topics. In March I’ll move to May’s advice and topics. In this way I can make sure I savor each and every topic, and use what I read in my gardening and journal posts.
What I Liked
Henry Homeyer is also known as “The Gardening Guy” and has written garden books, a weekly gardening column as well as teaching garden courses. And with all his knowledge, reading his book is not like learning from just an expert. It feels like I am having a conversation in the garden with my dad as he gives me down home advice from his experiences.
For instance Homeyer says that when starting seeds, it is important to run your hands over the seedlings each day or two to mimic the wind. This will stimulate the seedlings to grow strong stalks and it feels good to the gardener too. I also learned about day-neutral strawberries that produce the first year and need less space. Additionally, I learned that to grow good strawberries you need good compost. But don’t despair since he also teaches you how to make compost. Want advice on how to grow carrots, peppers, tomatoes and other veggies? Well Homeyer is a fount of knowledge, even when and how to plant roses.
On his advice, I went to Johnny’s Selected Seeds and found some tomatoes better suited to the NE with our tendency for blight and wilt. I’ll let you know how it goes with these tomatoes this year. I can only hope it is better than last year.
Not So Much
The only issue I have with this book is finding time to read and take in all this great information and use it. I suggest picking one topic a month to focus on, but it will be hard to do. I would love to have more wonderful conversations with the author about gardening, and perhaps he will write a sequel or two. He does have a couple of other gardening books I think I will check out.
I actually read the whole book in one sitting as I couldn’t wait for months to hear all of Homeyer’s wonderful sage words about so many interesting topics. But as I said, I will re-read sections before each month since there is so much to learn from the author. And I love to learn. You can’t go wrong reading this book if you love to veggie or flower garden. And his advice is for all areas of the US, and I would say even for anyone wanting to learn more about gardening anywhere.
Next Month’s Book Review: I was asked to review a book, The Garden Club of America, by the publisher for my March Garden Book Review post. It is the 100th anniversary of the Garden Club of America, and the book is being released in early March. I will also be giving away a copy of the book in March.
In honor of this book review and as I am getting ready for gardening season, I thought I would have another seed giveaway. I will have 2 winners who will receive a variety of some of the vegetable seeds below. All you have to do is leave a comment. The contest will end February 28th with the winners announced in my Seasonal Celebrations post on March 1st.Beefsteak Tomato Radish Melon Squash Onion Cabbage Cauliflower Spinach Broccoli Cucumber Pumpkin Peas Peppers
This contest is only open to those residing in the US. And to make sure I am compliant with full disclosure, I purchased the seed I am giving away.
It is an exciting time in gardening. Attitudes are changing. More people are keen to tend their bits of land in a way that is in tune with nature. ~Jane Powers
Seasonal Celebrations is a time for marking the change of seasons and what is happening in your part of the world during this time. I hope you will join in by creating a post telling us how you celebrate this time of year whether spring or fall or something else. Share your traditions, holidays, gardens and celebrations in pictures, poetry or words.
And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme. What lessons have you learned this past season of winter here in the North and spring in the South. Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.The rules are simple. Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations. If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts. Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post. Make sure to include a link with your comment.
Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (the 20th of March). And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog. Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary. And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create). The badges here can be used in your post. So won’t you join in the celebration!!
Next up on the blog: I am ending February with a Wildflower Tale post next Monday. I will be featuring spiderwort. Spring is getting closer and closer, and Seasonal Celebrations will be here starting with a post on March 1st. Then it is all uphill from there as I put on my garden shoes to kick into high gear.
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my most current post now.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.