I love a garden. It touches and woos your senses. With sounds of rustling leaves, tools crunching into the soil, birds arguing over the spoils, bees buzzing the blossoms, rain spattering on broad leaves. Earthy scents, freshly turned earth, mint, broken leaves, flowers, spices. The textures of the leaves, soft, fuzzy, prickly, cool and smooth. Tastes … crackling radishes, firm tomatoes and squash, crisp lettuce and onions, freshly dug potatoes, strawberries right off the plant and won from the maurading and eager wildlife. You have to check to be sure the berries are ripe … often … wouldn’t do to serve others less than perfect berries. A well-kept garden is a beautiful thing.
Distributed Proofreaders has a discussion thread just for talking about our gardens. You’ll read what is growing in which parts of the world. What is failing and what is trying to take over.
Additionally, and more importantly, DP has books about gardening. Books for children, books for those wanting to start and for those who, for want of a better term, want to dig deeper. One of my favourites has to be one we are working on right now from the classic Mary Frances series, The Mary Frances Garden Book, by Jane Eayre Fryer. Not only does this children’s book have beautiful illustrations and a fun narrative, it also has an actual picture of a plain garden that you cut out. Then, for each season, there are additional cut-outs with tabs that you tape on the back of the garden. Then you can fold them over the plain garden to show how the garden could look in full bloom. The book tells you to not cut it up but to trace the pictures. Thanks to the modern wonders of the Internet, though, you can print those pages out in their full glory and color!
|Plain garden||Spring garden|
This is just one of the books on gardening for children soon to be available on Project Gutenberg. A few more ready for your reading pleasure are:
|DADDY TAKES US TO THE GARDEN||GARDENING FOR LITTLE GIRLS||THE CHILDREN’S BOOK OF GARDENING|
Howard R. Garis
Olive Hyde Foster
Mrs. Alfred Sidgwick
Obviously there are also books on gardening without cartoon drawings. If you are interested in how to make things grow, here are just a few:
- Trees and Shrubs for English Gardens
- The Vegetable Garden
- Small Gardens, and How to Make the Most of Them
- A Woman’s Hardy Garden
- The American Flower Garden Directory
- Dutch Bulbs and Gardens
Or if you are more interested in a scientific approach, try one of these:
- Culpeper’s Complete Herbal
- The Nursery Book
- Origin of Cultivated Plants
- The Apple-Tree
- Talks on Manures
- The Peaches of New York
- Wheat Growing in Australia
The sun is rising, the birds are starting to sing … open a book and come walk with me in a garden.