Growing knowledge: Books on gardening

  • Thursday, May 15, 2014

The first vegetable garden my husband and I planted was ready to harvest just as we were moving to a new state.

We didn't get to enjoy the bounty of that garden, but the lady who packed our belongings was thrilled when we told her to help herself to the turnip greens, tomatoes, okra and squash.

I suppose the new owners of the house were happy with a ready-made garden when they moved in a few days later.

Our next experience with gardening was a few years later when we planted another vegetable garden.

We had never heard about “multiplying zucchini” and planted about six plants.

Anyway, the neighbors and co-workers started hiding when they saw us coming with bags of excess zucchini.

I was constantly searching for new zucchini recipes.

Finally, we started just letting them grow to see how big they would get.

We have a picture of our son sitting in his red wagon holding a 5-pound zucchini.

Gardening with children is a wonderful way to teach them responsibility and about nature.

Children love to see things grow and may even be willing to try new foods if it's something they've grown themselves. I'll never forget the delight of my three children when we found a rabbit burrow with four baby bunnies in our carrot patch.

Now, because our yard doesn't have much sun, we grow annuals and perennials, and I love container gardening.

I admit that in April and May I'm very enthusiastic about gardening, but by the time August comes, I'm not quite so eager to go out daily in the heat and humidity and swarms of mosquitoes to water and tend to the plants.

The library has a large collection of gardening books to help you have a wonderful garden.

Whether you're interested in flowers, vegetables, herbs, orchids, roses, bonsai, indoor gardening or containers, there is a book to teach you about gardening.

One book that I particularly like is “Touch a Butterfly: Wildlife Gardening with Kids” by April Pulley Sayre. You'll find chapters about attracting wildlife to your yard and enriching a child's relationship with nature. Two other books that gardeners may enjoy are “Container Garden Idea Book” by the editors of Fine Gardening and “Carolinas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening: How to Plant, Grow and Harvest the Best Edibles” by Katie Elzer-Peters.

There are two digital gardening magazines, “Country Gardens” and “Organic Gardening,” available through our downloadable magazine subscription service, Zinio. If you need help starting your free subscription, please contact us at 843-849-6161, or visit our website at www.ccpl.org.


Susan McSwain works in the Reference Department at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, located at 1133 Mathis Ferry Road in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Susan is also the writer of the MTP Matters blog, which you can read at any time online at www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com.

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