Featured favorites: Plants and gardening


Recommended by Bunch of Grapes

“Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables & Flowers” by Joseph Tychonievich – Looking for much-loved plants for your garden? Can’t find them in your local nursery? Why not try breeding your own plants? It sounds difficult with all that manipulation of DNA. A horticulturist and geneticist,Tychonievich says that you can do it. He tells you how to pick parent plants, pollinate, save and store seeds, and much more. Extremely intriguing.

“Straw Bale Gardens: The Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier, and with No Weeding” by Joel Karsten – Horticulturist Karsten has found a way to eliminate all the standard reasons for not having a garden. Using a bale of straw as a growing medium, he shows you how to overcome limited space, poor soil, a short growing season, watering problems, and even bending over. With lush photos, he gives you a step-by-step guide.

“New England Gardener’s Handbook” by Jacqueline Heriteau and Holly Hunter James – In this lovely book that is set up for ease of reference, discover all you need to know to plan, plant, and sustain vegetables, flowers, herbs, trees, and shrubs in New England. It teaches you how to prune, divide, and get rid of pesky critters. Find out what to plant and where.

“Grow Your Own In Pots” by Kay Maguire – Don’t have a good spot of land to dig up for a garden? This book might be your answer with directions on how to pick the plants and containers that will optimize your garden on a deck. There are clear pictures of how to plant and adapt containers for your use. Move over petunias: This book is about vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

“Kinder Gardens: Growing Inspiration for Children” by Michael Glassman and Lisa Ely – A gardening book for both children and adults. Learn the basics such as how to make mud pies, plant, and prepare the food grown. Anybody for pizza with homegrown vegetables? Remember that children more readily eat what they have grown. Have fun.

Recommended by Book Den East

“Flowers: Their Origin, Shapes, Perfumes, and Colours” by J.E. Taylor; illustrated with line drawings and colour plates – A charming collector’s item from the early 20th century. $75

“Earth On Her Hands: The American Woman In Her Garden” by Starr Ockenga (1998) – A lovely overview of the “backbone of America’s gardening renaissance,” which includes a chapter on Polly Hill’s arboretum in North Tisbury. $25

“Gardening For Fragrance Indoors And Out” by Nelson Coon (1970) – A classic by the Vineyard’s own gardening expert. This copy autographed by the author. $25

“The Rose Its History” by Petro Iv. Orozoff – Dating from the early 20th century, this book surveys the development of the rose in Bulgaria for its perfume essence “Otto of Rose.” This copy was presented to American perfume magnate Joseph Tetlow and is from his library. Laid in is a map of Bulgaria, circa 1907, showing a Plan of the Valley of Roses. A nice item for the specialist collector. $50

“The Besler Florilegium Plants of the Four Seasons” with an introduction and commentary on the 373 full-page colour plates by Gerard G. Aymonin – Perfect for the gardener with a big library and a strong back, since this gorgeous folio volume weighs in at 15 pounds. $150