Three for Thursday: February 4, 2010

It was a busy but satisfying day for the Head Gardener today. She gave a talk at the Norchester Garden Club in Northwest Houston on a subject dear to her heart, "Texas Cottage Gardening". She was happy at the enthusiastic reception her audience gave her and most appreciative that they listened long past her allotted speaking time. The HG always gets a little anxious before such events but she enjoys the opportunity to research interesting topics and learn more on some aspect of her favorite subject. Such opportunities are one of the perks that's come to her through blogging: the program chairman of the garden club was intrigued by this blog and got in touch to ask if the HG would speak at a meeting. We were honored by the request and very happy that we agreed, especially since it turned out that my aunt is one of the club members!

Another perk that's come to us through blogging and our decision to join Garden Writers of America is being the recipient of various promotional items that are garden related. In the last few months, I've received three recently published books on gardening and those three books are the real subject of today's post.* You'll find in-depth reviews of the books on other blogs or websites, if you want to read more about them. I'm just performing the introduction: it's up to y'all whether you want to get better acquainted!

HOMEGROWN VEGETABLES, FRUITS, AND HERBS was written by highly respected horticulturalist Jim Wilson, familiar to many gardeners as a host of THE VICTORY GARDEN on PBS. I spoke with Jim at the Garden Writers of America symposium, having no idea why his name seemed familiar, and found him a congenial and informative guy. His book's aim is to bring you "a bountiful, healthful garden for lean times" so you can "reduce your food costs ...know your food is safe [and] save time in the garden". With fabulous photographs courtesy of Walter Chandoha, the book targets new and inexperienced food gardeners who will benefit from the mentoring of two old hands at growing their own produce. Just paging through it right now makes me eager to peruse it in greater detail!

GROCERY GARDENING was written by Jean Ann Van Krevelen with Amanda Thomsen, Robin Ripley (who I'm delighted to claim as a personal friend) and Teresa O'Connor. These four women and their publisher met on Twitter and embarked upon a collaboration the result of which is this guide to "planting, preparing and preserving fresh food". Not only do they give information on growing and preserving your own produce, they offer advice on "how to select the freshest produce at your local market" and give "easy delicious recipes that highlight the season's freshest produce". Because all four authors are active in social media, they encourage the readers of this book to follow them online and be part of a community of gardeners to "bring gardening discussions to life".

TEXAS GARDENER'S RESOURCE by Dale Groom and Dan Gill promises all we need to know "to plan, plant & maintain a Texas garden". Divided into chapters on eleven popular plant categories, most of the book is devoted to plant lists and descriptions with "twelve months of around-the-garden maintenance advice for each of the plant categories". Although this book is also targeted at the less experienced gardener, I do want to peruse it more thoroughly and think the calendars may prove very useful in my own garden.

Since the weather is STILL uncooperative as far as sunshine and warmer temperatures go, the Head Gardener and I are counting on these books and others for our gardening fix. No matter how much we may be enjoying them, though, if the sun comes out ... we're headed outside!

*As required the FTC, this disclaimer is to state that no compensation was received for a mention or review of the books discussed. Opinions expressed are those of the Head Gardener and/or myself (and if we don't like something, we will not hesitate to say so).