As the days get longer and the temperature starts to rise, many people are dreaming about spending more time outside. From sports to fishing to walking the dog, there are numerous ways to enjoy the outdoors. Here in Northeast Nebraska, it’s easy to find a place to enjoy the sunshine, whether that’s on a country road or in a city park. One can learn about any number of outdoor topics at the Norfolk Public Library, but books about gardening are always some of the most popular.
Some of the library’s newer titles on gardening include “The Month-by-Month Gardening Guide: Daily advice for growing flowers, vegetables, herbs & houseplants” by Franz Böhmig, “Backyard Birding and Butterfly Gardening” by Randi Minetor and “A Gardener’s Guide to Botany: The biology behind the plants you love, how they grow and what they need” by Scott Zona. Gardening books are often full of beautiful photography and can be a joy to read even when one has no intention of planting.
A different take on gardening is provided by Benjamin Vogt in his new book, “Prairie Up: An introduction to natural garden design.” Vogt was recently featured on Nebraska Public Media’s “All About Books,” where he gave practical advice on how to incorporate native plants into landscape and garden design. Vogt stresses that this approach can be both beautiful and beneficial for neighborhoods, local wildlife and soil quality. Rich with photographs, the book also includes a “Candid Q&A” at the end to answer common questions.
Gardening books also can be a great way to introduce the idea to children. One delightful title for children is “How to Say Hello to a Worm: A very first guide to gardening” by Kari Percival. This picture book introduces toddlers to what happens in a garden and shows them how they can help. Other great gardening books for kids include “Dig In! 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps” by Kari Cornell; “Plant, Sow, Make & Grow: Mud-tastic activities for budding gardeners” by Esther Coombs; and “Grow It Cook It: Simple gardening projects and delicious recipes” by DK books.
For those wanting to move from reading to planting, the Norfolk Public Library has a seed library again this year, which is sponsored by the Northeast Nebraska Master Gardeners. Although it is called a “seed library,” seeds do not need to be checked out or returned. Free seed packets may be picked up near the main entrance to the library along with information from Nebraska Extension Publications. These publications provide guidance for gardeners, including how to understand the information on a seed packet, how to create your own compost and much more.
Thinking about warmer weather and spending time outside certainly brings a smile to many faces. For those who love both books and gardening, maybe Roman philosopher Cicero was right when he said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”