Book reccomendations

I need some good book recommendations for both vegetable gardening and general landscape style gardening. I live in Western MA and would love to start gardening, but am kind of can't figure out where to even start. My biggest area of concern right now, is the front of my house, which has NO landscaping and receives very little sunlight.
Thanks floreksa
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If you have a local lending Library then why not brows their gardening books, borrow ones you like the look of, and when you find a book/s you don't want to take back then go out and buy that /those book/s
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 13:20:12 -0500, "Floreksa"

The 'Victory Garden' books should be apropos, although western MA may be entirely different than the Boston area. I find them quite useful quite a distance south -- I just make adjustments in the times for sowing, setting out, etc.
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It's colder out there, and they have better snow cover than we have, other than that it's fairly similar. The Victory Garden books are a good suggestion.
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 13:20:12 -0500, Floreksa wrote:

Piet Oudolf has a series of books about natural gardens. "Gardening with Grasses" is quite good. The premise is to use a variety of ornamental grasses as the backbone of the garden and plug holes with perennials and surprises.
Your local county extension office should be able to guide you. An established botanic garden usually comes with a collection of books and folks with know-how.
Volunteering at at a garden is a hands-on approach to learning. Master gardening programs are offered throughout the country through local extension offices. Garden expos are another source.
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On 2/13/04 1:20 PM, in article 402bbe4b snipped-for-privacy@newsfeed.slurp.net, "Floreksa"

I can't really help you with veggies, but I concur with the Victory Garden books. Find a good local nursery - they can be tons of help! Cheryl
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Gardens do not grow from books unless the books are being used as compost. What you need is a car, bicycle or a pair of feet. You need to travel around your area. Take a local map and draw a circle that is 40 miles in diameter with your house at the center. Then drive, bike or walk around the streets that are in that circle. Look for yards that resemble yours in shape, size, lighting, and irrigation. Look for plants and trees in those yards that you like. Pay attention to the size of the mature plants. Look at the hardscape and statuary. Then go home and think about what you'd like your front yard to look like. Think about the things you say in other landscapes that would work in yours. Come up with several plans and draw them on paper. Then either get a professional to plant it or do it yourself after you get some sage advice from the local garden center when you buy the plants.
Now, vegetable gardens... I grew up in suburban and then rural New Jersey which has a climate somewhat the same as Western MA. We don't get as much snow but our winters are about the same. Every house I lived in I built a vegetable garden that provided WAY more food than our family and friends and neighbors could eat. So... here are some simple guidelines for the vegetable garden. 1) Full sun - put the garden on the south side of the house and let that stuff cook in the sun! 2) Good soil - my standard garden was 8' wide by 24' long. Into it I mixed 300 pounds of chicken manure in the late fall of only the first year I was going to plant. 3) Good water - setup a simple mist system with a timer. 4 heads for my standard size (above). 4) Raise it up to let it drain - my garden was built out of 8x8 timbers stacked 5 high to 3-1/2' above the ground. 5) Raise it up to save your back. 6) Plant ONLY the stuff you like to eat. Forget about what your friends and neighbors like, you are going to eat the bulk of it. So if you don't like Brussel sprouts then don't plant them. 7) Plant as much as possible from seedlings you buy in a good local nursery. Forget about waiting for seeds to germinate, you want results! 8) Don't plant cannabis in your garden. You're way too far north.
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Floreksa ( snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com) wrote...

Being a newbie myself, two books really helped me out when I started gardening last year.
Better Homes and Gardens New Complete Guide To Gardening Better Homes and Gardens New Complete Guide To Landscaping
Last year I had a successful vegetable garden and also landscaped 500 sq ft of property which turned out very nice. Looking forward to getting in the dirt again this year.
-Chris
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Floreska,
A couple I find indispensable are:
_Manual of Woody Landscape Plants_ by Michael A. Dir - this is probably the most consulted of my 100 or so books Anything from the Time-Life gardening series. These books were originally published in the 70s and are still in print. _Low Maintenance Perennials_ by Robert S. Hebb. Another from the 70s. Not in print but not hard to find
--beeky
Floreksa wrote:

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people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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I reccomend The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch, 1988 Workman Publishing Co ISBN 0894803166
If you use a website like www.aaabooksearch.com you can find it used or new from 8-18$ delivered.
I am a CT extension master gardener and have given away several copies including my own a few times, I cannot reccomend this book highly enough.
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'The Manual of Woody Landscape Plants' by M. Dirr is the text for almost all colleges and universities in the nation. Dirr is from Ma. He also has a color illustrated book that goes with the manual.
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If you can find it - 'America's Garden Book' by the Bush-Browns. It covers everything. Has been revised and rewritten since the Bush-Browns are long gone. they were my teachers in college - great couple.
JonquilJan
Learn something new every day As long as you are learning, you are living When you stop learning, you start dying

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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where

Dirr is at the Uniniversity of Georgia unless he's retired, but he is from Massachusetts.
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Welcome to the gardening world! It's quite addictive, but very good for the soul. I'm in W. Mass too (Pelham), so I know what your conditions are like. My favorite garden reference book is Mike Dirr"s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. It is a compendium of most of the shrubs and trees on the market now, and is great for finding out if a particular plant you want to grow will fit into your scheme. For vegetable gardening, Crocket's Vegetable Gardening(the new edition) is my favorite, as it's aimed at gardeners in Zone 5 (which is us) and thereabouts. There are umpteen garden design books out there, and I'd suggest in any case, check out your local library first before you buy anything. Another good source is used book stores. Are you in deer country? They can be such a pest in your garden; they ate some of my rhododendron flower buds last spring, and I've been caging and using repellents this year to keep them away. My point being, if you have deer, you'd better plant things they don't like to eat! (I have a list if you'd like it). I'm a Master Gardener, and our local website is www.wmassmastergardeners.org if you want some more help. We're putting on a Gardening Symposium on April 3 At Pathfinder Regional H.S. in Palmer, which could be very helpful to you. Go to the website and you can get a copy of the application, which you should send in immediately if you want to go, as the best sessions fill up quickly. Hope this helps. E-mail me if you have more questions at snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com, not the UMass address. Wendy
Floreksa wrote:

--
Joseph S. Larson
27 Arnold Road
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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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My favorite for a comprehensive gardening was from Rodale Press, Encyclopedia of Organic Gardenning. Not cheap, but I've moved around and it addresses various climate zones, soil ammendments, compost, as well a variety of plants, and propagation. Consult your library first. But as I said before, it has nearly all the information of my other 6 books or so that I use as references.

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My absolute favorite is the Better Homes and Gardens New Complete Guide to Gardening. It covers all the areas, albeit generally, but it is an excellent launch pad for any garden topic you may want to go more in depth into. The book is laid out so clearly and so well; it is a pleasure to page through on cold wintry days.
~flick zone 6-7 Long Island
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