Explore Down To Earth & Far Out Books for Gardeners

Explore Down To Earth & Far Out Books for Gardeners

By Linda Wiggen Kraft,
Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

The gift giving winter holidays are a time to explore books that expand knowledge and ways of being in gardens and nature. For gardener wannabes and professionals alike, these books expand anyone’s understanding of the world through gardens.

The most “far out” book is by Maria Rodale. Her book Love, Nature, Magicshares her shamanic journeys to communicate with specific plants and animals. As the author of several books on organic gardening and food, her book is unique and mind expanding. Maria’s grandfather, J.I. Rodale, was the founder of the organic gardening and healthy food movement in 1947. She grew up in the Rodale family and lived organics since birth. She became the CEO of Rodale Publishing before being sold in 2018. Shortly after, a trip to Big Sur’s retreat center Esalen introduced her to Shamanic journeying. She began her journeys to understand the depth of what nature wanted us to know. In her journeys she communes with milkweed, mugwort, osage orange, dandelion, lightning bug, deer, groundhog and more. Each being has much to share. Mother Milkweed shares that “we are all connected with the thread of love”.

A more down-to-earth encyclopedic book about native plants is The Gardener’s Guide to Prairie Plants by Neil Diboll and Hilary Cox. Neil grew up in University City. His father was a professor at Washington University. After attending college in Wisconsin, Neil took over Prairie Nursery in 1982, ten years after its start. The nursery only sells native seeds and plants. When Prairie Nursery began, native plants were considered weeds, fortunately that perception has changed. This 644 page book is a deep dive into 145 plants. It also includes info about how to establish a prairie, what plant mixes are best for pollinators, resistant to deer and more.

Rebel Gardening, A Beginner’s Handbook to Creating an Organic Urban Garden by Alessandro Vitale, is a joyful ride into his world or urban gardening. He’s a tattoo artist by day. His body shows it. He sports a big moustache and his handle is Spicy Moustache online, where he is a big You tube and Instagram star. He moved to a small apartment in London from a town near Venice ten years ago. He missed a connection to nature and started gardening in his small backyard space growing most of his food there. His Rebel Gardening book is very clearly designed to highlight important gardening information. It’s a fun read.

Another book from a British gardener is Spring Rain, A Life lived in Gardens by Marc Hamer, the last book a trilogy. His first and second books chronicle his may years as a gardener which began when he became a mole catcher, which he quit doing. He then spent years taking care of a wealthy woman’s garden. He watched the years pass. Small fruit tree twigs became fruit bearing and eventually old. His third book shares his musings in his “old” age when he retired. There is the coming together of his younger self and the old man he is now to create and care for his own garden. One of his insights is: “There’s nothing else to do with life but celebrate it, believe me; I am old, and there’s truly nothing other to do with life than celebrate the fact that it exists”.

These books share information about ways to expand some far-out and down-to-earth experiences of a garden. Enjoy them all.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer of holistic/ organic gardens. She is an artist and creativity workshop leader also. Her ceramic jewelry and pottery will be sold at two STL fall sales. Check out her website for details. Find out more, subscribe to her blog and Instagram at www.CreativityForTheSoul.com, Call her at 314 504-4266.