While the weather is too hot to be a garden worm, be a bookworm instead. Here are our picks for must read books with a botanical theme. Whether you’re an aspiring kitchen gardener, bird lover or wannabe beekeeper, there’s something on the list that will entice you. All the books in the list are available from our friends at the Australian National Botanic Garden’s bookshop.
Living with Plants: A Guide to Indoor Gardening
The cover of this book is what first drew us to it. It looks simple and beautiful with striking green and purple foliage and a shiny gold geometric pattern around the title. Something this beautiful on the outside will surely turn you into the maker of a beautiful indoor garden too?
The book is also beautiful on the inside. Clear and logical, the book starts with the basics and is very thorough in encouraging a successful indoor garden through detailing how to choose they types of indoor plants to suit your home, the best tools of the trade and basic techniques. It also provides guidelines on the best ways to care for your plants, including the level of sunlight!
Have you tried indoor gardening and still think it lacks oomph? Perhaps you need some tips on styling – which is exactly what this book provides. Lee provides creative direction for those of us without an artistic eye. She also has a large ‘how-to’ section, with step by step instructions for making your own pots and terrariums, making your indoor garden truly unique.
The Edible Balcony
There is a great satisfaction from eating meals made with produce you’ve grown yourself. This book sets you up for this ultimate success.
With simple how-to, recipes and personal anecdotes that will make you laugh out loud, this book has everything! Naidoo is a wonderful story-teller as well as a fantastic sharer of knowledge. She explains, in great detail, how to be a sustainable gardener within the confines of a balcony. In fact she claims ‘the Aussie balcony is the unsung hero of urban life.’ As well as the basics of setting up your little garden, she gives advice on what to plant for maximum results, how to deal with pests and the most efficient tools. The book is then set out according to season, detailing how to grow specific fruit and vegetables depending on the time of year. Interspersed amongst the growing tips are delicious and achievable recipes that make your mouth water as you flick through the pages.
The Weed Foragers Handbook
Adam Grubb & Annie Raser-Rowland
Do you have a bountiful garden... of weeds? Well you’re in luck, because there is a convenient, pocket-sized book centered around making the most of weeds! This book is full of pictures of specific weeds, making it very easy to pick up and find the particular plant you have in mind. It is a great balance between knowledge and usability – it has more than enough information for you to sink your teeth into (literally). It covers weeds for medicinal purposes as well as edible ones, and even has some delicious recipes so you can get started right away.
The vital role native bees play in our eco-system is becoming well known and home beekeeping is abuzz! This book makes home beekeeping a whole lot easier. Artfully laid out in logical steps, this book is suitable for complete beginners, outlining how to build your hive, effective methods of beekeeping and potential issues that may arise.
Unique Australian Bird Sounds
Fred van Gessel
Don’t be fooled by the slimness of this book – there is enough information in here for you to listen to bird song for hours! Have you got a goal to be more ‘in the present moment’? Listening to Australia’s plethora of birds is a great way to slow down and be more engaged in the now. The book comes with a CD; each track plays a different bird noise that directly corresponds with the bird’s information in the book. The CD and book work seamlessly together to give you information about the bird, such as habitat and diet, as well as easily training your ear for the bird’s song. Suitable for the complete beginner, as well as existing bird enthusiasts wanting to know more about Australian birds.