This time of year, most gardeners start to take stock of what went right and what is going wrong and the seeds of next summer's garden dreams get planted. I have all but thrown in the towel in the 2011 fight for my vegetable patch with the most inexcusable woodchuck ever (or possibly a cabal of woodchucks). But at least my flowers look great, and I can build on that as I break out the reading material and start dreaming about next summer's big garden adventure…
Books aren't the only place to get great garden ideas and education -- but they are a good start. I am devouring two at the moment. Stephen Orr's new book Tomorrow's Garden: Design and Inspiration for a New Age of Sustainable Gardening is full of beautiful images, how-to's and plants and it catches just the right note of 'it will all be better next year'.
I know I mentioned John Jeavons' book, 'How to Grow More Vegetables * (and fruits, nuts, berries, grains, and other crops) * Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land than You Can Imagine' before, but my strategy is this - grow more vegetables than the woodchuck can possibly eat and then, maybe, we will both be happy. I have dim hopes that this work, but in true caddy shack style, I am desperate for a solution to this pest problem and am rationalizing anything.
In the magazine world, there is nothing better than putting down the trowel and opening up a copy of Gardens Illustrated (published in the UK). It is simply the best there is on the market. If you are in the US, I don't however advise getting a subscription....you will pay far less on the newsstand than to have it mailed to you directly.
US based Garden Design Magazine is also getting better with each new issue, the publication took a new direction late last year when they moved their offices from Florida to New York and hired a new editorial staff. New ideas and exciting new content has been rolling out each month since.
Just like in the interiors and fashion worlds (with the likes of Lonny, Rue, High Gloss, Matchbook and others), online magazines are beginning to crop up in the garden world too.
Paisajismo is a Spanish language landscape magazine that with a little help from google translate is a treasure trove of international garden ideas.
Also, (shameless plug) Leaf magazine (launching this fall) is offering free subscriptions and currently is doling out daily garden inspiration on its facebook page.
So how is your garden growing? Are you harvesting or spending more time shopping the farmers market? And what are you reading in early preparation for next year?