Something to read before heading out to garden

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Fall into a Book, By Rosalie MacEachern

Atlantic Coastal Gardening, Grow Organic cover very different aspects of popular past-time

Atlantic Coastal Gardening byDenise Adams isn’t so much a how-to manual as it is an enjoyable visit.

Now that the sun is finally here there will be no stopping gardeners who have had to bide their time through a cold, wet spring.

Atlantic Coastal Gardening (Nimbus, $29.95) by Denise Adams takes a look at the challenges of salt spray, sea winds and storm surges and offers a wide range of advice for gardening at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Adams, who is an art college graduate and has taught art, sociology and French immersion and more recently worked as a landscape and house design consultant, began gardening on a wind-swept property at Boutilier’s Point.

“Gardening in proximity to the ocean does have particular challenges. If you’re a traditionalist or tend to adore formal gardens, be prepared to do things a little differently,” she suggests.

Adams’ book isn’t so much a how-to manual as it is an enjoyable visit to various gardens on Nova Scotia’s South Shore and the author’s own experiences. It’s filled with gorgeous photos of seascapes, garden arrangements and close-ups of plants. It has sections on planting from seed and choosing mature plants, seaside soil, seaweed, microclimates, herbs, flowers and vegetables and finally, a chapter on nautical accents for the garden.

Grow Organic (Nimbus, $19.95) is the how-to choice in garden books if you have an organic garden in mind. Halifax gardener Elizabeth Pierce has her roots in the rich soil of the Annapolis Valley, but she’s interested in gardening wherever possible.

“With more and more questions surfacing about the safety of the foods we eat, many of them mass-produced, the need to know where our food is grown and under what conditions has never been stronger; witness the amazing growth of farmers’ markets in our province and elsewhere,” she writes.

Pierce begins her book by giving would-be gardeners a list of everything they have to think about before their trowels ever touch soil. It addresses where to put the garden and what to put in it, as well as when to plant and what tools to acquire.

Chapter two is all about preparing the soil for planting. And so the book goes along, explaining and advising on what’s practical and preferable.

The final chapter is called Farmer Mentors of Nova Scotia and profiles the accomplishments of some very creative gardeners whether on big plots or small.

Rosalie MacEachern began reading history books as a child and the world opened up when she got her first library card. Children’s or adult’s, fiction or non-fiction, mysteries, biographies, short stories, cookbooks, political tomes and sports sagas all manage to engage her on a regular basis. She is a resident of Stellarton. If you have a book you would like to suggest, contact her at r.maceachern@ns.sympatico.ca.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Atlantic Ocean, South Shore Annapolis Valley Stellarton

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