Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Earth Day Reading Project

Earlier this week I was tagged by HolleyGarden of Roses and Other Gardening Joys to participate in the Earth Day Reading Project hosted by Sage Butterfly. Here then are three books that inspired me to "Be Green".

"Crockett's Victory Garden" by James Underwood Crockett
When we moved into our single family home in Columbia, Md in 1979 I knew I would finally have space to garden both with vegetables and flowers. Though we had to get through some architectural covenants to place the vegetable garden on the side of the house,

(Here's daughter, Emily, in the garden - no wonder she's a gardener now, too!)
we managed that and looked to this book for inspiration on how to proceed . I still have it and refer to it. Victory Gardens have come back into vogue in recent years but Crockett encouraged his readers to grow food and flowers - be green - in the 1970s when it was published.

"The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live" by Sarah Susanka
In 1999 we knew we wanted to build a home that would serve us well into retirement. We also knew we wanted to be environmentally friendly as we planned and built this house. We read a review of this book and found it so intriguing we purchased it. We even had an opportunity to hear the author speak at the National Building Museum. We were inspired to build a home that wasn't a mega mansion but one "that favors the quality of its space over the quantity". In 1999 we purchased 8 acres in the woods and went looking for a green architect and found one. We moved into this home in 2005 and feel very fortunate to be living in a home with so many "green" features.

(Reuse of old timbers on the south facing exposure - passive solar feature.)

(Ecothermal panels and the Lowen windows.)

"Animal, Vegetable, Mineral - A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver
My daughters recommended this book to me. There is no way I will ever duplicate the life this author describes but it did wake me up to try my hand at growing a vegetable garden again. My first attempts that first summer we moved here were a disaster because of the deer. I had no idea of the fight I would have to maintain a garden, vegetable or flower in the midst of the woods, where I was the trespasser into the habitat of the deer. I had thought I could intermingle tomato plants amongst my perennials. Nope, that didn't work. In the spring of 2009 I tried two raised beds with netting over them and that worked, but the beds were too small.
To expand would require a fence which we had built around the raised bed area.

The entire fenced part is too narrow for the deer to jump into without damage to themselves, so now I'm back into growing my own vegetables and blueberries. This will be the second year and I'm glad to "be green".

Robin at Garden of Eden graciously agreed to be tagged.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - April

My poinsettia is still going strong!

Bleeding heart.

Last of the daffodils.

Compare this to last year's April Bloom Day posting. Weather temps make a big difference.

Check out other blooms this spring day at May Dreams Garden.