It’s getting chilly outside—time to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and a good book! The McLean Library at PHS headquarters at 20th and Arch in Philadelphia, open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, has these great new titles.
When planning your visit to the library, consider bringing your little ones for an hour of fun and learning! Children ages 3 to 6 (with their adults) are invited to the library to learn about gardening and the natural world through books read by storyteller Hasha Salaman. Storytime meets on the first Wednesday of the month from 10:30 to 11:30 am, November through June. (NOTE: January’s program is scheduled on the second Wednesday of the month and we skip March for the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.)
Upcoming dates include December 5; January 9; February 6; April 3; and May 1. For more information or to register for a Storytime session, please contact Priscilla Becroft at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-988-8772.
A Guide to Bearded Irises, Kelly D. Norris. The diversity of bearded irises rivals that of any other perennial grown in temperate climates. For some gardeners, they bring back warm memories of a grandparent’s garden; for others, they’re a cutting-edge plant with a seemingly endless capacity for producing new forms and patterns. In this comprehensive and definitive guide, iris expert Kelly Norris provides an accessible yet authoritative overview of these deservedly popular plants.
A Handful of Dirt, Raymond Bial (photographer). Soil may not be alive, but amazingly, multitudes of microscopic creatures live there, battling it out in an eat-or-be-eaten world. These tiny creatures, invisible to our eyes, provide food for the insects that in turn feed the reptiles and mammals that live in and above the soil. You’ll never look at the ground you walk on in the same way after Raymond Bial, an award-winning photo essayist, takes you on this eye-opening, down-and-dirty tour of one of the earth’s most precious resources.
A Rich Spot of Earth, Peter J. Hatch; Alice Waters (Foreword by). Graced with nearly 200 full-color illustrations, A Rich Spot of Earth is the first book devoted to all aspects of the Monticello vegetable garden. Hatch guides us from the asparagus and artichokes first planted in 1770 through the horticultural experiments of Jefferson’s retirement years (1809–1826). The garden is a living expression of Jefferson’s genius and his distinctly American attitudes. Its impact on the culinary, garden, and landscape history of the United States continues to the present day.
Agaves, Greg Starr. In Agaves, plant expert Greg Starr profiles 75 species, with additional cultivars and hybrids, best suited to gardens and landscapes. Each plant entry includes a detailed description of the plant, along with its cultural requirements and hardiness, sun exposure, water needs, soil requirements, and methods of propagation. Agaves can change dramatically as they age and this comprehensive guide includes photos showing each species from youth to maturity—a valuable feature unique to this book.
Herb Gardening from the Ground Up, Sal Gilbertie; Larry Sheehan; Akiko Aoyagi (Illustrator); Lauren Jarrett (Illustrator). Garden-fresh herbs impart flavor and fragrance that dried, packaged products simply can’t. Now, anyone with access to a few square yards of soil (or even a sunny patio or windowsill) can enjoy the punch and pungency that only come from fresh herbs hand-picked from the garden. Herb Gardening from the Ground Up demonstrates how to design, seed, and nurture 38 culinary herb gardens that are delightful to the eye as well the palate.
No Student Left Indoors, Jane Kirkland; Guy Kirkland (Editor); Melanie Palaisa (Editor); Dorothy Burke (Editor). No Student Left Indoors is your opportunity to learn and teach about our planet by helping your students to create a field guide to your schoolyard. Whether you’re a nature buff or nature-phobe, a literary genius or writing impaired, artistically talented or one who can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, and teaching gifted or challenged students in an urban, suburban, or rural school—you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of this before.
The Anxious Gardener’s Book of Answers, Teri Dunn Chace. The Anxious Gardener’s Book of Answers identifies the 100 most common gardening mistakes and gives gardeners the techniques to prevent them. Or, if it’s too late and they’ve already goofed, there are tips to fix the mistake.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan; Richie Chevat (Adapted by). “What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.
The Organic Backyard Vineyard, Tom Powers. In The Organic Backyard Vineyard, expert Tom Powers walks the small grower through the entire process of growing grapes, with a month-by-month maintenance guide covering all regions of the U.S. and Canada. He explains everything a beginning grape grower needs to know: how to design and build a vineyard, how to select grapes for each region, how to maximize yield using organic maintenance techniques, how to build a trellis, how to harvest at peak flavor, and how to store grapes for winemaking.
To borrow these books and DVDs, copy and paste the book titles into this request form. Be sure to include your contact information and PHS membership number.