Reading Recommendations: For all the green thumbs

FRANKLIN LIVING MARCH-APRIL 2023

As the weather warms up, our thoughts often turn to preparing our gardens and spending time out in the sunshine. Check out these reads, both fiction and nonfiction, to help you prepare for spring planting or to get lost in a great book. Northwest-Shoals Community College library director Lori Skinner has these titles to recommend:

“The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast”

By Ira Wallace

“The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast” by Ira Wallace is a great resource for a new gardener. With regionally specific information for the Southeast, you can use the month-by-month recommendations to plan your spring garden for maximum harvest. It includes information about drip irrigation, canning, worm bins and more. 

“Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden” 

By Tammy Wylie

If you are interested in a garden but are unsure whether you have the space, consider raised-bed gardening. “Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden” by Tammy Wylie offers step-by-step instructions for bed construction, advice on soil mixtures, suggestions for crop maximization and full profiles of easy-to-grow plants. This guide offers instruction for basic methods that will inspire a new gardener to get started.

“The Darling Dahlias and the Red Hot Poker” 

By Susan Wittig Albert 

“The Darling Dahlias and the Red Hot Poker” by Susan Wittig Albert brings an idyllic small town in Alabama to life and captures the Depression era with an engaging whodunit. When a firebug repeatedly strikes in Darling, Ala., the members of the Darling Dahlia Garden Club – and everyone else – feel like they could be the next victim. With a hurricane headed toward them and a fiery senator making a campaign stop in town, things are ready to burst into flame. Susan Witting Albert is a beloved master of the cozy mystery, and this one, set in the 1930s, is a satisfying read with authentic period details and clever puzzles. 

“A Hoe Lot of Trouble”

By Heather Webber

“A Hoe Lot of Trouble: A Nina Quinn Mystery” by Heather Webber is the first in the Nina Quinn mystery series. Set in Ohio, Nina’s story is one of a garden landscaper business owner who specializes in surprise garden makeovers. She has a lot going on: She has kicked her husband out of the house because of his affair; her delinquent stepson has let his pet snake loose in the house; and her mother is driving her crazy about her sister’s upcoming wedding. When she discovers her mentor has been murdered, she starts digging into what is going on in her peaceful Ohio hometown. 

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