Spring this year has been one big tease week after week. We got an entire gorgeous week of sun and warm in March and then it turned cold again and we had snow. Then a couple weeks ago we got four days of sun and even as warm as 65! Then it got cold again. And we had snow. We’ve had a few days where the afternoon was sunny and in the 50s but then then the cold returned and it’s been gray and raining. This last weekend it was sunny and in the low 60s and then it surprised us and did it again on Monday. Bookman and I threw open the windows, the cats chittered at the birds and squirrels through the screens, and Bookman and I spent time outdoors pulling winter mulch off of garden beds. And now it is cold again. And rainy. And this morning the rain got suspiciously thick for about 10 minutes as it was trying to figure out if it was going to turn into snow.

Next weekend is the big gardening sale Bookman and I go to every year. It won’t be warm enough to plant any of our purchases except for the apple tree we are planning on getting. Honeycrisp. Have any of you had these most delicious of apples? The variety was created by the University of Minnesota and became available in the early 1990s. They are so tasty and also one of the more expensive apples you can buy. So we are getting our own tree. Yum!

Anyway, so I’ve been thinking a lot about gardening. And when we received several library books at work for a coworker on permaculture, I just couldn’t take this whole lack of spring business anymore. So I requested a book on permaculture too and it looks like it will be pretty good: Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture.

And then I had to raid my own collection of gardening books, not only to look at the photos, because gardening book photos are often so drool worthy, but also to share with you some of my favorites:

  • Growing Perennials in Cold Climates. I grew up in a warm climate so moving to Minnesota meant having to relearn quite a lot of things and this book has come in handy.
  • Creating a Perennial Garden in the Midwest. Another book that has been helpful for ideas on what to grow and how to take care of them
  • The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control (link is to the 2010 updated edition). I have never thought pesticides a good idea and this book has come in handy in helping me learn natural ways to take care of my garden.
  • The New City Gardener. This book falls into the inspirational category. It has lots of photos of gorgeous city gardens. It also shows you the amazing things you can do in a small space and proves you don’t need suburban acreage to have an incredible garden.
  • Month-by-Month Gardening in Minnesota. This is a most helpful book with information about when to plant what, when to start seeds indoors, how to put the garden to bed for the winter, and much more.
  • Carrots Love Tomatoes. Companion planting is a most wondrous thing. Like how planting marigolds with your tomatoes helps keep away those green caterpillars that like to eat them. The book also talks about what not to grow together.

These are just a few of my favorites. Do you have a favorite gardening book?