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Secret Gardens

Readers' Cafe

The Backyard Parables Lessons on Gardening, and Life
Braiding Sweetgrass Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
Field Exercises How Veterans Are Healing Themselves through Farming and Outdoor Activities
A Garden of Marvels How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants
Growing, Older A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables
Life in the Garden
Mountain States Medicinal Plants Identify, Harvest, and Use 100 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness
Orchard House How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow
The Orchid Thief
Seeds of Hope Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants
The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners
The Wellness Garden Grow, Eat, and Walk Your Way to Better Health
The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books
Women and Their Gardens A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today
Women in My Rose Garden The History, Romance and Adventure of Old Roses
Unearthed Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden
The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life / Margaret Roach

Margaret Roach has been harvesting thirty years of backyard parables-deceptively simple, instructive stories from a life spent digging ever deeper-and has distilled them in this memoir along with her best tips for garden making, discouraging all manner of animal and insect opponents, at-home pickling, and more.

After ruminating on the bigger picture in her memoir And I Shall Have Some Peace There, Margaret Roach has returned to the garden, insisting as ever that we must garden with both our head and heart, or as she expresses it, with "horticultural how-to and woo-woo." In this book, Roach uses her fundamental understanding of the natural world, philosophy, and life to explore the ways that gardening saved and instructed her, and meditates on the science and spirituality of nature, reminding her readers and herself to keep on digging.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants / Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In?Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return.

Field Exercises: How Veterans Are Healing Themselves through Farming and Outdoor Activities / Stephanie Westlund

Field Exercises: How Veterans Are Healing Themselves through Farming and Outdoor Activities shares the compelling stories of men and women who are finding relief from stressful and traumatic military experiences, while also establishing community networks and other peer support initiatives. Stephanie Westlund examines:

The deep and far-reaching connections between nature and human health The tremendous impact of stress and trauma on survivors' lives Resources and groups providing opportunities in the emerging field of "Green Care".

Field Exercises offers hope for veterans searching for methods to ease the transition to civilian life and recover from military stress and trauma. This book will appeal to millions of North American soldiers, veterans, and their loved ones, doctors, psychiatrists, social workers and other caregivers, other groups struggling with high rates of stress and post-traumatic experience, and all those interested in the relationship between nature and human health.

A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants / Ruth Kassinger

In A Garden of Marvels,?Kassinger?sets out to understand the basics of botany in order to become a better gardener. She retraces the progress of the first botanists who banished myths and misunderstandings and discovered that flowers have sex, leaves eat air, roots choose their food, and hormones make morning glories climb fence posts. She also visits modern gardens, farms, and labs to discover the science behind extraordinary plants like one-ton pumpkins, a truly black petunia, a biofuel grass that grows twelve feet tall, and the world's only photosynthesizing animal. Transferring her insights to her own garden, she nurtures a "cocktail" tree that bears five kinds of fruit, cures a Buddha's Hand plant with beneficial fungi, and gets a tree to text her when it's thirsty.

Intertwining personal anecdote, accessible science, and untold history, the ever-engaging author takes us on an eye-opening journey into her garden - and yours.

In the tradition of?The Botany of Desire?and?Wicked Plants, a witty and engaging history of the first botanists interwoven with stories of today's extraordinary plants found in the garden and the lab.

Growing, Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Vegetables / Joan Dye Gussow

Michael Pollan calls her one of his food heroes. Barbara Kingsolver credits her with shaping the history and politics of food in the United States. And countless others who have vied for a food revolution, pushed organics, and reawakened Americans to growing their own food and eating locally consider her both teacher and muse. Joan Gussow has influenced thousands through her books, This Organic Life and The Feeding Web, her lectures, and the simple fact that she lives what she preaches. Now in her eighties, she stops once more to pass along some wisdom-surprising, inspiring, and controversial, via the pen. Gussow's memoir Growing, Older begins when she loses her husband of 40 years to cancer and, two weeks later, finds herself skipping down the street-much to her alarm.

Life in the Garden / Penelope Lively

From the Booker Prize winner and national bestselling author, reflections on gardening, art, literature, and life

Penelope Lively takes up her key themes of time and memory, and her lifelong passions for art, literature, and gardening in this philosophical and poetic memoir. From the courtyards of her childhood home in Cairo to a family cottage in Somerset, to her own gardens in Oxford and London, Lively conducts an expert tour, taking us from Eden to Sissinghurst and into her own backyard, traversing the lives of writers like Virginia Woolf and Philip Larkin while imparting her own sly and spare wisdom. "Her body of work proves that certain themes never go out of fashion," writes the New York Times Book Review, as true of this beautiful volume as of the rest of the Lively canon.

Now in her eighty-fourth year, Lively muses, "To garden is to elide past, present, and future; it is a defiance of time."

Mountain States Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 100 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness / Briana Wiles

Unleash the healing power of wild plants. Mountain States Medicinal Plants is an accessible introduction to finding and using wild plants for health and wellness. Beginners seeking reliable advice and experienced practitioners on the hunt for new information alike will delight in the plant profiles, color photographs, step-by-step instruction for essential herbal remedies, and seasonal foraging tips. This indispensable guide is for wildcrafters in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, the eastern parts of Washington and Oregon, northern Nevada, and the southernmost parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Orchard House: How a Neglected Garden Taught One Family to Grow / Tara Austen Weaver

Peeling paint, stained floors, vined-over windows, a neglected and wild garden - Tara Austen Weaver can't get the Seattle real estate listing out of her head. Any sane person would have seen the abandoned property for what it was: a ramshackle half-acre filled with dead grass, blackberry vines, and trouble. But Tara sees potential and promise - not only for the edible bounty the garden could yield for her family, but for the personal renewal she and her mother might reap along the way.

So begins Orchard House, a story of rehabilitation and cultivation - of land and soul. Through bleak winters, springs that sputter with rain and cold, golden days of summer, and autumns full of apples, pears, and pumpkins, this evocative memoir recounts the Weavers' trials and triumphs, detailing what grew and what didn't, the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned. Inexorably, as mother and daughter tend this wild patch and the fruits of their labor begin to flourish, green shoots of hope emerge from the darkness of their past.
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The Orchid Thief / Susan Orlean

A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean's wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flower - the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii - a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America's strange flower-selling subculture, through Florida's swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orlean - and the reader - will have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion.
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Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants / Jane Goodall

Renowned naturalist and bestselling author Jane Goodall examines the critical role that trees and plants play in our world. In her wise and elegant new book, Goodall blends her experience in nature with her enthusiasm for botany to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Long before her work with chimpanzees, Goodall's passion for the natural world sprouted in the backyard of her childhood home in England, where she climbed her beech tree and made elderberry wine with her grandmother. The garden her family began then, she continues to enjoy today. Seeds of Hope takes us from England to Goodall's home-away-from-home in Africa, deep inside the Gombe forest, where she and the chimpanzees are enchanted by the fig and plum trees they encounter.

The Virago Book Of Women Gardeners / Deborah Kellaway

From diggers and weeders, to artists and colourists, writers and dreamers to trend-setters, plantswomen to landscape designers, women have contributed to the world of gardening and gardens. Here Deborah Kellaway, author of The Making of an English Country Garden and Favourite Flowers, has collected extracts from the 18th century to the present day, to create a book that is replete with anecdotes and good-humoured advice. Colette, Margery Fish, Germaine Greer, Eleanor Sinclair Rohde, Vita Sackville-West, Rosemary Verey, Edith Wharton and Dorothy Wordsworth are some of the writers represented in this book.

The Wellness Garden: Grow, Eat, and Walk Your Way to Better Health / Shawna Coronado

In?The Wellness Garden, her new book from Cool Springs Press, Coronado details exactly how she has learned to use her garden as a key tool in her battle with osteoarthritis and other chronic pain issues. In this inspiring but highly practical book you will learn from Shawna's life changing garden experience and see how you can create your own Wellness Garden--and gain the healthier lifestyle you desire and deserve.

The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books / Marta McDowell

The universal appeal of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books springs from a life lived in partnership with the land, on farms she and her family settled across the Northeast and Midwest. In this revealing exploration of Wilder's deep connection with the natural world, Marta McDowell follows the wagon trail of the beloved Little House series. You'll learn details about Wilder's life and inspirations, pinpoint the Ingalls and Wilder homestead claims on authentic archival maps, and learn to grow the plants and vegetables featured in the series.

Excerpts from Wilder's books, letters, and diaries bring to light her profound appreciation for the landscapes at the heart of her world. Featuring the beloved illustrations by Helen Sewell and Garth Williams, plus hundreds of historic and contemporary photographs, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a treasure for anyone enchanted by Laura's wild and beautiful life.

Women and Their Gardens: A History from the Elizabethan Era to Today / Catherine Horwood

From the golden age in English history to today?s gardeners and designers, this volume recognizes women?s contributions to gardening in Britain and around the world?spanning more than four centuries. Despite growing vegetables for their kitchens, tending herbs for their medicine cupboards, and teaching other women about the craft before agricultural schools officially existed, women have been mere footnotes in the horticultural annals for specimens collected abroad. These pioneers? influence on the style of gardens in the present day is illustrated here in a style both accessible and scholarly. Presenting a rare bouquet, this collection shares the stories of more than 200 women who have been involved with?garden design, plant collecting, flower arranging, botanical art, garden writing, and education.

Women in My Rose Garden: The History, Romance and Adventure of Old Roses / Ann Chapman

Many of our best-loved heritage roses are named after women and in this charming book, Ann Chapman explores the lives and stories behind the evocative names. We may be familiar with Mary Queen of Scots, Amy Robsart, and Jeanne d'Arc, but who were Adelaide d'Orle??ans, Nancy Steen, and Nur Mahal? Among the more than 30 women described here are serene queens, duchesses, and aristocrats, courageous heroines and pioneers, as well as the passionate gardeners who contributed much to the cultivation and preservation of the roses named for each one. Each biography is beautifully illustrated with a portrait of the woman and a sumptuous photograph of her rose by the acclaimed French naturalist photographer Paul Starosta. Women in My Rose Garden will make a perfect gift, not only for rosarians and gardeners, but for all those with a love of history, romance, and adventure.

Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden / Alexandra Risen

Alex's father dies just as she and her husband buy a nondescript house set atop an acre of wilderness that extends into a natural gorge in the middle of the city. Choked with weeds and crumbling antique structures, the abandoned garden turned wild jungle stirs cherished memories of Alex's childhood: when her home life became unbearable, she would escape to the forest. In her new home, Alex can feel the power of the majestic trees that nurtured her in her youth. She begins to beat back the bushes to unveil the garden's mysteries. At the same time, her mother has a stroke and develops dementia and Alex discovers an envelope of yellowed documents while sorting through her father's junk pile. The papers hold clues to her Ukrainian-born parents' mysterious past. She reluctantly musters the courage to uncover their secrets, while discovering the plants hidden in the garden - from primroses and maple syrup-producing sugar maples to her mother's favorite, lily of the valley. As every passionate gardener knows, to spend time with the soil is the opposite of escapism - it is to embrace our own circle of life and hold it close.

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Including the collection of Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus