It’s finally April — yay! I’m clicking my heels because we’re that much closer to summer, and summer means sun, patio suppers, sun, buzzing bees and sun! Am I tired of rain, rain, rain? Naaahhh. The moss between my toes doesn’t bother me one bit — just have to make sure I wear dark socks. Ha, ha, yes, the steady drip, drip, drip of rain has made me a tad loopy. But if it’s April, surely those May flowers are on their way, right?
Make sure your yard is in tip-top shape for all those gloriously sunny days ahead by reading up on lawn maintenance, garden prep, and anything that promises a bounty of green goodness once the wet season passes.
April happens to be “Lawn and Garden Month,” so it’s time to pull out those gardening tools and get busy. Gardens don’t plant themselves (unless you’re cultivating a dandelion garden), and lawns, well, they don’t magically trim themselves (unless you have a goat herd).
And for heaven’s sake, get the youngsters involved in yard maintenance, too. Most kids I know love to dig in the dirt, and while making mud pies is definitely a hoot, imagine their delight if their dirt-digging leads to flowers, or, gasp, food! A carrot or a tomato never tastes as good as the one you pick out of your very own garden.
Titles to make your garden grow:
• “All New Square Foot Gardening with Kids: Learn Together: Gardening Basics, Science and Math, Water Conservation, Self-Sufficiency, Healthy Eating” by Mel Bartholomew.
The planet needs more gardens, so help out this world by teaching the newest generation to till, hoe and plant.
• “Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives” by Evelyn J. Hadden.
If you’re really not that into mowing, and your neighborhood is goat-less, don’t fret. This fun title will allow you to discover plenty of grass-free alternatives.
• “Fairy Gardening 101: How to Design, Plant, Grow, and Create Over 25 Miniature Gardens” by Fiona McDonald.
Sometimes a tiny garden is just right. Keep your yard fairies and sprites happy by tending a wee plot of land.
• “Gardening with Foliage First: 127 Dazzling Combinations That Pair the Beauty of Leaves with Flowers, Bark, Berries, and More” by Karen Chapman.
Except for a few rhododendrons and a cluster of fruit trees my yard is basically foliage. So, I’m going to check out this title and do what I can to boost the natural beauty. Leaves, bark and berries? I’m golden.
• “How to Plant a Garden: Design Tips, Ideas and Planting Schemes for Year-Round Interest” by Matt James.
Gardening doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Just visiting a nursery can be an overwhelming experience if you don’t know what you’re doing. Trust me, I know. Randomness might be working out for you, but sometimes structure actually frees the spirit. Check out this informative guide and learn some solid gardening basics.
• “Lawnscapes: Mowing Patterns to Make Your Yard a Work of Art” by David Parfitt.
Tired of trying to keep up with the Joneses? Completely bowl over your neighbors by mowing with a plan. Up and down, back and forth are nice enough patterns (yawn — boring), but there is so much more you can do with that grass. Turn that swath of green into something worth talking about like a majestic eagle or a giant checkerboard. The canvas awaits you.
• “Powerhouse Plants: 510 Top Performers for Multi-Season Beauty” by Graham Rice.
If you look at your garden, and all you can think about is your dear Great-Aunt Euphenia (in other words, the bloom has definitely fallen off the rose), take heart. Gardener Graham Rice will help you to choose eye-catching plants with strong constitutions. Beauty and hardiness can go together.
• “Super Simple Butterfly Gardens: A Kid’s Guide to Gardening” by Alex Kuskowski.
Earlier I said the planet needs more gardens. Well, guess what? The world also needs more butterflies. Find out how to attract these winged beauties to your yard with the help of Alex Kuskowski’s kid-friendly guide.
Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at email@example.com.