top of page
  • Writer's pictureBill James

Welcome to Bill's compact country-cottage garden

Updated: Feb 10

Scroll down below for several topics, sequentially: 1. NEWS (by date), 2. FOR VISITORS, 3. FOR VIEWERS, 4. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND, 5. FOR GARDENERS LIST OF PLANTS IN THE GARDEN, 6. FOR LANDSCAPE PEOPLE, 7. FOR AMATEUR BOTANISTS, 8. FOR GARDEN MUSIC, 9. FOR BIRDERS, 10. FOR POETRY PEOPLE, 11. FOR READERS (annotated list of my garden books - under development).


Chapter 1. NEWS


November 16, 2023:

Added an interim list of my books at the very last page.


November 7, 2023:

Been a good garden year, I think, all in all, with a dry spring, wet summer and late fall. Over 100 (147 actually, 10% of the total) fairly hi-res shots from the 2023 garden season were saved in chronological order, as a PDF. To download and view them, click on the next PDF icon (be patient) then click on the small blue arrow that appears near the top right corner of your screen (you may have to wait for download). Scroll down through the photos and when done don't forget to close the PDF screen:

best 147 garden pix from 2023
.pdf
Download PDF • 455.82MB

Alternatively you can stream a rather hurried 5-minute video of the photos from YouTube :

Sorry about the watermark, for being too lazy to add a title and end image, for the projection speed (2 seconds per photo) and for the last half-dozen spurious photos that crept in somehow (am still learning this video app.). Use your mouse to slow the show, if you need to. Comments?

October 3, 2023


September was dry and warm - the first frost has not yet arrived. Garden flowers are now all but over, except for silver lace vine, some asters, a few morning glory, sweet-pea, nasturtium and roses; monkshood are in bloom. Here is the link to my YouTube clip which has poor resolution: [3 minutes] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r6nth0LfyM or better, play the clip here:



July 25, 2023

Experimenting with Apple's 3D scanner app on my iPhone 14 PRO, I generated 3D models of (i) the front path and (ii) the Morning Tea Patio, and by rotating the 3D solids selected two oblique views, which are far from ideal, having poor resolution and white spaces, but still quite interesting:



July 19, 2023

For no special reason, other than inexorable advances through the summer, in mid-July friends were sent the following link to a 7.5 minute photo-video (which turns out to be rather blurry) of my garden: https://youtu.be/OvEDqRZjJJM. The video starts and ends with images of wild sweet peas, initially at Sue and Iain’s waterfront cottage, then finally on the poetry trellis in my “morning tea” patio. Sue and Iain's cottage is on Georgian Bay near Thornbury, where Juliet has a holiday condo, also on the waterfront. The video proceeds: my library at home here in Guelph is an eternal mess, crying out for organisation, but the window treatment is indeed a treat. From the video you may infer that the first couple of weeks of July this year were good for clematis and sweet pea vines, coreopsis, daisies, hollyhocks, day lilies and geraniums whether in pots or not. Also that the front garden has begun to fill out with the taller summer flowers: shasta daisies, whirling butterflies (gaura), perennial gerania, kniphofia, coreopsis varieties, roses climbing up the front entrance; as has the back garden: potted bougainvillea, streptocarpus hanging in the greenhouse, the triple archway covered with wisteria, clematis, English ivy and silver lace vines, and the back porch stairway enhanced with hollyhocks, mandatory for cottage gardens , while in the rest of the garden the usual day lilies and very usual hosta (oh, well). At the side sunroom door the morning tea patio has become colourful, mercifully, and the same can be said for my long-awaited secret-garden door, built from well-worn, thickly stained 4 and 5 ft 12” meranti planks that I had toted around since 1965 - initially in Durban they were my bookshelves propped up by dry bricks. The door is now almost finished, and finishes the video. To download a much-better-resolution PDF version click here (may need Adobe's reader):

Selections from 2023 photo album, Jul 1-19
.pdf
Download PDF • 20.81MB





June 24, 2023

This garden was one of seven selected for the Guelph Horticultural Society's 2023 annual garden Showcase Tour on a damp Sunday June 11th, when 464 visitors participated. Six days later a 1920s Garden party was held in sunny weather, when 45 friends enjoyed mimosas and cucumber sandwiches (courtesy Juliet and Kate). On both occasions suitable music emanated from a speaker hidden in the cedar tree in the middle of the back garden. Links to annotated photographs will be posted here in due course (but in the meantime here is an interim 4-minute YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwJhyhdNkk4&t=42s ).


Chapter 2. FOR VISITORS


At the onset of WW2, the Cooke family (of Cooke & Denison Ltd) built a relatively basic house here, in open meadows, the garden being lawn for 48 years, i.e. until 1988, when it became the home of its second and current owner, Bill and his late wife Lyn. Soon thereafter, paths were worn into the lawn by their three small grandchildren and then between the paths, flower beds happened, as places to find treasures. Of course, time and entropy (simple complexing toward chaos) also happened – about a century after being meadow, the garden again hosts a range of urban wild animals (foxes, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, cheeky chipmunks, opossum, woodchuck, toads and feral cats - some not so feral) and a list of cheerful wild birds, even a rare errant turkey. Not developed for and by noisy, smelly machinery, the secret back garden competes manually and non-chemically against the usual neighborhood invasive and aggressive plants. Among the seasonal botanical regulars, poetic gardeners find: Scottish heather, bluebells, rhododendrons and alpen rose; South African cyperus, kniphofia, crocosmia/montbretia and cosmos; and Labrador viola, blackberry lilies and epimedia - among others. Whimsical gardeners find pteridophyta in window wells and elsewhere, and a herb garden created by Lyn, who yet pervades the garden.


Chapter 3. FOR VIEWERS

Front garden, in June 2022 (click on image to expand, then close the images when done)


Back garden, also June 2022



Chapter 4. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND


Google lists 24 types of garden, including Container, Water, Japanese, Herb, Formal, Kitchen (but not Vegetable), Shade, Rock, Woodland and Cottage. Wikipedia defines the cottage garden as: a distinct style that uses informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, it depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure.


ChatGPT responded to my request for 100 characteristics of a typical cottage garden with a rather long, repetitive list, which nevertheless coincides quite closely with attributes of my own garden (to read it, click on the PDF icon):

100 attributes of a cottage garden
.pdf
Download PDF • 38KB

At 36 Stuart St in Guelph the garden is arranged to suit the appeal of the home itself (and vice versa), and reflects an intrinsically informal, interesting layout of a rather special collection of plants. Plants particularly favoured have personal South African and Scottish connections, blue/white colours offset by cream verging to peachy pink are preferred, and delicate rather than large flowers. Declared invasives are avoided. Naturally there are many exceptions to these desiderata.


I do not regard my garden as being mature (yet) - with the short growing season plants don't fill in the space until well into summer - and that colourful, brimming feeling of an English Country Cottage Garden, such as one gets from Claude Monet's impressionistic paintings of French gardens, is difficult to attain early in the season. Still, progress is continuous, so don't hesitate to chat about it with me.


ChatGPT, when asked for 100 plants “with small, delicate blue, white, pink and/or cream flowers suitable for a cottage garden in Guelph, Ontario” quickly listed 70 (10 per colour). The list of course includes plants not known to me, some most decidedly not recommended* by me; moreover, not all the ChatGPT plants here are in my garden, and not all the plants in my garden are on the list (click on the icon to get the PDF file):


recommended flowers of a Guelph cottage
.pdf
Download PDF • 37KB

Chapter 5. FOR GARDENERS, LISTS OF PLANTS IN THE GARDEN


1. Approximate flowering sequence in 2022, six months in six minutes (less if you increase playback speed in settings). Normal playback speed is close to one image per two-second flowering day through the garden season. Image resolution may be disappointing and might or might not improve running YouTube directly (who knows? - not me). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGqVRC3gGMo




Flowering starts in April and ends in September (not all annuals are listed)...

April: winter aconites, snowdrops, chionodoxa, hellebore, Scottish heather, striped squill, windflowers, scilla Siberia, blood root, miniature daffodils, hyacinths, daffodils, primroses, star magnolia, forsythia, saucer magnolia, grape hyacinth, cowslips, tulip tarda, yellow tulips, sweet (purple) violets, Johnny jump-ups, narcissi, Labrador violets, rhododendron checkmate, trout lily, pasque flower, blue spurge

May, continuing: hellebore, Scottish heather, windflowers, scilla Siberia, miniature daffodils, hyacinths, daffodils, primroses, star magnolia, forsythia, saucer magnolia, grape hyacinth, cowslips, tulip tarda, yellow tulips, sweet (purple) violets, Johnny jump-ups, narcissi, Labrador violets, rhododendron checkmate, trout lily, pasque flower, blue spurge, Johnny jump-ups

May, new: Canada anemone, epimediums, anemone species, crocus, tulip species, creeping phlox, candytuft, trilliums, pinks, star of Bethlehem, blue bells, hepatica, geraniums, heliopsis helianth, aquilegia, fothergillia, sweet woodruff, foam flower, Solomon’s seal, false Solomon’s seal, bearded iris, poppies, bachelor buttons (cornflower), wisteria,

June, continuing: Canada anemone, pinks, geraniums, aquilegia, bearded iris, poppies, Johnny jump-ups

June, new: lilac, Japanese iris, Siberian iris, sweet William, alyssum, wisteria, lilac, bougainvillea, dwarf agapanthus, dianthus, lupins, Irish moss, ladies’ mantle, Saskatoon berry, flowering quince, Japanese flowering dogwood, alpen rose, rhododendrons, honeysuckle, brunera, daylilies, doronicum, evening primroses, sage, snow-in-summer, clematis species, roses, campanula, catmint, foxglove, delphiniums, gaura

July, continuing: wisteria (on arbour), roses, bougainvillea, lupins, Irish moss, ladies' mantle, Japanese flowering dogwood, alpen rose, honeysuckle (on arbour), daylilies, evening primrose, sage, clematis, campanula, catmint, foxglove, delphiniums, gaura, geraniums, Johnny jump-ups

July, new: liatris, coreopsis, gaillardia, nasturtiums, crocosmia/montbretia, sweet peas, Russian sage, hosta, kniphofia, Blackberry lilies, cannas, shasta daisies, hollyhocks, black-eyed Susan and other echinacea and cone flowers, cosmos, dahlia, miniature hosta, silver lace vine, daylilies, blue perennial geraniums, wild ginger

August, continuing: daylilies, coreopsis, nasturtiums, crocosmia/montbretia, sweet peas, Russian sage, hosta, kniphofia, Blackberry lilies, cannas, shasta daisies, hollyhocks, black-eyed Susan and other echinacea and cone flowers, cosmos, dahlia, miniature hosta, silver lace vine, honeysuckle, clematis, blue perennial geraniums, wild ginger, gaura, agapanthus, roses, spider plants,


2. 220 photos in flowering sequence, for 2019 and 2021. 2 X 6 months in 14 minutes (less if you increase playback speed in settings). Playback speed is close to one image per 2 seconds (2 flowering days through both garden seasons). Image resolution may disappoint and might or might not improve if run the video in YouTube directly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdyfKLRsQ-E .





Chapter 5b. FURTHER LISTS OF PLANTS


Herbs in Lyn's herb garden: sorrel, green oregano, gold oregano, sage, lavender, mint A, mint B, chives, thyme, parsley, dill, estragon, winter savory, lemon balm, basil

Listed invasives more-or-less under control: winter aconite, English ivy, Norway maple, white mulberry, yellow iris, climbing euonymus, creeping thyme, peppermint, Siberian squill, green-stemmed forsythia, oxeye daisy, yellow daylily,

Listed invasives defeated: goutweed, bittersweet nightshade, coltsfoot, greater celandine, orange daylily, Russian olive, forget-me-not, dame’s rocket, European lily-of-the-valley, periwinkle, creeping bugleweed, ajuga, buttercups, lamia, thistle

Non-invasive aggressives more or less under control: peppermint, oregano, chives, lawn

Non-invasive aggressives defeated: dandelion, buttercups, thistle, fall aster, oxeye daisies, deadly nightshade, yucca, golden rod,

Non-invasive aggressive not yet defeated: Star of Bethlehem, drooping star of Bethlehem

Common-or-garden perennials avoided: hydrangea, plants with gross flowers,

Common-or-garden annuals avoided: petunias,

Plants that self-seed: cosmos, alyssum, blackberry lilies, brunera

Annuals planted from collected seed: nasturtiums, liatris, cosmos, lobelia

Others, some by seed: salvia, zinnias, creeping jenny, morning glory, lobelia, geraniums, begonias

Corms and plants overwintered indoors: cyperus, arums, dahlia, agapanthus, kalanchoe, sansevieria, canna, geraniums

Indoor plants decamped to the summer garden: strelitzia, Irish clover, palm, jade plant, bougainvillea, amaryllis, clivia

Perennials not surviving winter ‘21-‘22: pulmonara Diane Claire, everblooming geranium Roxanne, pussy willow, phlox blue boy, coreopsis super star.

Trees removed: Chinese elm, Russian olive, two larches, pine, Japanese maple, two Colorado blue spruce, one hinoki cypress



Chapter 6. FOR LANDSCAPE PEOPLE


Since 1988, briefly. The house was redecorated to go with a cottage garden: cedar shake roof, pseudo-Tudor trim painted dark brown, deepened basement windows given fern-rockery wells, sunroom and porch that link to the garden. Relentless effort is expended on managing available space, sunlight, exposure, soil and moisture, and proving that nothing is ever permanently resolved, that everything is a provisional lash-up, falling short of one’s dreams.

Front: wrought iron fence, original lamp-post restored, new handrails, perpendicular path realigned diagonally, corner bench, bird bath and feeder, rain gauge, four interconnected rain barrels, privacy hedgerow screen: Japanese Hinoki False Cypress, Japanese flowering dogwood, quince, redbud, Sasberry, honeysuckle, star magnolia, Alberta spruce; rose bed and planter, heather, rhododendrons, alpen rose, bamboo, kniphofia,

Sides: morning tea patio, poetry trellis, fern rockery window wells,

Back: two sheds, four interconnected rain barrels, green house, restored porch and sunroom, herb garden with armillary, bird feeder, weather station, work area, lawn, five seating areas, rock-climbing tree, two sculptures, four metal birds, two bird baths, saucer magnolia w suspended old kitchen juncque, wash hand basin, rhubarb, triple archway.


Problems:

1 What tree or shrub if any should replace the large Norway maple in the back?

2. Ditto, the white mulberry trees?

3 How can the dry ground in front of the Norway maple be gardened?

4 How can marauding stray cats be kept out?

5 How can Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellalum) be eradicated from the front garden? - a score of isolated plants dispersed by seed and bulbils years ago are still being dug up throughout summer.



Chapter 7. FOR AMATEUR BOTANISTS


In this section are listed a few selected plants, wildflowers that are lush elsewhere, carrying memories from back then and over there, and an explanation of why they are special, even though sometimes relatively pathetic here [wildflower photos are taken from the web]:


1. Kniphofia. Wikipedia lists 73 species all from Africa.

Several varieties were obtained from special greenhouses in Ontario. Hereabouts, “red-hot pokers” are perennial, do not naturalise, and struggle to produce a modest showing – see them at the front entrance path:



In Lesotho, though, the scene is quite different: colonies of kniphofia caulescens in seeps and moist fields near the escarpment border with Natal, where Lyn and I often hiked - Drakensberg summit trails were our happy mountaineering grounds from 1960 to 1970, wildflower memories hard to forget: What memory sees (image borrowed from the web):





2. Scottish blue bells. Hyacinthoides non-scripta. Not to be confused with the harebell.

Bluebells, OK really English Bluebells, (and a pale pink variety) in the garden are descended from a few bulbs innocently smuggled in 1970 from Aberdeen, Scotland to Guelph by Lyn’s elderly mum; they are attractive against the brown and white (west) wall of the house. Naturalisation by seed dispersion and bulb division is, however, rather slow for an aging gardener:


and will probably never achieve the carpets that we enjoy in the forests of Aberdeenshire. Lyn grew up in Aberdeen, and Bill lived there 1962-1965, visiting regularly ever since. What memory sees (image borrowe3d from the web):



3. South African cosmos, cosmos bippinatus.

The Boer War was fought largely by horses, Britain importing virtually every available horse worldwide, and of course all had to be fed, so fodder was imported from the Canadian prairies (and elsewhere), whence cosmos seeds found their way into the South African Highveld, where they inevitably germinated and spread by seed dispersal, to form wonderful panoramas of purple, pinky-mauve and white in the Fall. Ninety years later we hand-collected seeds in the Natal Highlands and planted them in the front garden where they have randomly dispersed these past 34 years, helped by manual seed-collection:


The source of the original seeds: meadows in Natal, the southern Free State, and elsewhere in S. Africa is what memory sees (this image borrowed from the web, has watermarks):




4. Scottish heather, calluna vulgaris

Throughout history, immigrants have, if only to help adjust to new environments, brought seed and established in their gardens the plants that they knew and depended upon, including favourite ornamentals. We were no different – in our case the four Scottish heathers in the front garden around the bird feeder have grown, slowly, from a single plant purchased locally, ca. 1990. Year over year the showiness has varied, but the attraction for pollinators in spring and early summer has remained strong:


Twice annually, in both early summer and early fall, the Cairngorm mountains west of Aberdeen turn purple; hikes we routinely enjoyed (and where the local honey tastes like the aroma of wild heather). What memory sees:



5. Crocosmia/montbretia, Crocosmia aurea

If you go hiking in S. Africa, as we did all the time, you find crocosmia blooming literally all over the place. In the wild, crocosmia love moist habitats, e.g. stream banks, wooded kloofs and forst margins. Thankfully in this garden wild animals and garden pests do not bother them; in my front garden they spread by both root stock and seed dispersal – look for the sword-like leaves:

In the hills near Nelspruit, where I spent my preteen school holidays, Crocosmia do well: what memory sees:



6. Alpen rose, Rhododendron ferrugineum.

The alpenrose, snow-rose, or rusty-leaved alpenrose is an evergreen shrub that grows just above the tree line in the Alps on acid soils and produces clusters of pinkish-red, bell-shaped flowers throughout the summer. The undersides of the leaves are covered in rust-brown spots, which give the species the second part of its binomial name (ferrugineum, Latin for 'rust-coloured, ferruginous'). It is the only other alpine (counting heather) in my garden, and its flowers are becoming inconspicuous, possibly due to the loss of soil acidity over time in the front garden foundation plantings, near the rhododendrons:


What memory sees, however, are scenes from mountaineering in the Swiss and French Alps (1962-65):



7. Bamboo, Phyllostachys.

The bamboo in my front garden is an aggressive running variety, and, to control it, I first cut the top and bottom off a 45-gallon plastic barrel, dug a big hole and sank the sawn-off cylinder into it, with the top edge level with the soil surface. After refilling I planted the small bamboo purchased from a local nursery in 1990, and take care to sever any runner that attempts to hop over the top edge. Every spring the dead canes are cut back to the surface of the soil and new shoots grow again, about 10 ft high in the summer. My garden bamboo at 75% its annual growth:


The cut slender canes are useful in the garden, and slender leaves are of course reminiscent of the 20 ft high clump-bamboo thickets I scampered through in Bulwer Park walking to and from Park View School in Durban in the 1940s. Bamboo also grows in clumps in the Natal Drakensberg, where it is known a “Berg bamboo”. What memory sees:





8. Star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum umbellatum. (a special problem)

This pretty persistent plant illustrates that same central principle of my life: an acute problem cannot be completely solved - it can only be replaced by a chronic problem and the cost is vigilance. Twenty years ago the plant covered my front garden like the invasive, noxious weed patch that it is, a critical problem, so I dug up and sifted the soil eliminating detectable bulbs (except of course the impossibly tiny bulbils), with the result that the area now appears to be free of Star-of-Bethlehem, however a dozen-or-two plants emerge every year and vigilant weeding is required throughout the spring and summer, digging out the full depth of my hand trowel, or by using a forestry tree-planting shovel, and removing bulbils and soil, all taken to landfill. Photo from my earlier garden and a pretty bad memory:




Chapter 8. FOR GARDEN MUSIC


Bill's garden music playlist (at ’22.12.08)


If music is piped through the garden, you may hear instrumental pieces, some tangentially named after flowers and gardens, a few not actually related to gardening. The up-to-date playlist at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFh1b4_Q6fUb6PD41GW7ga-u5FJRKCc4U contains some suggestions by FaceBook subscribers, from those listed below. All vocal music and lengthy pieces were removed. The following was my first attempt:


1. Martin Jones performs Percy Grainger's 'Country Gardens' NimbusRecords TV 3:16

2. Christian Sinding - Rustle of Spring (Frühlingsrauschen) Alan Noronha 4:19

3. My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose (Scottish Traditional) Paul Hankinson 4:15

4. The Flowers of Edinburgh. Mark O'Connor – Topic 3:26

5. Rimsky Korsakov - Flight of the Bumblebee The Wicked North 4:38

6. Delibes: Lakmé - Duo des fleurs. Sabine Devieilhe & Marianne Crebassa. 4:30

7. Bizet: Carmen / Act 2 - "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée". Luciano Pavarotti 2:54

8. Acker Bilk : Summertime. George Becherovsky 2:55

9. Acker Bilk - Petite Fleur. WonderfulHits 2:44

10. La vie en rose (Remastered). Acker 2:36

11. What a Wonderful World (Remastered). Acker Bilk 3:05

12. La Vie en Rose - Mantovani and his Orchestra. Annunzio Mantovani 2:50

13. Mantovani - Petite Fleur - Orquestas Maravillosas, Románticas Vol. I 4:35

14. Waltz of the Flowers (Remastered). Mantovani - 3:16

15. Mantovani & His Orchestra - My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose [1971]. nomie55 3:58

16. Where Have All the Flowers Gone (ReMix). Rdoesch 2:57

17. What a Wonderful World - Mantovani Orchestra. Annunzio Mantovani 2:55

18. Mantovani We'll Gather Lilacs. Roy Stornaway 2:40

19. Ray Conniff – Summertime. Dachero 3:24

20. La Vie En Rose. Ray Conniff 2:12

21. Theme From 'A Summer Place'. Ray Conniff 4:14

22. What A Wonderful World - Maestro Bruno Rodrigues (Tributo A Ray Conniff) 3:14

23. Frank Sinatra We'll Gather Lilacs In The Spring 2:56

24. Summer Wind (2008 Remastered). Frank Sinatra 3:40

25. Ella Fitzgerald - Summertime (1968) 2:40

26. John Denver - The Garden Song 2:59

27. The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring. Eric Idle 1:50


The link below s a long list of music suggested by some of the 211 commenters who subscribed to the Facebook group "Show me your plants gardens and yard" (Jan 8 to 14, 2023):


William James, January 8 at 4:23 PM ·

Imagine that your great-grandfather's garden has been selected by the local horticultural society for their 2023 garden tour, and he's to follow their recommendation to provide piped music for the expected 500 visitors over the 4 hour period. The problem is to provide a short playlist of suitable music somewhat related to gardening and flowers - his preference would be for light-classical and easy-listening with titles or lyrics tangentially related to gardens. What would you suggest to the old geezer (OK, it's me)? Assuming that this deviant request gets posted, I will follow up with a playlist that I have currently devised (hint: the flower duet is included). 211 comments:

Garden music suggested by subscribers to Facebook group
.pdf
Download PDF • 103KB

As stated at the outset selections from the above comments have been added to the playlist:



Chapter 9. FOR BIRDERS


Bill's garden birds (seen and/or heard at ’23.01.18)

*American Goldfinch

#Baltimore Oriole

*Blue Jay

#Brown Thrasher

*Canada goose

*Cardinal

Cedar Waxwing

*Chickadee

Chipping Sparrow

*Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Mallard

*Mourning Dove

*Northern Flicker

*Nuthatch (both species)

Pine siskin

Purple Finch

*Robin

#Rose Breasted Grosbeak

*Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Song sparrow

White throated sparrow

*Wren

* = very common

# = rarely



Chapter 10. FOR POETRY PEOPLE


Alongside the morning-tea-patio is a privacy screen decorated with five poems that I learnt as a schoolkid, custom-printed:




To read the poem, pause the video ...



Chapter 11. FOR GARDEN-BIBLIOPHILES


Of course, this list of garden books is intrinsically of vanishing interest, but on '23.11.16 re-organisation of my library fell due, and assorted summer outdoor and winter indoor books were listed on the free app "BookBuddy", from which the following interim list emerged:


  1. 100 Easy-to-grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens, Lorraine Johnson. Random House of Canada (1999). 160pp

  2. 128 Houseplants You Can Grow, Rob Herwig. Collier Books N Y. 62pp

  3. American HorticulturalSoc.: Northeast, Trevor Jack Cole. DK Pub. (2003) 400pp

  4. A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee - Creating Habitat for Native Pollinators in Southern Ontario, Lorraine Johnson and Sheila Coll. Douglas and McIntyre (2013) 256pp

  5. A Guide to Natural Woodland and Prairie Gardening, Lin Dorney. Natural Woodland Nursery (1982). 48pp

  6. Gardening for a Lifetime - How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older, Sydney Eddison. Timber Press (2010). 204pp

  7. Growing Houseplants And Caring For Gift Plants. Staff Members, Department Of Horticulture, U of Guelph. 50pp

  8. How Plants Work - The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do, Linda Chalker-Scott. Timber Press (2015). 236pp

  9. Intimate Gardens, C. Colston Burrell and Lucy Hard. Brooklyn Botanic Garden (2005). 120pp

  10. Landscaping with Nature - Using Nature's Design to Plan Your Yard, Jeff Cox. Rodale Press (1991). 344pp

  11. New Naturalism - Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden, Kelly D. Norris. Cool Springs Press (2021). 208pp

  12. Noah's Garden - Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards, Sara Bonnett Stein. Houghton Mifflin (1993). 294pp

  13. Perennials for Ontario, Alison Beck and Kathy Renwald. Lone Pine Pub. (2001). 344pp

  14. Perennial gardening guide, John Valleau,. Valleybrook Gardend Ltd. (2003), 176pp

  15. Planting in a Post-Wild World - Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes, Thomas Rainer and Claudia West. Timber Press (2015) 272pp

  16. The Country Diary Companion, Josephine Poole. Book Club Associates (1984). 128pp

  17. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, Edith Holden. Joseph (1977). 176pp

  18. The Crossley ID Guide Eastern Birds, Richard Crossley. Princeton University Press (2011) 529pp

  19. The Small Garden, John Brookes. Marshal Cavendish (1992). 256pp

  20. A step-by-step guide to growing and displaying roses, J. Mattock and Jane Newdick. Whitecap Books (1993) 124pp

  21. Wild Flowers Of South Africa For The Garden, Una Van Der Spuy. Hugh Keartland (1971). 286pp

Not sure how this array happened, surely gifts and book sales, and I would say that only numbers 14, 15 and 16 are genuinely treasured, whereas several are useful, though possibly less so than the web these days. Sadly printed books are no longer widely prized.

469 views0 comments
bottom of page