Books to read during April showers

By Marianne Murray Guess

Ah yes, April showers bring May flowers. We’ve all heard that rhyme at some point. It’s a popular thing to say and hear around springtime. One thing you might not know is that it can be traced back to the mid-1500s. If you’re bummed out waiting for April showers to bring May flowers you might want to spend some time researching various species of plants and trees, landscaping techniques and general gardening advice. Here are several books with great ideas after those April showers bring on those May flowers.

A Gardener’s Guide to Planting and Growing Trees: We plant trees primarily for their beauty to provide shade but they also create many other benefits like soothing and relaxing us and helping us connect with nature and its surroundings. Now, it’s even more beneficial to think about planting a tree because of the devastation of our Ash trees by the Emerald Ash Borer. This book will show you how to choose and care for trees, conifers and palms for every season with over 250 pages and 600 color photographs.

Author Mike Buffin, Parks and Garden Advisor to the National Trust in the UK, has designed a wealth of different gardens using trees. Peter Anderson, whose amazing photography is on every page, specializes in gardens and landscapes.

If you’re not sure how to choose the right tree, want to know how to deal with pests and disease, or have difficulty pruning or landscaping with trees then this is a classic reference book just for you. Trees can add value to your home, help cool your home, break cold winds to lower heating costs and provide food for wildlife. You might want to think about planting one today!

Kid’s First Gardening Book: This is the ultimate gardening guide for ideas for 5 to 12 year olds, from growing fruits, vegetables and flowers to wildlife gardening and craft projects. Author Jenny Hardy is first and foremost a garden lover, and her fascination for the natural world brought her into contact with gardening at a very early age. This interest led her to gain an Honors degree in Classical Botany.

She has designed a book with children in mind containing 120 projects complete with instructions plus over 1200 stunning photographs. It shows you how to adapt a backyard for children and shows them how getting their hands dirty growing their own fruits and vegetables, herbs and flowers can be fun. This book can be an inspirational gardening source for parents and children alike.

Big Ideas for Small Gardens: Don’t have a lot of space for a garden? As this book states in the introduction, some people have enormous estates where space is unlimited. This is a book for those of us who might be living in condos, apartments or new houses perched on small lots.

Written by Emily Young and Dave Egbert and published by Sunset Books, it has all kinds of interesting small garden opportunities. For instance, how to grow a garden in a birdbath, container gardens, sun and shade gardens and flower and edible gardens are just a few of the big ideas for small spaces.

Fences and Gates: Remember the old song, “Don’t Fence Me In — give me land, lots of land under starry skies above.” Well, sometimes you just need a fence. This book, published by Better Homes and Gardens, is a complete do-it-yourself guide for design and construction of fencing. It includes boundary, security and pool fencing and takes you through all the building

basics for fences and gates as well as how to repair them. Every fence has a job to do. To build the right fence in your yard you must be sure what you want to accomplish. This book will guarantee you can choose the fence that will meet your needs. You might even say, “I like being fenced in!”

The next time you’re gloomy about the weather keep in mind the classic rhyme — “April showers bring May flowers.” April can bring about some very enjoyable things like an abundance of flowers in May. Happy gardening and happy reading, everyone!

Marianne Murray Guess is the owner of New and Olde Pages Book Shoppe in Englewood. She lives in Laura, Ohio.

By Marianne Murray Guess