Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Grab Bag of Winter Reading

While our gardens are sleeping we can turn to other pleasures. Some of us like to have a stack of books at hand for the deep winter months. Here are some fun reads suggested by our executive. Leave a comment or email if you would like to recommend, borrow or lend these or any other books.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

A magical novel about a gifted caterer who lives in the old family house with a prophetic, protective apple tree. She prepares dishes using plants from her garden that affect the eater: snapdragons that discourage amorous attentions, pansies to make children more thoughtful, rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. The story is about her ordered world changing when her younger sister returns to town.

Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert


This is the first book of the mystery series featuring China Bayles, an ex-attorney who abandoned her career to buy a herb shop in the Hill Country of Texas. Many interesting herb facts are shared in these fun mysteries and China’s legal and herbal knowledge helps her in solving the murders. Christine

The Flower Shop Mysteries by Kate Collins


I have just discovered a light hearted murder/mystery series by a woman called Kate Collins. The protagonist is a florist and all the titles have plants in them. Example: Night of the Living Dandelion, Mum's the Word, Slay it with Flowers, Dearly Depotted, Snipped in the Bud, Acts of Violets, A Rose from the Dead, Shoots to Kill, Evil in Carnations, Sleeping with Anemone, and Dirty Rotten Tendrils. Obviously the titles are very "punny" but the characters are well developed as are the plots. If any one has these, please pass them on----to me! I have only read the Dandelion one so far, but hope Santa can find more of them, Liane

Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell and Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew


A couple of months ago I purchased these two gardening books which I am thoroughly enjoying.
Both are helping me plan a new garden in a small space.  I've found them easy to read with plenty of diagrams.  I wish I could describe them better but they are already on loan to my neighbour. Sharon
(Denise also recommended Squarefoot Gardening a while back)

The Sign and the Seal by Graham Hancock

Part travelogue, part true-adventure, part mystery-thriller, the quest for the lost Ark of the Covenant, is an exciting and stimulating read. Hancock leaves the reader with a great deal to think about, both in the biblical context of discovering what happened to the Ark, and in the Ethiopian context of the unusual reverence the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has for the Ark, and their claim to possess the original artifact.

A Divided Loyalty by Barbara Greenwood 

Set in the early 1800s at the time of the Mackenzie rebellions. Deborah finds a wounded rebel in the barn. If she is caught hiding Dan, her family will be branded as traitors and their barn burned. If she turns him over to the sheriff, he will be hanged! Deborah is torn between a father she has always trusted to be right, and the wounded boy who begs for her help. A gripping story of divided loyalty. Written for young adults. Terry 

Between the Apple-Blossom & the Water: Women Writing About Gardens by Pamela Norris

This book draws from a deep pool of rich, diverse, practical and contemplative garden writing. There is advice from Gertrude Jekyll, and passages by writers and poets such as George Eliot, Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. Each piece provides a thoughtful examination of the gardening life and invites reflection. Excellent for a short, quiet read in front of the fire. Sue

Starting in the New Year, each month, we will be approaching a member to do a review of a garden book. We'll provide help and pictures and do our best to make it painless.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


  1. Merry Christmas and Winter Solstice, looking forward to many more exciting blogs as the days get longer and we look forward to an early spring here on the Sunshine Coast,

    1. Thank you for your comment, Liane! The best part of winter is planning for Spring.


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