Blooming Marvellous Reads

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RoseThis June public holiday should be a good one for gardeners. Gardens are verdant, the weather's looking great, and Bloom in the Park is on all weekend. Isn't gardening just fantastic! Many of us spend most of our time indoors, working, looking at screens and gardening can be the perfect antidote to this. It's slowing down in a hectic world, it's creative, it's healthy, it's rewarding, it's stress-relief, it's good for the environment and wildlife.

If you've been bitten by the bug don't forget to pop into our libraries this month and borrow one of our fantastic selection of gardening books. Gardening book displays at Ballyfermot, Charleville Mall, Dolphin's Barn, Drumcondra, Raheny and Central Library (till 7 June) are packed full of inspiration, tips and advice. So this June get out in the garden and if you can, try to get to Bloom in the Park, it's a terrific event!

Here's a small sample of books you may enjoy when you finally manage to put that trowel down, when darkness hits or when rain stops play:

Grow your own

Grow Cook Eat by Michael KellyGrow, Cook, Eat by GIY founder Michael Kelly. Michael's book takes you from fork to fork! Lots of growing tips are complimented by recipes and contributions from over 35 top chefs, cooks and growers including Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Dylan McGrath, Donal Skehan, Darina Allen, Rachel Allen, Neven Maguire and Clodagh McKenna. The Grow It Yourself community in Ireland has really blossomed (sorry) in recent years. If you would like to get involved Grow It Yourself (GIY) Groups meet every month in Raheny and Walkinstown Libraries.

More grow your own food books.

City gardening

A good practical book for garden lovers in the city is The Urban Gardener by Matt James.  He hosted a great gardening programme The City Gardener some years back on Channel 4.

If space is tight, take a look at Window-box Allotment by Penelope Bennett. High up on a London rooftop, Penelope Bennett cultivates a garden that includes artichokes, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, alpine strawberries, raspberries, herbs (and saffron), 31 kinds of potato and six different fruit trees.

More city garden books.

You've seen the garden on television, now read the book

Clondeglass by Dermot O'Neill

Clondeglass is Dermot O'Neill's beautiful walled garden. This book takes you on a tour around this totally renovated and utterly heavenly garden, its flowers, trees and shrubs.

For any Gardener's World fan who has fallen in love with Longmeadow, Monty Don's Gardening at Longmeadow is a real treat. It's structured on a month by month basis featuring plants that are at their best and lists tasks for that month - a bonus for anyone who relies on Monty's 'jobs for the weekend'.

See also: Take Chelsea Home

Problem solving

Our bookshelves are packed with garden trouble shooting tips and ideas, from finding plants to flourish in dry shade to solving that slug problem.

Alternative gardening

The Holistic Gardener ebook

Bloom regular Fiann O’Nuallain’s The Holistic Gardener is packed full of home grown remedies and displays a love of gardening and faith in the healing power of nature. - also available to borrow as an ebook: gardening ebooks.

Weeds: how vagabond plants gatecrashed civilisation and changed the way we think about nature. Weeds, they veer from scourge of a gardener's life to being lauded for their role in maintaining biodiversity. In this interesting read Richard Mabey examines how a plant becomes a maligned weed. From the scourge of poison ivy to the milder nuisance of the stinging nettle, Mabey considers the 'botanical thugs' that destroy whole ecosystems, as well as those that thrive miraculously, greening over war zones and refuse tips, repairing through nature the dereliction we create.

Gardening Magazines

We have a selection of online gardening magazines available as well. Don't forget to sign up for new issue notification emails in My Preferences, so you never miss an issue of your favourite magazine:

Zinio gardening magazines

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