2012 Green Thumb Awards
For those gardeners intrigued by new plants and garden items, one source of information to turn to is the Direct Gardening Association (DGA), a nonprofit association of companies that sell garden products directly to consumer via catalogs and websites. Each year an independent panel of garden writers and editors selects plants and garden products as Green Thumb Award winners for DGA. These items are chosen for their uniqueness, technological innovation, ability to solve a gardening problem, or for the gardening opportunity they provide. For information about the 2012 winners, plus those since 2007, visit DGA
A Different Kind of Vegetable Gardening Book
Concurrent with the burgeoning interest in growing vegetables is the large crop of vegetable gardening books. Many of these are excellent, and I would suggest you have at least one of the A-to-Z type of book on hand as a basic resource for information. But what if you want to have a little more fun, both with your gardening and your information? And still want it to be sound and reliable? No Nonsense Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs (St. Lynn's Press, 2012, $19.95) answers the call. The first thing you'll notice are the graphics and design, which can be summed up as exuberant and colorful, but beyond that there is good, solid advice. They write in an easy-to-understand way that helps take the complexity out of gardening, like having a friend talk to you. What the two authors, both horticulturists, offer is unique in that they don't always agree. Throughout the book is a running dialogue that illustrates that there are different approaches to gardening. For me, one of the most valuable aspects of the book are their myth-busting tips, which helps dispel some of the misinformation about various aspects of gardening. I do have some issues with wading through the wealth of information in this book, and I wouldn't want it to be my only vegetable gardening book, but it definitely will be one that I return to again and again.