To brush up on American history while learning about our past presidents’ impact on our gardens today, please read Andrea Wulf’s Founding Gardeners. I could not believe how much I learned from reading this book. Fascinating and really interesting as well as packed with historical facts.

To learn more about the “how and when” of pruning trees, shrubs, vines, fruit plants and roses, you can’t miss with Lee Reich’s THE PRUNING BOOK (2nd Edition, Taunton Press, 2010) and if you want to incorporate fruit into your ornamental garden try LANDSCAPING WITH FRUIT (Storey Publishing, 2009). Lee lives in New Paltz, NY where he grows what he writes about. If you live in the colder zones, you’ll benefit more from his plant recommendations. No matter where you live, you will certainly learn enough about pruning to be able to get out there and shape things up.

Pruning perennials and basic care and instruction are the backbone of Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting & Pruning Techniques will help you in ways you never thought of-and sometimes don’t want to know about. As the sole maintainer of my many gardens, I can’t do everything Tracy talks about all the time, but I really like her perennial pruning guidelines. I grow a lot of tall rudbeckias, eupatoriums, phlox-to name a few-and her late spring pruning tips help to avoid the later flop and fall that normally occurs with some tall plants that aren’t staked. And who has the time or inclination to stake?

William Cullina, director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine is a passionate plantsman who will reel you in with his knowledgeable characteristic descriptions of many native trees and shrubs. After reading the book, I had a list impossible to fill of trees and shrubs I wanted to add to my property. I did add some (sweet gum and american fringe tree, to name a few) but alas, I’m running out of property! Check out: Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: A Guide to Using, Growing, and Propagating North American Woody Plants.


Founder of West County Gardener, Beverly Schor was on to something when she started designing garden gloves to fit like more athletic gloves, and last longer, too. “I Can Fix This”, said Beverly Schor one day in early 2001 when she had a “light bulb” moment as she was out gardening and noticed the sorry state of her month-old conventional garden gloves. As a cyclist and sports apparel designer, she observed many of the qualities she loved in her sport gloves were missing in her garden gloves. Why couldn’t garden gloves have the features of sports gloves and last as long too? I own the rose gloves, mud gloves for pulling weeds and planting, and the eco-smart workgloves for everything from weed wacking to shoveling. The rose gloves provide great protection from thorns, the mud gloves keep my hands clean and dry without sweating and the work gloves prevent blisters. They come in a good assortment of colors and last for years, which says a lot given the way I use them.

The only other glove I wear is the Women’s Work heavy duty cowhide work glove.  It’s for the real tough work like picking up discarded roof tiles with sharp nails, nasty thorn bushes and working with barbed wire fencing. No other company makes a glove that holds up to that and my pair has lasted close to twenty years. They get a little stiff from lack of use, but put them on, go to work and they soften right up. The best durable man’s type of woman’s glove I know.  They are a woman-owned family business, celebrating 27 years of business and have a great motto: “Strong Women Building A Gentle World”

A Garden for All