Engaging Methuen Readers

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In the Garden

If you are like me and are seeking solace in gardening, you may be chomping at the bit to start planting vegetables and flowers.  New England’s Spring weather is iffy at best, and this April was the coldest on record, complete with frost warnings and even snow.  Cold weather vegetables can be cautiously planted earlier in the Spring, but traditionally, New England gardeners wait until after Memorial Day to start planting their warm weather vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  The following are some books (ebook and print) that can help inspire you and answer your gardening questions.  Ready, set, go — get your hands dirty!

Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening by Deborah Martin
A beginner’s guide to starting a healthy garden.  This is a classic in the field!

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
Ten new features in this all new updated edition.  Anyone anywhere can enjoy a square foot garden!

Pollinator Friendly Gardening by Rhonda Fleming Hayes
Gardening for Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators.  Help protect threatened butterflies, bees and other pollinators and have an alluring colorful garden, too.  It’s a “win-win” solution!

Container Gardening Secrets: tips for the beginner by Danielle Long
A great tool that will help the novice gardener to learn the techniques that are required to have a successful container garden. It is also a great text for those who have limited or no garden space that wants to grow some vegetables and herbs for home consumption or simply want to add some color to their home with some great flowers.

Grow Food for Free by Huw Richards
The sustainable, zero-cost, low-effort way to a bountiful harvest.  Grow your own vegetables from kitchen scraps!

Covering Ground by Barbara Ellis Unexpected ideas for landscaping with colorful, low-maintenance ground covers.  A pretty, practical and sustainable way to transform your ordinary lawn.

All titles are available in ebook format through Overdrive or it’s app, Libby

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Database Spotlight — Gardening, Landscape & Horticulture Collection

Database Spotlight – Gardening, Landscape & Horticulture Collection

Whether you’re a casual gardener, a landscape architect, or a student studying horticulture, the Gardening, Landscape & Horticulture Collection is the database for you.

From info on Rain Gardens, getting the most out of your soil, and even topics like beekeeping, the database has more than 3.6 million articles from so many journals, including Handbook of Flowers, Foliage and Creative Design, and so many more.

No matter if you’re simply very enthusiastic about your flowers and veggies, or you’re a professional landscaper looking for an edge for your company, this is the Database for you!

It can be accessed from home on any computer or other device. And you can use it at any time. 2 pm or 2 am. Once you’ve found the information you need, not only can you download it as a PDF, it can also be transferred to your Google Drive or OneDrive so you can read it on the go.


Plants vs. Zombies

It’s that time of year again: as the crocuses poke their little purple heads out of last year’s mulch, the first zombies begin to claw their way through the newly-unfrozen ground. I don’t know who to root for, so to speak. I dig plants and I dig zombies. Is there no universe where weed all just get along?

For now, my loyalties remain divided between the grains and the brains. If you’re still deciding which group to attack with a garden trowel this year, then these books are for you.


sprouts-576230_640Wicked plants (and The Drunken Botanist) by Amy Stewart

Amy Stewart has it all for you: first your favorite plant will poison you literally to death, and then it will get you so stinking drunk that you’ll come back as a zombie. At last, synergy.


zombiegroundThe Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Not sure why everyone has it in for zombies, but if you’re one of the hordes of hostile anti-zombie activists out there, here’s the key to understanding the undead. And re-deading them, if you’re so inclined.


sprouts-576230_640Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Personally, between a zombie who happens to be hungry and a plant that really just wants to kill you for no reason, and can also run after you to make that happen, I’ll choose a zombie any day. Give that guy some brains and he’s good. Give a triffid some brains and it’ll just keep murdering the heck out of you. There’s no negotiating with some people. Or plants.


zombiegroundMonster Island by David Wellington

On a mission to zombie-infested New York in search of AIDS drugs, Dekalb (our hero) discovers a zombie that has retained its intellect and identity. He’s kind of a doof, so he decides not to shoot it. Thus do his problems multiply.


sprouts-576230_640Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird

Tompkins and Bird are all about humans and plants and their mystical spiritual connection. If you’ve ever just wanted to do some yoga with a tree, then this is the book for you. Don’t be surprised if the tree wins, though.


zombiegroundiZombie by Chris Roberson

Gwen has never really gotten past the whole “eating brains” thing. C’est la vie: if she doesn’t chow down on some grey matter on the regular, then she gets kind of too cranky for polite society. But you know what they say: you are who you eat.


sprouts-576230_640What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz

So, remember that time that you played Metallica at that forsythia bush? Well, I hope you’re happy, because it took that personally. Daniel Chamovitz thinks that you ought to get right over there with some Bach and apologize.


zombiegroundA Plague of Zombies by Diana Gabaldon

That’s right: even the great Diana Gabaldon of Jaime and Claire fame can’t resist the siren call of “braaaains!” When Lord John goes to Jamaica, he’s never heard of a zombie before. He’ll know a lot more about them when he leaves. If he leaves, that is.


sprouts-576230_640Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

Pot. French fries. Hard apple cider. And the tulip, because plants really do make people do stupid things sometimes. Michael Pollan is about to tell you about all of it.


zombiegroundZombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

OK: I forgot about the unicorns. The migratory spring unicorns. So now it’s Plants vs. Zombies vs. Unicorns. I kind of hope that the plants and zombies gang up against the unicorns, because if you read the original unicorn myths, they were kind of jerks and had some weird symbolic implications. Somewhere in this compilation of short stories, I’m sure zombies and plants will conspire together to bring down those glorified ponies once and for all.


Also read:

Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon by Paul Tobin

Also play:

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare from Popcap