Spring is in the air and soil

Get ready for gardening with the help of these books which offer information on how to prepare for planting season.

You can find information on the preparation of your soil, how to attract the right kind of bugs to minimize the use of spray and how to create a regenerative, self-sustaining garden.

There is also a book on the sensory of trees, how they communicate with each other, and tree worshipping. And don’t forget about the bees as they can be a great source of interest, too, especially with the decline of the bee population.


Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

By Jessica Walliser

Quarto Publishing Group, Softcover, 208 pages


The author, a horticulturalist from the Pittsburgh area who is now editorial director of this publisher’s garden imprint, has updated an earlier version of this worthwhile book and offers lots of details and colour photos on a variety of flowers and herbs that draw good bugs, and how to recognize and deal with the bad bugs that can harm or kill garden plants. She doesn’t spray for nasty bugs and instead brings into a natural balance the plants in her garden that draw beneficial insects, like ladybugs, beetles, dragonflies, spiders and wasps that attack and control harmful bugs like mites, aphids and caterpillars.


Luschiim’s Plants

By Dr. Luschiim Arvid Charlie, Nancy J. Turner

Harbour Publishing, Softcover, 274 pages


Dr Lushchiim Charlie, an indigenous elder from the Cowichan tribe in B.C., and Nancy Turner, a professor of botany from the University of Victoria who studies plants and culture, have combined to detail the medicinal and cultural importance of more than 140 plants found in western Canada and across the country, from seaweed, lichens and fungi, to trees, shrubs and flowering plants. Many flowering plants were used by indigenous people as a source of food or to treat illnesses and medical conditions, while some trees were used for carving, to make tools, walking canes and paddles, or for cooking and smoking foods. There’s lots of great photos and plenty of wisdom passed from the ages.


The Heartbeat of Trees

By Peter Wohlleben

Greystone Books, Hardcover, 258 pages


The author, who worked for the forestry commission in Germany for more than 20 years and now runs a forestry academy in that country, has come up with a new book (previous works include The Hidden Life of Trees) that brings us back into the forest, a place he says that science and new research proves humans have a huge and profound affinity for. This new work, translated from German, begins with our sensory perception of trees, communication between trees, electric fields around these forest giants, tree worshipping, health benefits of walking in the forest (doctors in Canada and elsewhere now prescribe this treatment) and the dangers of logging. There’s lots of tree love shown here.


The Regenerative Garden

By Stephanie Rose

Quarto Publishing Group, Softcover, 176 pages


There are 80 practical projects this Vancouver-based author describes to create a self-sustaining garden ecosystem, including mulching, using manure and compost to improve soil, adding rain barrels to conserve water and bricks for thermal heating, building windbreaks, saving seeds and planting certain herbs to control bug infestations. The author of 11 books (including Garden Alchemy) used gardening to get healthy after being severely disabled some years ago, and operates the website www.gardentherapy.ca. This new book offers plenty of colour photos and graphics, and starts with soil improvements and water efficiency, and outlines ways to prolong the growing season, adding diverse plants and sharing your garden with the whole community.


The Graphic Guide to Beekeeping

By Yves Gustin

Schiffer Publishing, Softcover, 222 pages


This illustrated book by an experienced beekeeper (more than 20 years in the business) is ideal for those who learn visually, but it doesn’t skimp on details. All topics are addressed with black-and-white drawings, and plenty of text. Topics include how to make your own hive, the makeup of a bee colony, best spots to site the hive, harvesting the honey and wax, and selling products. The author says all of the details have been tried over the decades and proven with results. The book is larger format, and is well layed out, with eye-catching drawings to keep the reader moving. It’s an indepth comic-style book for those who want to help the environment, make great-tasting spread, and start a business.