On the Shelf: A selection of gardening guides just for Michigan

TheBountifulContainer72By Laura Nawrot

Grand Rapids Main Library


The growing season can start just about anytime in Michigan, so if you haven’t planted yet, it’s probably not too late. There are plenty of bargain plants and pots galore at the usual places, and several books are available to help you get growing.


If you have a small space on a patio or deck, just want to plant a few tomatoes or start a salad garden, McGee & Stuckey’s Bountiful Container by Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey will walk you through all the steps to an abundant container garden in no time.


If you have a larger area and want to make the most of your plantings, Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte is the book for you. Louise tells you what to plant where to make the most of beneficial relationships between plants. As the title suggests, carrots love tomatoes and grow very well when planted beside each other. This book also includes which plants naturally repel pests to help keep your garden chemical free. Find out more about which plants get along and which ones don’t in this easy to read selection.


Not sure what you should be doing in the garden in Michigan? Not to worry. There are several books available that focus just on growing in this area. Month-by-Month Gardening in Michigan by James A. Fizzle is packed with beautiful photos and illustrations, offering specific advice for every month of the year designed to make your gardening successful year round.


Michigan Gardener’s Guide by Marty Hair, Laura Coit, and Tim Boland is written by popular gardening experts who offer easy to use advice on how to grow and care for specific varieties of Michigan’s best plants. This book is divided into sections for each of the different types of plants; annuals, perennials, trees, etc. complete with full color illustrations. Best of all, chapter two tells you how to use the book without insulting your intelligence.


Perennials for Michigan by Nancy Szerlag & Alison Beck garners rave reviews from customers on Amazon.com who insist the authors definitely know what they are talking about. This book is very well organized and easy to use, contains beautiful photos and practical advice on which plants to select for your gardening interests and growing zone; low maintenance, fine-textured, color variations and native plants. Included in this selection is a quick reference guide to the plants plus a chapter on recommended gardens to visit in Michigan. For color that returns year after year, this is the guide to choose.


On the Shelf book reviews are provided by Grand Rapids Public Library. For more suggestions, activities and programs, click here.