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Peruse a variety of garden books from your local library to spark some new design ideas or to refresh your gardening skills.

Your veggies are producing abundantly, your hanging baskets are blooming profusely, and the 100% humidity has you looking for a shady spot and some cool sweet tea to sip while you start thinking about your next garden projects.

What better way to start than by perusing a variety of garden books from your local library to spark some new design ideas or to refresh your gardening skills?

Here are a few ideas for summer reading from one of our extension master gardener volunteers, Joanne Kollar.

  • “Gardening for Your Front Yard” by Tara Nolan is filled with projects to spark new life in your front yard. How about adding a patio to create a social gathering spot for your family? Maybe you want to attract more pollinators to your garden, so there are tips on plants that are pollinator magnets. If you have more than six hours of sun in your front yard, there are suggestions on how to grow edibles among your ornamental plantings. If your garden needs a focal point, read the section on pergolas and arbors for some new ideas. All of this and more is covered along with many photos illustrating how to give your front yard a facelift.
  • With the spring blooming season behind us, you may be thinking about pruning your trees and shrubs but need a refresher course. Is that shrub you want to prune a winter/spring bloomer or a later in the summer bloomer? What’s the correct way to remove that limb overhanging the driveway? When and how should you prune your roses? In “Pruning Basics,” David Squire answers these questions as he guides you step-by-step on best pruning practices for shrubs, roses, climbing plants, trees, hedges and topiary, fruit trees and soft fruit. Covered are the whys of pruning along with the appropriate tools, techniques, and timing needed for each plant category.
  • Transplants to the South as well as seasoned southern
  • gardeners will find a wealth of information in “Gardening in the South” by Mark Weathington, director of the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. This book is an up-to-date exploration of what you need for successful gardening in the southeastern environment where you can garden year-round. Covered are best plants for this region along with discussions of handling southern climates, seasons, and soils. A chapter on design inspirations will have you dreaming of ways to enhance your garden’s appeal. In addition, a quick-glance maintenance calendar guides you on what-to-do-when in the garden each month.

These and other books covering vegetable gardening, landscaping, natural recipes for treating garden pests, raised bed gardening, container gardening, organic gardening, and more with a focus on southern gardening can be checked out at Sheppard Memorial Library in Greenville. So now is the time to visit your library to start planning that next great garden project.

Extension master gardener volunteers are on hand for assistance and advice for all things gardening. You can reach them via the Extension Master Gardener Infoline from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 902-1705. They are a treasure for insight and real-world advice in the world of horticulture.

N.C. Cooperative Extension is a strategic partnership of NC State Extension, The Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), and local governments statewide.

Hannah Smith is the Pitt County Extension Office’s area horticulture agent.

Contact jstorm@reflector.com or 252-329-9587.