Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Gentle Plea for Chaos book review

A Gentle Plea for Chaos
by Mirabel Osler, republished in 2011

I received this book review from one of the Seed Library volunteers-

"It was written in the 1990's, so not new and not ancient! It is just a nice read, particularly in the late winter when you might be wishing you could be gardening! It is not a how-to, but would give some readers good ideas.The writer has a large plot of land and her focus is on flowers and trees."

Synopsis from Amazon:
" In this book the author describes the way her garden evolved and how, without meaning to do so, she let it take over her life. She suggests moving away from planning, regimentation and gardening with the mentality of a stamp-collector. Frequently funny and always stimulating, she writes of the alchemy of gardens, of the 19th-century plant-collectors and plant illustrators and of the gardening philosophers, all fertilizing great thoughts along with their hollyhocks."

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Victory Gardens for Bees

Victory Gardens for Bees A DIY Guide to Saving the Bees
Lori Weidenhammer, Pub: 2016

A hands-on guide for gardeners of all levels to help out native bees and honey bees by planting flowers and plants that benefit bees.

Here is a quote from the Preface of the book.
“More than half a century ago, the threat of famine loomed…Yet instead of resigning themselves to scarcity, citizens rolled up their sleeves. In 1943, in North America alone, Victory Gardens … burst forth with nearly 9 million tons of food, much of it coaxed from the ground by people who had never before grown a carrot of cauliflower.”

Now we need Victory Gardens for bees! This book had many charts of plants with loads of info on growing condition such as: Edible Herbs for Bees, Vegetables for Bees, Trees, Shrubs and Perennials for Bees, even “Weeds” to Leave for Bees. A very approachable book for gardeners of all levels. Includes many amazing photographs of bees visiting flowers as well as several garden designs to help you get started or give you ideas of how to improve your own gardens. The author is from Canada, but most of the plants mentioned in the book will grow in our area.

I'll bring the book on Wednesday during our seed packaging event if you are interested in taking a look at it. Afterwards I'll return it to the library.

This gave me an idea!
If you have read a great gardening book, pass along a quick review of it and I'll post it on our blog spot: The book doesn't have to be at the library--any good plant or gardening book info is welcome. Please include the title, author and when published as well as a couple sentences of why you think this is a good book.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Seed Packaging Wednesday Nov. 15, 4:30-8 pm

The next seed packaging event is Wednesday November, 15 from 4:30-8pm at the White Bear Lake Library!

Help the Seed Library prosper by packaging and labeling seed packets for next seasons gardens and enjoy the company of fellow gardeners.

No experience necessary, open to all. I always bring treats too!

Bring your seeds to share with the Seed Library. The Seed Library depends on seed donations to keep it going. If you decide to purchase a packet of seeds to donate, make sure they are open-pollinated, not hybrid.

Any questions please email me at

NOTE: We are now into questionable weather season, as in snow and ice. I will cancel the seed packaging event if the weather is bad and send an email to everyone. If you think the weather is bad for driving, please call the library to check if the event is still being held, but use your own common sense and don't travel if you feel it is not safe.

I will not be having any seed packing events between Thanksgiving and New Years, but will start again in January 2018.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Seeds Added to Seed Libary!

First I want to thank all of you who came to the seed packaging event on Monday--we packaged 263 packets of seeds!
I'll let everyone know when the new seed packaging event is scheduled.

I added lots of new seeds to the Seed Library yesterday.
There are many new herb seeds: borage, cumin, sage, German winter thyme, garlic chives, onion chives, Italian parsley, moss curled parsley, caraway, rosemary, dill, and oregano. Many herbs need a very long period of germination and indoor growing before setting out in the garden, so plan ahead if you want to grow some of these herbs. Check the Seed Library catalog for growing instructions.

If you want to start native plants from seeds, many need a cold or cold-moist period to break dormancy. You can do this by seeding outside now, using the winter sowing method or by moist-stratification inside your refrigerator. More details about some of these methods is at the Prairie Moon Nursery website:

Below are the native plant seeds we have in the Seed Library:

Common Name
Scientific Name
Giant Blue Hyssop
Agastache foeniculum
Aquilegea canadensis
Swamp Milkweed
Asclepias incarnati
Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca
Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa
Smooth Blue Aster
Aster laevis
Sprengel's Sedge
Carex sprengelii
Purple Coneflower
Echinacea purpurea
Rattlesnake Master
Eryngium yuccifolium
Joe Pye weed
Eupatorium maculatum
Helenium autumnale
Meadow/Prairie Blazing Star
Liatris ligulistylis
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis
Great Blue Lobelia
Lobelia siphilitica
Foxglove Beartongue
Penstemon digitalis
Prairie ironweed
Vernonia fasciculata
Yellow Coneflower
Ratibida pinnata
Brown-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia triloba
Late Figwort
Scrophularia marilandica
Golden Alexander
Zizia aurea