From the Stacks: Death at the Spring Plant Sale

By | Weston Family Library | May 14, 2012 | No comments

In spite of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve already seen in 2012, the May long weekend unofficially signals the beginning of the big planting weekend (hurray!). In preparation for this, the TBG is hosting its massive TBG Plant Sale. It will be my first, and I’m really quite excited to check it out. As a novice plant owner and beginner gardener, I’m sure to do my research beforehand on the kinds of plants I’d like to acquire for my balcony, and determine which would go well in the space I have. Because my desk at work is literally surrounded by library books, and with so many knowledgeable gardeners volunteering in the library, I’m naturally drawn to them for their help.

More often in this online age of Google and Wikipedia, libraries seem to be an overlooked resource for information, wisdom, and inspiration. What many are forgetting is that libraries provide credible, reliable information, new and old ideas, and not to mention, a nice place to spend time. The above can also be said for the Weston Family Library. It’s definitely worth reiterating that the TBG’s own library is an enormous resource for all horticultural-related information, and of course this includes materials on spring planting.

As I mentioned in my first From the Stacks post, I’m continuously impressed and pleased with the things I’ll find in this library. Recently I came across Death at the Spring Plant Sale, a gardening mystery written by Ann Ripley, an organic gardener and former newspaperwoman. Here’s a short teaser: “When Louise Eldridge covers the spring plant sale of the venerable Bethesda Garden Club for her television show, she finds blue-blooded traditions, deeply rooted resentments, and fertile ground for murder… ” Death at the Spring Plant Sale’s matter-of-fact but flippant tone is endearing and fun to dig into. Gardeners, members of horticultural groups, and bookworms alike will enjoy this book for its tongue-in-cheek portrayal of garden club culture. Ripley’s other titles include The Christmas Garden Affair, and Harvest of Murder.

Other more practical resources for spring planting can be found in the reference section, such as:

  • The Encyclopedia of Planting Combinations: the Ultimate Guide to Successful Plant Harmony (2002)
    635 L59 (Reference Collection)
  • The 400 Best Garden Plants: a Practical Encyclopedia of Annuals, Perennials, Bulbs, Trees and Shrubs (1995)
    635.20 M17 (Reference Collection)
  • Canadian Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers (2001)
    635.903 Can 2001 (Reference Collection)
  • What Plant Where: The Creative Guide to Choosing the Best Plants for Every Area of Your Garden (1995)
    635 L125.1 (Reference Collection)

Additionally, the main collection is rife with titles on spring bulbs, different plant types, and gardening practices specific to our hardiness zones in southern Ontario. Some of our newest titles include Gardening from a Hammock: Low-Maintenance Gardening (2012), and Marjorie Harris’s Thrifty Gardening: From the Ground Up (2012).

The Weston Family Library is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and weekends 12 noon to 4 p.m., so spring into the library after the Plant Sale and check out what we’ve got!

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Zack Osborne about the author: Zack Osborne

Zack Osborne is the Head Librarian at the Toronto Botanical Garden’s Weston Family Library. He has a Master of Information Studies in Library and Information Science from the University of Toronto, and has worked in many types of special libraries from the Royal Ontario Museum Library and Archives to De Beers Canada Inc. He is passionate about special collections, social media in libraries, and is developing a healthy obsession with collecting houseplants.

TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, ON CANADA | 416-397-1341 | info@torontobotanicalgarden.ca