Every spring, I find myself in garden centers just about every weekend. Surrounded by pansies, hydrangeas, hyacinths, and lilies, the excitement about my own garden grows. This year, I’m focused on pollinator plants and vegetable and herb container gardening. To achieve my perfect spring garden, I plan on checking out several books at the New Orleans Public Library.
The Louisiana Urban Gardener by Kathryn K. Fontenot is a seminal classic for anyone wishing for better luck at gardening in Louisiana’s climate.
Deep South Month-by-Month Gardening by Nellie Neal is another option for learning how to work with our climate to produce a beautiful garden all year long.
A longtime fan of butterfly gardens, Pollinator Gardening for the South by Anne M. Spafford is a book that I have had on my list for a while. With emphasis on USDA hardiness zones six, seven, eight, and nine, it provides information on creating gardens for pollinators.
Gardening does not have to be a singular activity either. For those with children or grandchildren with an interest in gardening, the library has several titles available:
- Gardening with Emma: Grow and Have Fun by Emma Biggs
- Easy Peasy: Gardening for Kids by Kirsten Bradley
- Kid’s First Gardening by Jenny Hendy
- Gardening Projects for Kids by Jenny Hendy
- Ultimate Book of Step-By-Step Cooking & Gardening Projects for Kids by Nancy McDougall
In addition to books, the library also has two seed libraries from which to get a number of seeds. Mid-City Library (4140 Canal Street) features more than 400 varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, all of which can be grown in Louisiana. Many are native to our region. This library specializes in heirloom seeds, which are adapted to specific growing regions for greater success in growing your garden. The Mid-City Seed Library is sponsored by the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.
In Algiers Point, Cita Dennis Hubbell Library’s seed library (725 Pelican Avenue) is open to all–no library card required. The seeds are donated from Hudson Valley Seed Co., West Coast Seeds, Botanical Interests, and Seed Savers Exchange. Seed availability varies. It is best to visit or call Hubbell Library at (504) 596-3113 for a list of current offerings and to request seed reservations.
Seeds don’t need to be returned to either library, but you are welcome to donate your own seeds to help the collection grow. More information about seeds can be found at nolalibrary.org/seed-libraries.