Recommended Reading


1. The House Plant Expert The House Plant Expert: The World’s Best-Selling Book on House Plants – My number one choice for indoor gardening beginners (and everyone else).

2. Tovah Martin’s Well-Clad Windowsills: Houseplants for Four Exposures Well-Clad Windowsills: Houseplants for Four Exposures If you want a well written, beautiful book with superb pictures, and sound advice, you can’t beat this one.

3. Elvin MacDonald’s The New Houseplant: Bringing the Garden Indoors The New Houseplant: Bringing the Garden Indoorsis equally good for the same reasons.

4. Herb Gustafson’s Keep Your Bonsai Perfectly Shaped Keep Your Bonsai Perfectly Shaped: the author has written several wonderful bonsai books; try this one first.

5. The Miniature Palms of Japan: Cultivating Kannonchiku and Shurochiku The Miniature Palms of Japan: Cultivating Kannonchiku and Shurochiku is a must have, if only for the pictures:

6. Lee Reich’s The Pruning Book The Pruning Bookis for all trees, big and small

7. Tracy DiSabatao-Aust’s Well-Tended Perennial Garden Well-Tended Perennial Garden If you could have only one outdoor gardening book, go with this one.

8. Ken Druce’s Natural Garden Natural Garden. K. Druce is another writer who has my respect for his knowledge, literacy and photography.

9. Container Plants: For Patios, Balconies, and Window Boxes Container Plants: For Patios, Balconies, and Window Boxes: A good starter book on outdoor container plants with inspiring pictures.

10. AM/PM Yoga for Beginners AM/PM Yoga for Beginners (video tape). Gardeners spend too much time bending over; yoga stops the back aches. I got started with yoga with this tape, as have several of my friends. It’s accessible to anyone, regardless of age or current fitness and takes only 15 minutes a day. Go for it.

Posted by ssweeney44 at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

recommended reading -wildflowers

My Favorite Wildflower Books

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern Region (National Audubon Society Field Guide Series)

A Field Guide to Wildflowers : Northeastern and North-Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region (National Audubon Society Field Guide Series)

A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers : Washington, Oregon, California and adjacent areas

Wildflowers : A Guide to Familiar American Wildflowers (Golden Guide)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Eastern Region (National Audubon Society Field Guide Series)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region (National Audubon Society Field Guide Series)

Weeds of the Northern United States & Canada: A Guide for Identification

recommended reading – organic farming

recommended reading – organic farming

(Support The Monday Garden – buy these titles at, through the link)

Joan Dye Gussow’s This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader An engrossing story about one woman’s struggle to become a self-sustaining localist in New York’s gentrified Hudson River Valley.

Michael Ableman’s On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm The delightful, easy-to-read story of the hard-won triumph of a developing small farm, slowly engulfed by suburbia.

Vandana Shiva’s Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply If you want to know what’s wrong with the industrialized agri-business and why it threatens you, here’s a comprehensive overview by an award-winning Indian author.

Life And Debt (DVD) ) (Narrated by Jamaica Kinkaid) If you’re not fully familiar with how our agri-business subsidies and the IMF have devastated the farm economies in developing countries, driving thousands from the countryside into urban poverty and economically-forced emigration, you owe it to yourself, in this election year, to see this DVD, and then pass it along to your neighbors.
Jesse Ziff Cool’s Your Organic Kitchen : The Essential Guide to Selecting and Cooking Organic Foods A famous chef rewards those who support sustainable agriculture with 160 recipes.

Links and Sites to Visit




Bubba N Friends — home page of Mike Burger, the technical genius (and great father) who makes the site happen.

Ontario Wildflowers — some of Walter Muma’s amazing work- check his other sites, too! He’s been a loyal friend and supporter of The Monday Garden since the beginning.

Genrecookshop — My cousin Nancy Bea Miller’s blog—just awesome- make your day.

Friends of Felines — cat rescue and adoption, Fairfield County, CT – good-hearted people, working hard to do good with great cats needing good homes. Please support them.

Flint River Ranch — source of my Kerry’s prime-quality dry cat food. The sellers, Paul and Dixon, are terrific people. You can post your pets’ pictures in their pet gallery, and, if you’re lucky, win pet-of-the-month and get a free bag of food for your favorite animal welfare group.


The City of Stamford, CT — the City where I live and where most of the pictures on the site were taken. Here’s our tree ordinance, the Keep Stamford Beautiful site (with recycling information), and our first Community Supported Agriculture group.

The Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford, CT – a relatively small but delightful garden with acres of uncultivated forest, swamp, and meadow and, of course, the pond. It’s connected by a woodland trail to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center , which has even more acres of mature forest, suitable for hiking, beeches, owls, and an occasional coyote.

The Rippowan River, known locally as the Mill River, runs through Stamford on its way to the Long Island Sound. This totally cool USGS site shows the river’s flow in real time from a satellite uplink just north of Stamford’s Scalzi Park/Cubeta Stadium. Along this stretch of the Mill River , the spring beauties, ducks, kingfishers, orioles, muskrats, pussy willows, and alders flourish (or at least make some kind of a living), in a narrow corridor between a major highway and the sports fields.

A few blocks further south, the river banks are being redeveloped according to the Mill River Corridor Plan, with help from the Mill River Park Collaborative (includes an awesome aerial view of the river winding its way through town) and the Army Corps of Engineers. The project includes liberating the river from high cement walls that have prevented this body of water from being a proper river, with wet lands and flood plains, since the time of the mill. They are also taking down the old mill dam, and perhaps, someday, the salmon will be back.

SoundWaters –conservation education group- based at Stamford CT’s Cove Island, one of the most popular places in town with the birds and the humans.

StamfordPlus is Stamford’s brand new (in December 2005) quarterly lifestyle magazine, which, of course, includes horticultural information from The Monday Garden.



My thanks to one and all for making this wealth of information only a mouse click away:

My Favorite Top-Flight Plant Data Bases: Floridata , Virginia Tech, UConn They are all excellent. Floridata, in particular, has to be a labor of love.

Germplasm Resources Information Network – (GRIN) — USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Serious taxonomic information; good links

USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service — — invasive plants data base; good links

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas –The National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service guide — great piece of work on invasives; you can order a print copy from the site.

The US Forest Service — FEIS data base (love these guys!)

Purdue University, Cooperative Extension Service a great reference tool on plants poisonous to livestock and pets — a commercial site with good general botany information

Connecticut Botanical Society — the wildflowers

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden –a favorite place; great web site, too

Wikipedia –the free encyclopedia- great general resource.

Dave’s Garden is an interactive website where some 160,000+ members share all kinds of gardening information, including information on plant sources and sellers; the site also facilitates plant swapping, and much more.

Tree Biology — The author, Tom Kimmerer, calls it “news and trends in the biology of woody plants”; I call it “good choice for a home page”; links alone are incredible. For the non-professional, this is an eye full; and I think the professionals like it too.

Marietta Natural History Society — in Washington County, Ohio — a naturalist’s treasure trove. The local flora and fauna section is must see (the butterflies are awesome, then there are the turtles….). The quarterly newsletter archives are full of interesting things that we’d all be better for knowing. Also, they have their tree census on-line (I am soo envious!).

John Shelley’s Garden Center & Nursery — in Felton, PA doesn’t sell on-line, it just offers a wealth of common sense gardening advice that puts the health of the planet, the plant, and your wallet before making a short-term profit. If every plant nursery gave advice this sound, the planet would be a whole lot better for it. (Caution: if I’m a raving pinko, he makes the NRA look like bleeding hearts — good to know that we all agree on saving the planet!) Check his links, too. They’re great.

Moosey’s Country Garden — an incredible site reflecting an incredible garden in West Melton, New Zealand, the garden is full of roses, cats, and all kinds of delights. The site has loads of wonderful pictures and great information plus web graphics to-die-for. Take your lunch and stay for a while.

Susan Amoy’s Bonsai — A great bonsai artist living and working in my adopted hometown, Brooklyn.

Leaves of Grass — a wonderful nature blog from Brazil started in 2005 by Sonia de Amorim Mascaro.

Connecticut Gardner — horticultural magazine by a fellow Connecticut Master Gardener who knows perennial gardening

Florist Directory the world of cut flowers— a very different view of the plant kingdom



The Monday Garden is for beginning houseplant enthusiasts, serious weekend weeders, nature-loving urbanites, tree-hugger wannabes, and people who just like pretty nature pictures.

On the site, there’s information for the beginner, who would like just one houseplant or outdoor perennial to live (please!) or who would like to be able to tell a maple from an oak, at least some of the time.

The Monday Garden is also for the sub/urbanite who wonders what going on in the alley after we all go to work on Monday. On the site, you can get a sneak-peek at what nature’s doing behind the parking lot when the homo sapiens aren’t looking.

For the socially conscience, please be advised that The Monday Garden has a pronounced bias in favor of squirrels, and against chemicals, both of the fertilizer and pesticide kinds, whether or not the label says “natural and organic”. Please stop the chemical warfare; the results, time and again, are proving more harmfully than any of us could have imagined. Please also do what you can to feed and shelter the “homeless” critters who once lived where we now have condos and malls.

This site explores how we, the gardeners of the ever-expanding sub/urban environment, who think we know what we’re doing, collectively impact the world. This includes our impact on the wild critters forced to live much closer to us than they would choose. Much of The Monday Garden is devoted to my own struggle to learn to how to pursue the pleasures of growing green things without possibly poisoning myself or the neighbors, be they humans or four-footed.

New articles are posted to The Monday Garden weekly, usually on Sundays. If you want to know what’s been posted each week, sign up here for the FREE weekly email.

HISTORY of The Monday Garden: I’ve been interested in nature and gardening since I was a toddler in the early 1950’s. After I retired from corporate life in the late 1990’s, I had more time to pursue these interests. Following 9/11/01, I started to send a weekly email to my friends to share pictures from my personal garden, which consists of about 150 house and balcony plants. I published on Sundays so that my office-working friends would get a pretty picture first thing Monday morning. Then someone asked how to grow one of the orchids, and the publication’s content expanded from there.

In 2002, Canadian environmentalist Walter Muma began publishing some of the ecology-related articles on his sites, and advising me on digital photography. Then in August 2003, my long-time friend, and all-time best technical advisor, Mike Burger, generously offered me space on his server. Since then, Mike and I have been building the site’s look and content.

REPRINTS: Articles and photos from The Monday Garden are frequently reprinted by North American eco-educational groups in their newsletters or used as handouts. If you’re working to improve the environment, feel free to do the same, on the condition that you note my copyright, and email me to make me feel good by letting me know you’re using the item. If you email me, you can also get print-quality versions of most articles and photos. If you don’t see the photo you need, please email me as I have a large bank of unpublished photos.

YOUR COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, AND PHOTOS: Please post comments, and email me any time. If you have a photo to post, please email it to me with the information that I need to make sure that the photograher gets credit.