Books and blossoms

Spring in Wyoming can be a tricky thing. If we go by the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in 2018 was March 20. However, if you have spent any time in Wyoming, you know spring comes on its own schedule. April can bring lovely spring weather and heavy spring snowfalls, sometimes all in one week. Spring also brings with it the promise of beautiful productive gardens and lazy afternoons reading.

Gardening in Wyoming is more of an art than a science, and it can be difficult to navigate the changing weather, along with the unique soil conditions. Natrona County Library is prepared to help all Wyoming gardeners—from the novice to the veteran—with our array of gardening books.

Our collection includes books specific to gardening in Wyoming. “Month by Month Gardening in Wyoming: What to Do Each Month to have a Beautiful Garden All Year,” is a great book for the novice gardener. The author, John Cretti, walks readers through the steps to take each month for various types of gardens. Whether you grow roses, perennials, vegetables, or just want a beautiful lawn, this book has the answers.

Another helpful book is “Gardening: Vegetables in Wyoming,” by Karen L Panter. Panter is an Extension Horticulture Specialist at University of Wyoming. She has a Ph.D. in Horticulture and understands the uncommon conditions that Wyoming gardeners face. Her book covers the easiest vegetables to grow as well advice on how to start and transplant seedlings for the more seasoned gardener.

One of my favorite gardening books is “The Bee-Friendly Garden” by Kate Frey. Attracting bees is the key to any successful garden, and Frey’s book has suggestions for creating bee friendly gardens in all sizes. Bees are essential for pollination, but bee friendly gardens also support beneficial insects like ladybugs. This is a great book for those just getting started or those who want to improve their existing garden.

If gardening is not your specialty, we also have plenty of books for spring reading. A surprising number of classics take place in spring. One of my favorites books, appropriate for all ages, is “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame. First published in 1908, “The Wind in the Willows” became a beloved children’s story and has been adapted many times; however, the charm of the original cannot be duplicated. It is especially nice to read by the river—if it is not too chilly.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray,” arguably Oscar Wilde’s most famous work, is also a perfect springtime read. We meet the title character on a beautiful summer day, in the springtime of his youth, while he is sitting for a portrait. As the summer progresses and eventually declines, so does Dorian’s integrity.

Finally no spring reading list would be complete without Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” Whitman’s creation celebrates nature, humanity, and the gloriousness of their intersection.

Whatever you are into this spring—be it reading or gardening, or anything else—stop by Natrona County Library, and you’ll find we’re into, too.

Melanie Tibbetts is an Adult Services Specialist at the library.