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Favorite Gardening Resources


There's just something about a freshly prepared garden bed after a winter of planning and dreaming.

Ahh, winter. A time when I’m finally able to slow down a little and put the gardens on cruise control. But if y’all know me, you know I can’t stay away from gardening for long! Since there isn’t much to do outside right now, I like to spend this time reading and researching for the following season. Like most things in life, there’s always something more to learn about growing vegetables and flowers.


I’m often asked by people what my favorite gardening resources are, so I’ve compiled a list of books, blogs, and podcasts to share with you. Not all of them are flower related, so there’s definitely something here for everyone! Read on to learn more:

 

Books



This book by Lisa Mason Ziegler dives deep into companion planting flowers and vegetables. She is in the same USDA zone and has similar growing condition as those of us in the Charlotte area, so the information she shares easily applies to us. A very information-heavy book but broken up by gorgeous photos and illustrations.

 



Most have heard of Erin Benzakein from Floret Farm. She has written several beautiful books on cut flowers but this one is my favorite. It’s filled with gorgeous photos that have provided me with much inspiration. Includes great deep-dives on growing some commonly grown cut flowers.

 



The must-have resource for growing hardy-annual flowers (flowers that like it cool, hence the name). Another Lisa Mason Ziegler book, Cool Flowers outlines how to grow many common hardy-annual cut flowers and how to get the most important factor right – timing.

 



My mom gave me this book many years ago and it’s been an invaluable resource to me both for vegetable gardening and landscape planting. Nancy Brachey, the author, spent several decades writing a gardening column for the Charlotte Observer and shares all her local knowledge in this book. Light on illustrations and photos, heavy on useful content, and a fascinating read for those in the Charlotte area. You might need to head to the library for this one, but I have seen some copies available on Amazon.

 



Every Southern gal’s favorite magazine, Southern Living, put out this book back in 2011. It’s an incredibly valuable resource for landscape planning and planting, covering everything from lawn grasses to perennials, shrubs, and trees.

 

Blogs

Field and Garden by Lisa Mason Ziegler (can you tell I’m a fan of hers?) – If you’re into growing cut flowers, or want to be into growing cut flowers, this is an excellent resource.


Floret Flower Farm Journal by Floret Flower Farm – Another excellent resource is you’re into cut flowers. Back in 2021 I did a deep dive into Erin’s blog and starting from the beginning, read my way through all of them. Seriously such a good read and she’s still putting out posts!

 

Podcasts

Growing For Market Podcast – Although technically geared towards individuals who own farms that sell their crops to the public, this blog contains a lot of useful information for vegetable and flower farmers alike. They have a lot of wonderful episodes on topics like soil health which are applicable to anyone who wants to grow anything.


Seed Talk – In case you haven’t picked up on it, Lisa Mason Ziegler is my jam. This podcast dives deep into how to start flowers from seed. Some episodes focus on specific flowers or methods while others are growing troubleshooting episodes. Episodes are pretty short and are full of useful information for those that want to try their hand at seed starting.


In-Person Assistance

Me! I could talk all day about all things gardening and I would love to answer any questions you have about it. I've had both a vegetable garden and flower garden for many years now and also enjoy creating and implementing landscape plantings!


Renfrow Hardware, Matthews NC - There aren't very many places anymore that can offer detailed, accurate gardening advice for our zone but Renfrow's is definitely one of them. They also offer seeds and supplies to help you in your garden journey. They're always happy to help answer your questions.



I hope among the resources listed above that you're able to find something that interests you. I know I did! Happy learning garden friends!


Four years ago I didn't know how to grow a single one of these flowers. I didn't even know "regular" people could grow cut flowers. By reading, listening, and researching, I was able to make my flower dreams come true!

 

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