Reading and Seeding

A cheese tray, a bottle of wine, these are typical housewarming gifts.  An inspired friend gave my husband and me a gardening book when we bought our first home.  Nineteen years later, I still have the book, the home and the husband!  Garden Guide to the Lower South doesn’t have a flashy title or cover.  However, this practical manual has helped me beautify my Alabama home and garden.

Garden Guide to the Lower South by The Trustees’ Garden Club of Savannah, Georgia, 1991

Post Format:  Straight Talk

To be honest, the internet has made gardening books somewhat obsolete.  If your plant has a problem, you can diagnose and find treatments with just a few clicks.  If you want ideas for things like shade or sun-loving plants, a quick search will bring up countless ideas.  But to get all the information online that Garden Guide offers,  you’d be bleary-eyed and finger-cramped from typing. That’s because the book’s creators, the Trustees’ Garden Club,  have already whittled down plants that thrive in the South.  That alone saves time and money when choosing plants at the big box nurseries.

Lists like this one on ANNUALS help in garden design and planning.

The guide is spiral-bound and easy to read.  There are chapters on general care and special situations.  But the book’s beauty is its short chapters on the plant categories in any garden: trees, shrubs, annuals, etc.  Each chapter ends with extensive plant lists along with size, light requirements, bloom time, etc. (see photo) It’s a quick resource when looking for ideas.

The last section of the book is also invaluable.  Entitled “Gardening Month by Month”, it breaks out each month with gardening chores and blooming plants for that time of year.  This feature is a lifeline for a disorganized gardener like me.

“There is nothing quite as gratifying to the gardener as a full healthy plant…especially this is true when one has started it from a small seed.”

2007 edition

This book has provided many workable ideas for my garden beds.  One was planting an annual bed entirely from seed.   Now, every year I plant zinnia, sunflower and tithonia outside my kitchen window.  This year’s seedlings are off to a good start…and so are the weeds. But with a little luck and TLC, the garden will be a visual feast for us by summer and an edible feast for the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Note:  The Trustees’ Garden Club of Savannah, Georgia has since published a third edition (2007) of the book with updated information and a colorful cover.


Stay tuned as this colorful, imperfect garden takes shape!


It’s Been One Year!

I launched Library Luggage in January 2016.  I’ve learned a lot in a year’s time and connected with some great books and even greater people.  I’ve appreciated every e-mail follower, every comment, and all the Likes that have come my way.  Admittedly, my readers are a small group, so if you know of others who enjoy reading, please share.  Now come along as I look back.  You may even find a mention if you are a regular follower.

Post format:  Year in Review

Here I am with Brenda Davis.
Jessica Black


Here are Brenda Davis and Jessica Black, the two librarians who helped me get a copy of a rare book for one of my posts. See post here

I met Jane, a blogger from England.  She enjoyed my thoughts on a book set along the Cornish coast, where she lives.  Even my children were excited that I connected with someone “across the pond.” See post here

The author of a book I featured reached out to me.  Jan Siebold is a lovely lady, and I couldn’t be more honored that she now follows me. See post here


This started out as a book blog.  But I did some cooking and crafting along the way thanks to reading.  Here are a few projects and the books that inspired them. To visit these how-to posts, simply click on the book titles here:  Snowflake Bentley, Hello Cupcake!Australia to Zimbabwe: A Rhyming Romp Around the World, A Tangle of Knots


Passing along a passalong plant to Stephen 

In my post on the book, Passalong Plants, I offered readers some of the Rose Campion I had growing in my garden.  Stephen contacted me and came by to get some of this lovely passalong plant for his yard. See post here

Photo of Traci dressed as Holly Hobbie, circa 1970s.

Grace, Kim, and Traci all enjoyed the trip down memory lane provided by the Library Trips and Picks #3 post.  One of the featured books was an autobiography by James Garner, star of the 1970s’ show, The Rockford Files.  The other was a picture book memoir by Holly Hobbie whose artwork graced everything from calendars, books and lunch boxes of the same era.  Traci sent me this childhood photo of her dressed as Holly Hobbie. See post here

Farmers market honey is on my grocery list thanks to Pegi

Pegi has me planning a trip to the farmers market where she says the best honey is found.  After reading my post on a honey bee book,  she told me her daughter is training to become a bee keeper. See post here


Book suggestion by Mark

Mark raved about the book, The Golem and the Jinni.  I bought a copy and loved it so much I blogged about it. I passed my copy along to Grace who also loved this unique tale. See post here

Book suggestion by Kim

Kim recommended The Hiding Place.  I took forever to post about this book, but it wasn’t for lack of enthusiasm.  I had so much to say about this deeply spiritual, true adventure that I didn’t know where to start. See post here

Scott is a passionate writer who is keeping alive the works of lesser known British writers with his blog, Furrowed Middlebrow. One of his posts on books that play with the notion of time mentioned an obscure title by Rumer Godden.  I found the book and was enthralled. See post here


Margaret texted me this image of a Dove Inspirations chocolate wrapper that reads “Actually Go to a Bookstore.” Sounds like a plan to me.

Thanks to Kim for all her insightful comments, to Theresa for being my first Facebook follower and liking every post since, and to Erin, Courtney, Wendy, Genevieve, Johanna, Ruth, Eleanor and Susan for their post reactions.  Finally, a big hug to my sisters, Grace, Mary Dickson, and Margaret and to my husband and children who support and share my passion for books.