Green thumbs up!

The Gazette recently published a 2013 gardening calendar containing information on local gardening events, such as plant sales, flower shows, garden tours, workshops, lectures and demonstrations in the Montreal region.  For more information, click here.

Come to the library and discover some of our books on gardening.  We currently have a Reference Island display on gardening/jardinage. Also take a look at our Research Centre for relevant information and links.





There’s a Buzz about Bees!

The European Union plans to restrict the use of three pesticides to protect bee populations.  Bees are critically important to the environment by providing pollination for a wide variety of crops and wild plants, thereby ensuring biodiversity.  In the past decade, beekeepers have noticed a steady decline in the bee population which could have dire long-term consequences for the environment.  This proposed ban by the EU of three neonicotinoid pesticides on plants and cereals that attract bees is welcome news to farmers, beekeepers and environmentalists.  To read more about it, click here.

flowers, cartoon, grass, insects, bees

Source for illustration:

CSL Grown

On April 18, 2013, the City of Côte Saint-Luc unveiled its food charter and action plan which will transform it into an urban agriculture leader in Quebec.

The action plan which was announced during a press conference at City Hall includes the creation of a demonstration garden behind the City Hall/Library Complex to teach gardening skills to adults and children, edible landscaping on city property, a farmer’s market, community gardens, as well as the distribution of food boxes.  To read more on the press conference, click here.

To read more about the action plan and food charter, click here.


Urban Agriculture

Here are two books newly arrived in our library which take a look at urban agriculture and permaculture.

Click for more infoThe permaculture handbook by Peter Bane.  This book looks at the urban landscape which has swallowed vast swaths of prime farmland across North America. Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems. This title casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money.

Click for more infoThe good food revolution : growing healthy food, people and communities by Will Allen and Charles Wilson.  This book describes the author’s early experiences as a sharecropper’s son and a KFC executive before building a preeminent urban farm to feed, educate, and employ thousands of at-risk youths.


Learn about Gardening at the Library

Home gardens play an important role in the growing “eat local” movement.  Now that spring is here, the library will be offering a three-part series, Home Grown : Vegetable Gardening for Beginners, which provides participants with the tools to grow their own vegetables, whether in gardens or on balconies.  The cost is $10 for the series and registration is required.

For more advanced gardening techniques, the library will also be offering a series of workshops, The Seasonal Gardener : Advanced Gardening Techniques, at a cost of $5 per workshop.  Registration is required.

For information on the times and dates the above are being offered, consult our Programs and Events brochure Spring/Summer 2013.

Food for thought

Click for more info

The seed underground : a growing revolution to save food by Janisse Ray (363.83 R263) is a fascinating new book which  discusses the loss of fruit and vegetable varieties and the genetically modified industrial monocultures being used today. It shares the author’s personal experiences growing, saving, and swapping seeds, and deconstructs the politics and genetics of seeds.  With the current focus on agricultural trends, and especially urban agriculture, this is a timely and very relevant read.

Winter Gardening

Pity the books on gardening — as the snow piles up these books will be delegated to the shelves to wait out the winter.  But wait they don’t have to; there is plenty that we northerner gardeners can do in our gardens during the winter months. Here are a few books to give you some inspiration.

winter_harvestWinter Harvest Handbook: Year-Round Organic Vegetable Production for the Twenty-First Century
by Eliot Coleman
635.2 C692
Explains how to grow and harvest vegetables throughout the year in mobile plastic greenhouses that use little heat, covering topics such as greenhouse design and construction, soil preparation, weed control, pests, and summer and winter crops.


The Winter Garden: Create a Garden That Shines through the Forgotten Seas
by Val Bourne
635.953 B775
An inspirational guide that shows how trees, shrubs, seedheads, berries and evergreens can bring your garden to life in winter.

year_roundThe Year-Round Vegetable Gardener
by Niki Jabbour
635.1 J11
Presents advice for growing vegetables throughout the year, discussing such topics as selecting the right vegetables for the season, using succession planting, and building and setting up cold frames.



Continuous Container Gardens: Swap in the Plants of the Season to Create Fresh Designs Year-Round
by Sara Begg Townsend and Roanne Robbins
635.9679 T751
Explains how to leverage container gardening for year-round beauty, in a book that includes twelve projects, each with four different looks for the seasons