While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown

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Top 10 best-selling garden books

Most of us in the northern tier of states still have a couple of weeks left before we slip on our garden boots for good, never to return to a chair until next November.

So there’s still time to read some of the top-selling garden books at Amazon.com, where I’m seeing a real trend here. Let’s count ‘em down:

1. It’s been out for three years, but All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew  still tops the charts. Of the 140 reviews, 104 gave it five stars. I think that’s because many people still want to garden, but they don’t want it to take over their lives . This is the 2006 edition.

2. I love Barbara Kingsolver’s novels. But Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, which she co-wrote with her daughter and husband, chronicles their year (along with another daughter) eating only locally grown foods. While not a gardening how-to, it does invoke a desire to do it. If only.

3. Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Mike Bubel and Nancy Bubel was published in 1991, but I think many will feel as one reviewer did: “My most recent interests all revolve around this new desire that I have to become more self-sufficient.”

4. Are we detecting a theme yet? Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman, Barbara Damrosch, and Kathy Bray was published 10 years ago. Yet it’s number 4 today.

5. Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) by Steve Solomon. ‘Nuff said.

6. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible: Discover Ed’s High-Yield W-O-R-D System for All North American Gardening Regions by Edward C. Smith.

7. Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy.

8. Hmm … how’d this one get here? Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes. Hey man, 57 out of 62 reviews gave five stars. And it’s our second “Bible” in the top 10.

9. This sounds familiar: Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work by Mel Bartholomew. It’s the 2005 edition.

10. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.

Oh yeah. There’s a trend here.

Planting Queen tip: I still think veggies/fruits in containers is THE trend of the year. Check this out: McGee & Stuckey’s Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers (Paperback)
by Rose Marie Nichols McGee (Author), Maggie Stuckey.

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