Book Post: Garden Allies: The Insects, Birds, and Other Animals That Keep Your Garden Beautiful and Thriving

Garden Allies: The Insects, Birds, and Other Animals That Keep Your Garden Beautiful and Thriving by Frédérique Lavoipierre, Illustrations by Craig Latker

With garden/crop planning front and center for most of us, picking the plants to grow this season and exactly where they are going in your garden is of the utmost importance. We also need to make sure that we choose some of the plants for our ‘Garden Allies,’ too. 

Most of us plant for local pollinators; however, lots of beneficial insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles pollinate flowers, vegetable crops and handle pests, too. Recently, I finished, Garden Allies: The Insects, Birds, and Other Animals That Keep Your Garden Beautiful and Thriving by Frédérique Lavoipierre (@flavoipierre). Based on her series of the same name, which ran for ten years in Pacific Horticulture (@Pachort) magazine. 

With the gorgeous pen-and-ink art by Craig Latker, Lavoipierre creates fascinating portraits of individual creatures, including life cycles and their contribution to the balance of a garden’s ecology – a perfect resource to use for planning! 

4/5 overall, and worth the read! The author creates beautiful and intimate portraits of all the creatures, even ones you wouldn’t suspect, like ants and slugs. Be informed that, at over 300 pages, this book is very in-depth, text-heavy, with lots of science-related information and language. Not something most of us would read cover-to-cover in one sitting, but great to have in digestible chunks. 

Resource tip: Use your local public library to sample books to know what you want to buy for your home library. Thanks, Vancouver Community Library, I’m buying this one! 

January To Do

Zone 8/8b

[Monthly To Do List] with rose & flower background

To support one of our tenants, agricultural education, we’ll share some helpful “to-dos” specific to Zone 8/8b each month for local growers. With a week of nice weather ahead of us, it’s a perfect time to jump-start your outdoor cleaning as well as get your growing plans/spaces ready for the upcoming season. The other monthly posts will be on the 1st since they will have date-sensitive information for planting/harvesting.

  • Add garden record-keeping to your routine. Make a note of which varieties of flowers and vegetables do best in your grow space
  • Contact seed companies for new catalogs and make plans for the coming seasons. Here are some that I use: Baker Creek
  • Look over the previous planting, fertilizing, and spraying records. Make notes to reorder successful or favorite varieties/supplies
  • Decide crop rotation, and start carpentry projects – new raised beds, trellis, etc.
  • Collect indoor seed starting equipment, you’ll need lights, heat mats, sterile medium, and your preferred pot type
  • Wash and sterilize seed-starting containers, if used

We’re on Goodreads

Reading & Resources

Goodreads logo: Meet your next favorite book

You can find us on Goodreads now!

Rose Village Farms

Unfamiliar with Goodreads? Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations, where its mission is to help people find and share books they love.

Right now, it’s a little sparse while I add some tried-and-true farming and gardening reads. However, I’ll also be adding what I’m currently reading. I hope to create a catalog of handy materials for others interested in furthering their knowledge on all things growing related.

Please feel free to add us as a friend, as well as send along any book recommendations you might have.