The Simple Things and Other Spring Reading

I rarely go to bookstores anymore. I would if it was easier, but they are all at least a 20 minute drive from my home, so sadly, online resources tend to prevail.  What I miss most about bookstores though is the joy of wandering in – perhaps looking for one thing – but wandering out with something entirely different.  I miss perusing and discovering readings that I never even knew I wanted.

Working with Lowes on this series has put me in my local hardware store a lot more than I would have otherwise visited, and there have been side effects.  Namely new discoveries in the book and magazine realm (Lowes has a well stocked, all-DIY and gardening bookshelf).  You may not think of Lowes as a good book resource, but I assure you there are some real treasures to be discovered in the selection that is sold there.  It may not be a full on coffee swilling library type experience, but I nonetheless discovered two items there that are informing my spring planting plans.


The Simple Things  Magazine is hands down my favorite magazine of the moment.  It’s isn’t just gardening tips that I get in this magazine, but also great lifestyle stories, interesting artisans, seasonal recipes, and a taste of the British life that I often yearn to go back to.  Since discovering it at Lowes last year (which is the only place I know that stocks it), I have been trying to collect back issues (I love it that much) and I have been just as inspired by old stories as the those in the latest issue.

the simple things via
A sweet little story in the most recent spring issue suggest using wine bottle corks (with cocktail skewers inserted as a post) as plant labels.  (you write with marker on the cork). I’m trying that.  This of course sits beside a full page filled with information about 9 different snail varieties….I ask you what lifestyle magazine dedicates a whole beautifully styled page to snails? (or in another issue it was beetles, and another was moths.)  I don’t even know of an actual garden magazine that takes such a holistic and well styled approach.

I also thumbed through Niki Jabbour’s book about extending the vegetable garden right into winter.  I didn’t think I needed that book — until I saw it.   Just as soon as this icy landscape dissolves into mud, I’ll slip on the boots and get busy making Niki  inspired improvements that will carry me through with fresh growings to at least Thanksgiving.

What are you reading this spring? Anything interesting?

images by rochelle greayer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes.  This is a series that I am doing through the end of the year.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 


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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.

1 Comment

  1. Jen on March 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Too funny—I’ve been using wine corks as plant labels in my garden for years! It works very well—though that jar of wine corks in the pantry during the winter has elicited more than a few jokes from guests. 😉

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