At one time my parents lived in a house with a large front and backyard that was surrounded by luscious plants, and vibrant flowers, and meticulous landscaping.

This wasn’t just any old yard. This was the Taj Mahal of yards and my parents were extremely proud of it. They carefully chose what they wanted to plant each year and they carefully prepared the yard at the end of the season so that it would be ready for the following spring. Whatever they did, it all seemed like magic to me because I don’t have a green thumb—At all. Plants and flowers cower in my presence and for good reason.

It surprised me then when one hot and humid July my Dad asked if I could water everything while they were out of town for the week. Sure, no problem. He reminded me that I needed to come at least three times and I had to spend at least 45 minutes dragging the hose around the entire house to water everything. No problem, I got this. So, that first day I went over and watered everything. All good. Two days later it rained and I figured that was probably good enough so I skipped watering that day. Two days after that I figured my parents would be home in a couple of days, so I skipped that day too assuming my dad would water everything when he got home.

Mom and Dad got home and didn’t mention the plants. Not even a thank you for all of my hard work. Oh well, not a problem. It was the least I could do considering how fun they had raising me. The following weekend my parents had an outdoor party and invited lots of friends and family. And in the middle of the festivities, my Dad gathered everyone around and brought out a huge beautifully wrapped box and put it down in front of me. It wasn’t my birthday, but hey, a gift is a gift. So I opened it up. And my heart sank. It was full of plants and flowers. Dead plants and wilted flowers from my parents formerly luscious, vibrant, and meticulous backyard. No wonder I didn’t get a thank you…

Did you know that we have an Heirloom Seed Library here at BPL? And it’s easy to use. Just take home up to five seed packets, plant them and grow them, and then save a portion of the harvested seeds for your own use next year, and another portion to return to the library to replenish the Seed Library. So simple anyone can do it. Just don’t ask me to come over and water them for you.

Visit us online at, like us on Facebook, and in the meantime, check out these books available at your Beloit Public Library.

The New Heirloom Garden: Designs, Recipes, and Heirloom Plants for Cooks Who Love to Garden by Ellen Ogden.

Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden by Tammy Wylie.

Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World by Jennifer Potter.

Starting and Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs and Flowers for Your Garden by Julie Thompson-Adolf.