Three Cheers for Trees

May 15, 2018

It may look like the trees you see every day are just standing around, blowing in the wind and soaking up the sun. But don’t judge a tree by its cover … these amazing perennial plants are a hard-working bunch. Two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four, and trees absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over the course of their lives. Not to mention, their shade and wind buffering reduces annual heating and cooling costs by $2.1 billion. We could go on and on, but here’s our point. It’s time to thank our trees! Luckily there’s a day for that.

National Love a Tree Day, celebrated annually on May 16, recognizes trees and all they do for us. You know, like give us the air we breathe … no big deal!

So this National Love a Tree Day, help us say three cheers for trees. GPO has lots of different ideas for you to spread the love, including reading some of our favorite publications from the GPO bookstore:

  • Cozy up to your favorite shaded tree and read a good book. (Keep reading for suggestions).
  • Calculate the age of a tree.
  • Climb a tree … just play safely!
  • Plant or water a tree.
  • Take a nature walk in your nearby park or woods.
  • Teach the kid in your life what their state tree is.
  • Have your kids write a hand-written “thank you” note to our trees. Get creative. They can color pictures of trees. Even better, save a tree and create a card digitally!
  • Practice tree pose. Namaste.
  • Take a trip to see some of the oldest trees in the world at Redwood National Park.
  • Read Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down from GPO’s bookstore with a little one. This book details the life cycle of trees and explains how trees work as a renewable resource.
  • Learn about tree species and which species grow near you in the National Individual Tree Species Atlas from GPO’s bookstore.
  • Help restore trees to good health when they need it with How To Recognize Hazard Defects in Trees from GPO’s bookstore.

So go on. Take three deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Ahhhh. And appreciate that precious oxygen a little more this Wednesday, May 16. We salute you, trees.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN RESOURCES MENTIONED ABOVE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.


Garden like a Pro

May 10, 2018

Take one look through your Instagram feed and you’re bound to become green with envy (no pun intended) at all the elegant homes decorated with plants … hanging plants, floor plants, plants on bookshelves, plants in the bathroom. It’s official. If your home isn’t flooded with greenery by now, it’s time you get to work in the garden.

But having an Insta-worthy home isn’t all a garden is good for. Hosting an upcoming dinner party? Impress guests with dishes that incorporate fresh herbs like basil or thyme and home-grown tomatoes or green beans. Delicious and nutritious is the name of your garden game. And we can’t fail to mention, nothing completes a dinner party like a dreamy bunch of flowers picked from your own backyard.

Now that spring has finally sprung, there’s no better time to grow your plant or vegetable of choice. But admittedly, not everyone was born with a green thumb. We certainly can’t say we were. Luckily, the GPO bookstore offers the Container Tree Nursery Manual, V. 7: Seedling Processing, Storage and Outplanting so you can learn the techniques of farmers themselves and transform your very own home into a greenhouse … okay you might not want to take it that far, but you get the picture.

Published by the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service, this publication addresses plant quality, harvesting, plant storage and more. You’ll learn more than you knew possible about appropriate soil temperature, root growth and best predictors of plant quality. Hint: the latter has to do with the stem of the plant, but you’re going to have to listen to get the full explanation.

While this publication is technical in nature, it’s easy and fun to listen to on a plane or train or on your way into work. Before you know it, you’ll be educating your friends about the ratio of container depth to stem diameter with ease.

So if you love fresh veggies, herbs and plants (and who doesn’t), take a couple minutes to download this eBook. It will be worth it when your garden is thriving, your home comes to life and your guests are wowed by your undeniable gardening skills.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.


Agriculture Day: It’s about more than how America’s Farmers serve our Nation’s Need for Food

March 21, 2017

National Ag Day is a day to celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture across the United States.  American agriculture plays a critical economic and food security role in our country. To give the general public a chance to see how their food, clothing, and other products get from the farm, America’s Farm co-ops, universities, 4-H clubs, agricultural associations, FFA clubs, and organizations at the city, county and state levels celebrate with a variety of events.

National Ag Day encourages every American to:

  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

Remember, these essential services are provided by the 1 in 11 Americans across the agriculture community that provide American consumers with more than 80% of the food we consume.

The Government Publishing Office online bookstore features a wide array of publications that inform the agriculture industry and the American public about important issues that impact every aspect of plant and animal cultivation and processing.

Land management and the complex process of growing and delivering agricultural products demands an understanding of subjects beyond the obvious. Consider how the introduction of foreign animals and plants to our eco-system can have a major detrimental effect on the wellbeing of the plants and animals we depend upon for our daily sustenance. A great example is the publication authored by the Agriculture Department’s Forest Service entitled:

 A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

Invasions of nonnative plants into forests and landscapes of the Southern United States continue to spread and include new species, increasingly eroding forest productivity, hindering forest use and management activities, and degrading diversity and wildlife habitat. This book provides the latest information on how to organize and enact prevention programs, build strategies, implement integrated procedures for management, and proceed towards site rehabilitation and restoration.

If you work or are engaged in any phase of the “cycle of life” you might consider this title.

The theme for National Ag Day 2017 is “Agriculture: Food for Life.” Take part in celebrating and learning more about this essential industry by visiting https://bookstore.gpo.gov/ to find out more about the land you live in and depend upon.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 27, 2017

snakeheadRemember the snakehead? In 2002, the discovery of this Asian species of fish in Maryland and Virginia brought invasive species to America’s attention.

What is an Invasive Species? Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens in an ecosystem which may cause environmental or economic harm. In 1999, President William J. Clinton issued Executive Order 13112—Invasive Species which established the Invasive Species Council and outlined the responsibilities of Federal agencies for dealing with invasive species.

The National Invasive Species Council spearheads Federal efforts to control invasive species and restore ecosystems. The USDA National Agricultural Library has created the National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) to help people find more information on this threat. The Forest Service’s Invasive Species Program includes videos and publications about the management of invasive species and research related to them. The video Defending Favorite Places shows how we can stop the spread of these invaders.

invasive-species

Click on image to enlarge.

Federal depository libraries throughout the United States provide the public with free access to reports and hearings that show how the Federal Government is fighting this threat.

GPO’s U.S. Government Bookstore offers the following publications about invasive species.

The following websites also offer information on this important topic.

The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States is a collaborative project between the National Park Service and the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The Atlas provides information about non-native plant species that invade natural areas, excluding agricultural and other developed lands.

The Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) is identified in the invasive species Executive Order 13112 as a key Federal-level organization on which the National Invasive Species Council is to rely for the implementation of the Executive Order and the coordination of Federal agency activities to prevent and control invasive plants.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Cynthia Earman is a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian in the Library Services & Content Management division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.


You Can See the Forest and the Trees: Wood Works from the USDA

October 22, 2015

001-001-00704-8Wood you like to know more about tree and wood publications from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)? Then read on. And please forgive that starting pun.

In the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory’s 2nd edition of Nondestructive Evaluation of Wood, Robert J. Ross’ synthesizes a number of technical writings on several commercially available nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of wood technologies. NDE is the sensibly non-damaging science of assessing properties and applications of a material without mucking up its long-term usability.

Ross opens with an executive summary of the characteristics of this biologically and industrially rich material. It will leave you pretty much convinced that wood is the virtuoso of the plant world. The spiral-bound compilation continues on in several chapters, with each contributor highlighting the usefulness of their respective testing method. Spoiler alert: ultrasonic veneer grading is the coolest sounding evaluative technique ever.

Dense with authoritative knowledge from forest product technologist, engineers, and research scientists, this publication may have you thinking, “I never thought this knowledge existed but I’m sure glad it’s out there.” Case in point: chapter seven’s research titled Nondestructive Testing in the Urban Forest by Drs. Allision & Wang of the Unversity of Wisconsin, Madison. They attest to “body language” as a method to visually inspect the “presence of internal decay.” Don’t we all wish our own medical examinations were that easy!

Moving on…

001-001-00703-0If you like trees and you like maps, then you need to get your mittens on a copy of the USDA’s new and improved tree atlas The National Individual Tree Species Atlas, a.k.a. the Modeled Atlas, is the product of the Forest Service’s Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. They used permanent plot data to represent the actual distribution of 264 species throughout the treed zones of the United States.

Each tree was statistically modeled to climate, terrain, soil, and imagery data sets. The result is an impressive collection of accurate, fine-resolution geospatial products. Thumb through the broad, matte pages and you’ll find beautifully mapped individuals from such august tree families as cypress, pine, maple, birch, walnut, elm, olive, and mulberry (can’t mention them all but tree names are awesome!).

Again, trees + maps = tree species atlas. Boom! Make room on your coffee table for it.

How do I obtain these publications?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Office of Public Affairs. 


50 Years of the Wilderness Act

September 3, 2014

keeping in wildFifty years ago on September 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. This established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and designated 9.1 million acres of wildlands for preservation. In the last 50 years, Congress has added an additional 100 million acres to the System.

Lyndon Johnson signing the Wilderness Act of 1964 (nps.gov)

Lyndon Johnson signing the Wilderness Act of 1964 (nps.gov)

The 757 wilderness areas within the NWPS are managed by all four Federal land managing agencies: the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Park Service. To learn more about the Wilderness Act and the NWPS, visit the University of Montana’s wilderness.net.

The Wilderness Institute, sponsored by numerous Federal agencies, organizations, and individuals, has planned a wide array of events and projects to commemorate this historic legislation. Check it out here.

The U.S. Government Printing Office offers access to an extensive variety of publications and resources related to the Wilderness Act.

We’ll start with the U.S. Government Bookstore. Interesting publications can be found grouped by agency here:

001-001-00686-6Of particular interest to this topic is a publication from the U.S. Forest Service: Wildland Fire in Ecosystems: Fire and Nonnative Invasive Plants. This 16-chapter publication was designed to help increase understanding of plant invasions and fire. The nonnative invasive species that pose the greatest threat for fires are described in detail. Also detailed are the emerging fire-invasive issues in each bioregion through the United States. This publication is the perfect resource for fire management and ecosystem-based management planning.

001-000-04738-8Another publication from the Forest Service, How a Tree Grows, describes the science of how leaves, roots, trunks, soil, and more work together to grow a tree.

024-001-03629-1Also an interesting publication related to this topic is Malheur’s Legacy: Celebrating a Century of Conservation, 1908-2008, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Southeast Oregon. This book tells the story of this Refuge’s first hundred years, as well as the story of the Native Americans who first inhabited the land, the early European settlers, how Theodore Roosevelt established it as a bird refuge, and the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. This amazing wildlife refuge is home to 320 species of birds and 58 mammal species. You’ll also want to check out the National Wildlife Refuge System: A Visitor’s Guide. It contains a map showing national wildlife refuges that provide recreational and educational opportunities and provides tips for visiting national wildlife refuges. The publication also lists refuges in all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and describes the best wildlife viewing season and features of each refuge.024-010-00724-9

For access to more Wilderness Act resources, you can visit GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).

Through the CGP, you can access the U.S. Forest Service’s report, Keeping it Wild: an Interagency Strategy to Monitor Trends in Wilderness Character across the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Interagency Wilderness Character Monitoring Team—representing the

Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Land Management, DOI Fish and Wildlife Service, DOI National Park Service, DOI U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Forest Service—offers in this document an interagency strategy to monitor trends in wilderness character across the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Also accessible through the CGP is The National Atlas of the United States of America. National Wilderness Preservation System, from the U.S. Geological Survey. This map of the National Wilderness Preservation System for the United States shows all designated Wilderness areas, and the color of each area depicts which of the Federal agencies administers the Wilderness. In addition to the map, insets on the front side show wilderness photos, a summary of the wilderness legacy, and quotes from citizens about what wilderness means to them. The back side of the map provides general information about the wilderness system in text, images, and sketches. In addition, a table lists acreage, year of establishment, and administrative information for each Wilderness.

GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) also offers resources related to the Wilderness Act:

You can also visit a Federal depository library near you to discover what other publications the Federal Government has to offer on the Wilderness Act, the NWPS, wildlife, and much more. Locations are nationwide. Find the Federal depository nearest you by visiting the Federal Depository Library Directory.

Cheers to the great American treasure that is the National Wilderness Preservation System! Happy 50th, and here’s to many more.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

In addition to clicking on the links in the article above to find the publications, you may find these publications from the following:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy these print publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:

Order by Phone: You may also order print editions by calling GPO’s  Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Kelly Seifert, Lead Planning Specialist for GPO’s Library Services & Content Management Division that supports the Federal Depository Library Program.

 


Spring forward into the garden

March 20, 2014
Baby chick hides among yellow daffodils

Image: Chick with daffodils (Source: Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy

Ah, spring: the season of rebirth, renewal, and growth. Breathe in the air full of the fresh blossoms of flowers, feel the first warm breezes, gaze at the profusion of color, and listen to the birds chirping and insects buzzing.

Most of the United States just went into daylight saving time on March 9 with instructions to “spring forward” with our clocks. On Thursday, March 20, 2014, we spring forward for real as it is the Spring or Vernal Equinox, fondly known as the official first day of spring. After a brutal winter and the first full month of spring and National Garden Month—April– just around the corner, many minds turn toward planting and gardening with their promise of getting back in touch with nature.

Play the Zone

Before you pull on the mud boots and pick up your gloves and tools, you’ll want to determine where you are in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the United States. The climate where you garden affects the fruits and vegetables that you can grow successfully. Local nurseries and garden centers will typically stock plants that perform well in your climate, but it’s important to know your planting zone if you are ordering seeds, bulbs, or plants from non-local establishments.

USDA-Plant-Hardiness-Zones-Map across the U.S.

Image: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map (Source: USDA)

How does your garden grow?

If you pore over seed catalogs, browse gardening Web sites, stroll the store aisles of soil, pots, and plants, and read gardening books in the dark winter months, then you probably have the gardening bug. You can also learn to recognize the real insects that you have in your garden with The Bug Book: A Garden Field Guide from the EPA. Gardeners can toil away only to find that someone else is enticed by the new plants; that’s when some choose to control pests by using chemicals. Be extra safe and learn about the effects of pest control, especially if you have children. Greenscaping (see this EPA guide) is an alternative method of dealing with those tiny invaders in your garden.

Lady bugs clustered on an oak branch

Image: Lady bugs gathering on an oak branch (Source: NPS)

Practice safe gardening

EPA's Mission: Sunwise Activity Book for sun safety ISBN  9780160917097In any outdoor activity, you want to be safe and healthy in the garden. While you are digging away and pulling weeds, you can get quite a sunburn or get dehydrated. The EPA’s Mission: Sunwise Activity Book helps educate kids on how to be safe in the sun and to use sunscreen. Check out these health and safety tips so that you can continue to enjoy the time spent outdoors.

How to Prune Trees by the U.S. Forest Service ISBN: 9780160913761How-to-Recognize-Hazardous Defects-in-Trees ISBN: 9780160913778When it comes to tackling bigger projects, read up first to learn what to look for in your own backyard, starting with those stately trees. How to Prune Trees is a best-selling quick guide to smart practices on trimming branches for optimum tree health. How to Recognize Hazardous Defects in Trees is an overview of common issues with trees.

Removing a tree altogether is sometimes the only safe option; Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down? is a book for children that explains how taking away an unhealthy tree can benefit the overall environment of the garden.Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down? U.S. Forest Service ISBN: 9780160916267

As always, with any larger gardening issues, you’ll want to consult a professional arborist for concerns with your trees.

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Gardening is an ideal activity for children. Not only are they out in nature and physically active, but they also learn about where healthy food comes from while observing the weather, biology, zoology, and conservation. The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has been teaching the message of healthy living through nutritious, locally grown food in her White House Kitchen Garden. Plants grown right outside the White House in Washington, DC, end up on the dining table of the President’s family. Whether you are building a kitchen garden, a school garden, or a community garden, Let’s Move has more information for you, including a diagram of the White House Kitchen Garden if you want to recreate it in your own backyard.

The Little Acorn - USDA children's book ISBN: 9780160817014Schools are well aware of the educational benefits of gardening; it begins as early as pre-school. (Download the free “Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables” garden-themed nutrition education kit.) Teachers can find resources and lesson plans from the EPA to incorporate gardening into their school curriculum. And if April showers are in the forecast, little ones can still learn about nature by curling up with a delightful illustrated book about The Little Acorn, which tells of the cycle of growth and change in the garden that starts with just one seed.

Watch the video below as First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass tell the story of the first garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II.

First Lady and White House chef explain history of the first White House kitchen garden since WW2

Inside the White House: The Kitchen Garden” video of First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass telling the story of the first garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II. This new garden was planted in the Spring of 2009 with the help of local elementary school children and has yielded a constant supply fresh produce for the First Family and White House events. Published May 10, 2012. (Source: White House Let’s Move YouTube Channel)

You can find more White House garden videos and gardening ideas for kids on the Let’s Move Gardening Guide web page.

Look for inspiration in public spaces

A Botanic Garden for the Nation: The United States Botanic Garden (ePub eBook) ISBN: 9780160869129 for out-of-print ISBN: 9780160767722Some folks are lucky enough to own a big garden plot; others grow plants in containers on a balcony or place herb pots by a sunny window. No matter how you garden, you can always look for inspiration for your gardening pursuits. There are a number of places to visit in spring to see the variety of plants. It’s especially helpful to visit places where plants are labeled so that you know what to look for at a local nursery or plant sale.

Cymbidium ‘Hearts of Gold’ orchid in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Image: Cymbidium ‘Hearts of Gold’ orchid in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden

In the nation’s capital, Washington, DC you can go to the United States Botanic Garden and see what’s in bloom or learn how to attract butterflies to your garden.

You can also purchase A Botanic Garden for the Nation: the United States Botanic Garden (ePub eBook), a GPO Online Bookstore perennial favorite (pun intended).

Girl's face peeking out from pink azaleas at National Arboretum in Washington, DC

Peeking out from among the azaleas at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

While in the DC area, don’t miss the United States National Arboretum. You can see every single plant contained there, search for individual plants and see exactly where they are located on this interactive map.

Find out what’s in bloom during the month of your visit. (If visiting in April, don’t miss their world-famous display of azaleas / rhododendrons which bloom sometime in April. Check their Azalea page for current bloom conditions.)

The arboretum also has full color posters to help you identify crape myrtles, shrubs, and trees.

U.S. National Arboretum Crape Myrtles Guide

Image: Guide to Lagerstroemia, commonly known as crape myrtle or crepe myrtle, from the National Arboretum. (Source: U.S. National Arboretum)

Learn about gardening by joining others

Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-Being Through Urban Landscapes ISBN: 9780160864162You can learn so much about gardening by meeting other like-minded folks. If you don’t have your own garden, you might want to join a community garden or find a local gardening group or volunteer at a gardening club. Urban soils have their own unique characteristics and benefits; find out how to grow gardens in urban soil, then enjoy the benefits that come from gardening in urban landscapes in Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-Being Through Urban Landscapes, available from GPO’s U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Urban gardeners at work planting new seedlings

Image: Urban gardeners at work planting new seedlings (Source: NIH)

It’s food for thought

Fruitful Legacy: A Historic Context of Orchards in the United States, with Technical Information for Registering Orchards in the National Register of Historic Places ISBN: 9780160821271The first presidents were known not only for their political endeavors, but also for their farms, gardens and orchards. If planted and maintained well, gardens and orchards can last for decades, even centuries.

Learn more about the legacy and preservation of historic orchards in the U.S. with these two publications available from GPO’s U.S. Government Online Bookstore:

Happy gardening!

Image: Uncle Sam promoting gardening during wartimeSource: National Archives

Image: World War II USDA poster promoting Victory gardens: “Uncle Sam says GARDEN to Cut Food Costs” (Source: National Archives)

How can I get these and other Federal Government publications on Gardening?

In addition to clicking on the links in the article above to find the publications, you may find gardening publications from the following:

About the author: Kristina Bobe is a Senior Planning and Development Specialist for the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) Division. Additional content, images and editing provided by Michele Bartram, Government Book Talk Editor and Promotions Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC.


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