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Volume 4, Issue 5
Miller Library trendy twenty: our most-borrowed items over the last 12 months

Must-See Birds of the Pacific NorthwestPlanting the dry shade gardenCambridge illustrated glossary of botanical termsPractical permacultureBotanical Garden v. 1Botanical Garden v.2Magical world of moss gardeningPlanting the wild garden

Which of our resources have Miller Library users found especially valuable recently? Our borrowers range from children visiting the library with their parents or grandparents to horticultural professionals, academic researchers, and avid home and community gardeners. Across all demographics, certain topics have been of special interest over the past twelve months.

Since April 2016, library visitors have preferred books on local birds, native plants, bees, botany, and plant identification. Moss, rhododendrons, ferns, wetlands, and shade gardens are drawing attention, along with books on designing gardens with sustainability in mind, including permaculture and wildlife-friendly techniques. Borrowers are interested in the philosophical underpinnings of humanity’s relationship with plants, favoring well-illustrated books and art-related titles.

  1. Must-see birds of the Pacific NorthwestThe natural shade gardenEncyclopedia of northwest native plants for gardens and land
  2. Planting the dry shade garden
  3. The magical world of moss gardening
  4. Practical permaculture for home landscapes, your community, and the whole earth
  5. Encyclopedia of Northwest native plants for gardens and landscapes
  6. The botanical garden
  7. The Cambridge illustrated glossary of botanical termsMossyAttracting native pollinators
  8. The living landscape
  9. Planting the wild garden
  10. Seeing trees
  11. Little bee
  12. Wetland plants of Oregon and Washington
  13. Mason bee revolution
  14. Plants of the Pacific Northwest coastLiving LandscapeWetland plants of Oregon & Washington
  15. The art of botanical drawing
  16. The invention of nature
  17. The plant lover’s guide to ferns
  18. The natural shade garden
  19. Attracting native pollinators
  20. Mossy

Little bee (Gibbs)Seeing trees: discover the extraordinary secrets of everydayMason bee revolutionThe art of botanical drawingPlants of thje Pacific Northwest coastThe plant lover's guide to fernsThe invention of nature

Val Easton with volunteer Dorothy MacArthur, 1987From the UW Botanic Gardens blog:
celebrating Valerie Easton's career and legacy

Book-loving gardeners with years of experience in our region will be especially interested in John Wott's recent posting in appreciation of Valerie Easton. "The long-term success of an institution often resides in the vision, dexterity, intellect, ambition and intuitiveness of an individual," John writes. Val Easton is an individual of that type, one whose leadership sowed seeds for the library's future growth. She comanaged the Miller Library (with Laura Lipton) from 1985 to 1997, and then continued as full-time library manager from 1998 to 2002.

Check out the entire article, including candid photos from the early days of Val's career, on the UW Botanic Gardens website.

Dear Plant Answer Line: What's the scoop on bat guano?
Plant Answer Lineresearched by Rebecca Alexander

Q: My local nursery is selling bags of bat guano, and enriched compost that includes it. What is it good for, and is it safe to use? The company describes all their products as organic.

A: No matter what is in your compost, it is always a good idea to wear a dust mask when opening bags of soil amendments, and when spreading them in the garden. A mask will help protect you from breathing in airborne fungal spores.

Bat guano is used as a fertilizer, and provides supplemental nitrogen, according to this information from Oregon State University. It contains about 12 percent nitrogen. The ratio of N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) is approximately 12-4-2.

A recent news story on National Public Radio highlighted the human health risks of exposure to bat waste (guano) in caves in Borneo. Both world travelers visiting bat caves and local harvesters of guano may be at risk of contracting very serious viruses, unless they take precautions (masks, gloves, and scrupulous hygiene). In parts of the United States (particularly the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys), there is a fungus called Histoplasma that is found in soil which contains bat or bird droppings. Gardeners who wear masks when digging in affected areas can avoid contracting histoplasmosis.

Bat and bird guano are allowed as soil amendments "with restrictions" imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They must be decomposed and dried according to the USDA Organic Regulations requirements for raw manure. I recommend contacting the manufacturer of the products and asking them about where they obtain their bat guano, and whether they meet NOP (National Organic Program) and OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) standards. You can also ask about their veterinary and phytosanitary certificates for these products, and whether they make certain the guano is harvested sustainably and without harm to the bats and their ecosystem or to the health of harvesters (particularly in countries without strong worker protection laws).

New to the Library
One city's wilderness : Portland's Forest Park / Marcy CottrThe illustrated book of edible plants / Jack Staub, proprietHeirloom plants : a complete compendium of heritage vegetabl
Learning with nature (detail)Tokyo digs a gardenRooted in design : Sprout Home's guide to creative indoor plI took a walk / by Henry Cole.KniphofiaA-Z encyclopedia of garden plants / edited by Christopher BrEnvironmental horticulture : science and management of greenDiscovering Welsh gardens : 20 of the liveliest gardens sele

Leaflet is a regular online newsletter of the Elisabeth C. Miller Library
University of Washington Botanic Gardens
206.543.0415 |  hortlib@uw.eduwww.millerlibrary.org

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