Book Review: “Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location”

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I have around 15 different house plants in my apartment. Most of them are succulents of some kind, but 2 are specifically cacti, 1 is a hosta, 1 is a prayer plant, 1 is a snake plant, and 1 is a poinsettia that someone gave to the library last Christmas (I couldn’t bear to throw it away). All of my plants have names, and I love all of them as equally as possible.

When the Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location arrived at the library, I immediately checked it out (for obvious reasons). This book is big, brand new, and bursting with breathtaking photos of every kind of plant you can think of. While I don’t have a yard to garden in, I still love learning about plants and how to care for them. This may be the same for you- if you’re living in a dorm, then your growing space is limited. However, this book can teach you techniques for your future yard, or for that next big Campus & Community landscaping project.

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The sheer volume of this book could be intimidating at first look. Thankfully, the book begins with a helpful “About this book” section, where key terms and symbols are defined. The book is divided into two sections: Plant Locations and Plants for Special Effects. Within these sections, you can learn about the best plants for shady and sunny gardens, plants for garden problems, and even plants for color and scent. The specific plants are pictured in vibrant colors and their scientific names in bold.

This book is for anyone who enjoys flowers, succulents, trees, and plants of all kinds. You can pick it up from the library today!

 

International Mountain Day (December 11th)

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Did you know that December 11th is International Mountain Day? At the library, we have several books and movies that feature rugged peaks and those who climb them. Check out the list below:

 

Jon Krakauer, mountaineer and nature writer, describes the 1996 tragedy on Mount Everest. Krakauer was one of the few who survived the dangerous summit, and he describes the events with a personal, empathetic voice. Krakauer’s experiences with other climbing expeditions lends well to this book, as he can describe maneuvers and mountain tricks with accuracy.

 

Have you ever wondered how mountains interact with the world around them? This eVideo, which you can view right from our website, shows the interesting process that mountains undergo as they adjust to the elements. The Films On Demand description expands:

Examining Earth’s mountain-building processes in detail, this program also studies the weathering, erosion, and mass wasting by which mountains are worn down. Viewers gain insight into the basic factors that underlie volcanic activity, the various types of geological faults, and the tectonic processes in which oceanic and lithospheric plates collide, separate, or slip past each other, resulting in dramatic physical changes. Eye-catching graphics as well as live-action footage from the Alps, Andes, Cascades, Rockies, and Himalayas help illustrate concepts.

 

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In this eBook, Japanese author Koji Uno presents two stories: “In the Storehouse” and “Love of Mountains.” The first story does not have to do with mountains, but the second story describes the author’s trips to the Shimo Shuwa town and the Shinano mountains. The author is not as impressed with these mountains as he expected, but he enjoys the weather and the company he meets in the area.

 

John Muir is an essential writer when it comes to nature- particularly the beautiful topography of California. Muir wrote about the American landscape in the late 1800s and early 1900s, describing land that may look vastly different now. He was a conservationist whose work helped protect the nature around us; in fact, Muir Woods National Monument in San Francisco was named for him.

 

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Annie Dillard explores how nature can reflect and awaken our spirituality in these essays. For instance, in “Total Eclipse,” Dillard writes about experiencing an eclipse on a mountain top, and how the surreal moment impacted her life. Dillard is great for those who want a voice for the feelings you get and the lessons you learn from spending time outside.

 

 

 

 

How to Celebrate International Frugal Fun Day in Jackson

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Did you know that the first Saturday in October has been declared International Frugal Fun Day? Well, what are you waiting for? Take a study break and go have some fun on a college student’s budget! Of course, we all have different ideas of what “fun” is. Here are a variety of suggestions from across the spectrum:

  • Goodwill shopping trip. This holiday must have been designed with the Jackson Goodwill in mind, because the store offers 50% off of everything every first Saturday. It’s the perfect day to grab some cozy sweaters for this, um, autumnal weather we’ve been having.
  • UT Gardens Jackson at the West Tennessee Ag Research Center. For fans of plants or fun recycled sculpture art, the Ag Research Center (on the way to downtown Jackson) has a botanical garden with a wide array of specimens (including carnivorous plants!), a gazebo, and, last time I checked, a huge sculpture made of flattened glass bottles. Learn about gardening and local plant life, or just bring a picnic! Visitors are welcome during the daytime.
  • Cookout. This one’s self-explanatory. In the world of fast food, Cookout is the college student’s friend. They make this abundantly clear by having pictures of Union’s campus on their wall. Seriously. Go get a lot of food for $5. Split it with a friend if you’re feeling especially frugal.
  • Spend time at an art gallery. For this one, you don’t even need to leave campus. If you’ve never stopped in to the gallery next to the wellness center in the PAC, give it a try. There’s a new exhibit by a talented illustrator. Go in, stroll around in silence. Give yourself time to be present and attentive. It might not be your idea of “fun,” but how do you know if you’ve never done it? Besides, it’s absolutely free.
  • Take a hike in the Union Woods. All you have to do is cross the street. Bring some friends, an eno, and a good book. Wait, that’s not a hike, that’s a nap. Well, we all have our own way of enjoying nature.
  • Visit Third Eye Curiosities. Go downtown to Jackson’s only record store for discount vinyl and other fun thrift finds.
  • Walk through the Farmer’s Market. Amish donuts are only $3 at the Farmer’s Market, and other homegrown foods are also pretty inexpensive. If you don’t want to buy anything, you can just walk around and enjoy seeing everyone!
  • Play frisbee at Liberty Gardens. It’s close to campus and completely free to visit. You can walk on the freshly repaved walking track or play frisbee in the large grassy area.

 

Whatever you find to do this weekend, have fun- and save some money!

 

*written by Danielle Chalker & Olivia Chin