What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in April

Spring is in the air and we’re getting back to nature at CPL this month with lots of programs about the natural world. We’ve also got some interesting wellness programs on the calendar, and a new lunchtime book club! Here are just a few of this month’s programs, head to the Event Calendar to see everything we’ve got in store for April.

Insomnia and Your Health

Monday, April 1, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Wellness Coach Cynthia Griffin will discuss how insomnia can cause a host of symptoms including weight gain, inflammation and lowered immune system. During this lecture, she will present natural tips from Ayurveda to help you ease into a better night’s sleep. Registration is required.

New Movie Thursday:  Aquaman

Thursday, April 4, 2019, 5:30 – 8:00pm

April’s New Movie is Aquaman! Arthur Curry discovers that he is the true ruler to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. Now he must leave his old life behind to become a hero, keeping not just his underwater city at peace but the whole world. Rated PG-13. Registration is appreciated for this adult program.

Open Art Studio in the Library Loft

Fridays,  April 5, 12, 26, 2019, 1:00 – 3:00pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies (no turpentine, please) to this drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup.  No registration required.

Empower Yourself by Letting Go

Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

We often hold on tightly to old patterns, thoughts, people and things for false security and a misplaced sense of comfort. How would it feel to dig a little deeper and see things as they really are. Wellness Coach Cynthia Griffin will explain how habits can influence our lives and how the “letting go process” can open us up to new and greater opportunities for better health and happiness. Registration is required.

Thursday Evening Gardening Programs

Raised Flower Beds : Thursday, April 11, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Introduction to Gardening : Thursday, April 18, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Cordalie Benoit of the Connecticut Community Garden Association will discuss the benefits of raised flower beds and gardening basics in these two programs. Please register for each program individually.

Library After Hours: 80s Night with The Future Heavies

Friday, April 12, 2019, 5:00 – 7:30pm

Join us for a fun family evening featuring the Future Heavies band performing all of your favorite 80s songs,  dancing, face-painting and 80s-themed games!  Don’t forget to wear your favorite 80s outfits –prizes will be awarded for best costumes–er, clothes! Pizza and drinks will be provided by the Friends of the Library. There is no admission fee or cost for refreshments, but donations to the Friends are appreciated and help defray the cost of these special events. Please register so that we know how many goodies to have!

Concert: Bluegrass, Blues and Americana

Saturday, April 13, 2019, 2:00 – 3:30pm

The BluesGrass acoustic duo of Mark White (guitar, harmonica, vocals) and Jon Swift (upright bass, vocals) presents an “Americana” mix of bluegrass, blues, and oldies featuring strong duet vocals and powerful instrumentals.  No registration required.

Experience Nature as Healer

Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Discover how everyday, anywhere, nature can guide, calm, inform, and restore you. Marlow Shami BFA, M.S. is a nature-based teacher, artist, healer and writer who conducts Nature as Healer workshops and talks throughout New England. She specializes in the healing connection between humans and the natural world. Registration is required.

Birds & Butterflies on Wednesday Evenings

Butterflies in My Backyard : Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 7:00 – 8:00pm

Birding in Connecticut : Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

On the 17th, noted lepidopterist and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History research affiliate, Victor DeMasi will take the audience on a virtual sunny day walk through his butterfly meadow in Redding, Connecticut, and will share an impressive display of specimens from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.  Then on the 24th,  join Frank Gallo, author of the new book, Birding in Connecticut, for a virtual journey to a variety of Connecticut’s birding locales, from hot spots to less-known gems. Please register for each program individually.

Gardening As If the World Depends on Us

Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Worried about the world? Take action! Actually, just by being a gardener, you are already making a big difference. Want to do more? Gardens offer so many opportunities to link with nature and rescue the world. What can you do to help? Everything! This lecture by Tovah Martin (author of more than a dozen gardening books) is filled with ideas from gardeners who rallied their acreage in backyards large and small to make a difference. Registration is required.

Books Over Coffee

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Eat lunch with friends? Join us for a new adult monthly book club program called “Books Over Coffee.”  On the last Wednesday of every month we’ll meet to discuss the selected title. Books are available each month ahead of time, and will be available in audio & ebook format. Clock Dance by Anne Tyler is our April selection. You bring your lunch, we’ll provide the coffee and tea. Registration is required.

A Practical Guide for Building Wealth (author talk)

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Kevin Daniels, the author of “A Practical Guide For Growing Wealth” will be at  speak about this new exciting book. Kevin is the current President of Tribute Financial in Wallingford. During this evening Kevin will introduce his new book and will point out some highlights of growing wealth. Come and spend an hour to make your financial future brighter! Registration is required.

Create Mother’s Day Cards

Monday, April 29, 2019, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join Sue Bernier and create beautiful Mother’s Day Cards. You will use rubber stamps, ink and Stampin’Up products to create your cards. This program is geared toward adults and registration is required.

Get Gardening With the Whole Family

Spring is here. This means it is a perfect time to start researching and planning what you want to grow this year. I am already dreaming about sunflowers, lavender, fresh tomatoes, and a variety of other produce and herbs. I love to garden, and have always been spoiled with the gift of family with very green thumbs. I adore fresh flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables and am glad to grow or have access to a wonderful supply each year.

kidgardenDuring the garden planning and planting process do not forget that everyone can take part in gardening. No matter the age, we can all dig a hole to plant a seed or young plant, pick out a plant to grow, or help chose a container to plant in. A wonderful trick to getting children (or adults) to try new foods is to have them help grow, pick, and help wash and prepare them.

kidgardens44The library has a vast gardening section in the adult nonfiction section to help with the important planning and plant choices. However, do not overlook the books in the children’s room. These books can give gardeners of all ages some ideas and inspiration to garden as a family, or to give the kids their own special little container or garden space. Here are a few of the great gardening books about involving children and getting them excited in the process.

Garden to Table: A Kid’s Guide to Planting, Growing, and Preparing Food by Katherine Hengel with Lisa Wagner
Container Gardening for Kids by Ellen Talmage
The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow, and Cook Together by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner & Annette Wendland
The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book: Fun Projects for All Seasons by Kari Cornell
Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy
Kids’ Container Gardening: Year-Round Projects for Inside and Out by Cindy Krezel
How Does Your Garden Grow?: Great Gardening for Green-Fingered Kids by Clare Matthews
Gardening With Children by Monika Hannemann
A Kid’s Guide to How Herbs Grow by Patricia Ayers
It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona

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Gardens, Gardens, Everywhere

For most gardeners, there is no better season than spring. After a long winter, we forget about previous garden disasters (like those darn deer that ate their way through last summer’s flower beds…) and look forward to what will surely be our most fabulous garden ever!  As I do every year, I spent part of last winter looking through gardening books and catalogs and planning improvements to my home landscape.  One of the many wonderful aspects of working at a library is easy access to all of the best books on any subject, including lots of garden and landscape books.  Here are some of my favorites from the last couple of years.

Jacket.aspxCoffee for roses : …and 70 other misleading myths about backyard gardening  Garden “myth-busting” done with wit and style.  Save yourself time and money–one of the tips I picked up from this book will save me both.

Jacket.aspxThe Know Maintenance Perennial Garden  This simplified approach to perennial gardening uses hardy, attractive plants grown on a 10×14 foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community and are designed for easy maintenance, the goal of most home gardeners. Even if you don’t switch to this system, you will find some good ideas.

Jacket.aspxLandscaping Ideas That Work.  Your yard should be an extension of your home and this terrific book covers front, back, and side yards and provides strategies for combining elements and creating spaces that work with any home. Some great before and after photos.

Jacket.aspxLawn gone! : low-maintenance, sustainable, attractive alternatives for your yard.  My husband and I have ongoing “discussions” about our too-large lawn.  Every year I drag books like this home in hopes that he will give up the turf war.  No luck yet, but I keep hoping!

Jacket.aspxThe Shady Lady’s Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening.   This is a great book for those of us whose yards are graced with large shade trees.  The Shady Lady identifies best practices, best plants, and best information, specifically designed for the zones of the greater Northeast – and leaves out all the rest. Includes a large yet highly selective illustrated plant gallery that includes all the indispensable perennials, ferns, and bulbs.

Don’t forget magazines!  We get many home and garden magazines in paper and downloadable formats, including Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening and more.

This year, in addition to my own gardens and a period herb garden I help maintain at the Thankful Arnold House Museum in Haddam, I am assisting with a garden project here at the Cheshire Public Library.  Cheshire Garden club member Anupa Simpatico has designed a low-maintenance garden with four-season appeal for the front of the library.  This project supports and promotes a healthy environment for birds and pollinating insects and carries out the Cheshire Garden Club’s mission of garden education, civic beautification and the preservation of wildlife.  Click here to see the plan and plant list. This project wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Friends of the Library, who are helping fund it with money donated in memory of Margaret Andersen, a long-time member of the Friends and an avid gardener. The Cheshire Town Beautification Committee and several anonymous donors have made  generous contributions towards the cost of the plants and shrubs.
The garden will be enjoyed by library visitors as well as countless people who pass by the front of the library  in vehicles and on foot. We are looking for volunteers to help plant and maintain the garden.  Please contact me at drutter@cheshirelibrary.org if you are interested in helping.

 

 

Spring Has Sprung! Thinking About Gardening?

pruning 2If you enjoy working in your yard, one of the first things to do in Spring is pruning.  But it can be confusing just which plants should be pruned at what time of year.  The  books listed below can help you make the right choices.

Pruning Made Easy

How To Prune

The Pruning Answer Book

gardeningNow is the time to also start planning your garden.  The Cheshire Library has a whole shelving section downstairs in the Reference Department just for Gardening Books.  For those of you who may be new to gardening, here is a selection of titles that will help you get started.  Additional titles can be found in the 635 area of Reference.

Gardening Made Simple

The New Low Maintenance Garden

The New Gardener

Trowel & Error

1001 Ingenious Gardening Ideas

Reader’s Digest Guide To Gardening