SWIFT GUIDE TO BUTTERFLIES: By Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, president of the North American Butterfly Association. A fully revised photo-driven butterfly ID tool. Even an easy photo-driven index.
THE NATURALIST’S NOTEBOOK by Nathaniel Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich is a guide to being a better observer of nature in every season, with a 5-year blank calendar-journal at the back to call your own.
GARDEN INSECTS of North America (Princeton): Whitney Cranshaw and David Shetlar’s comprehensive, easy-to-use reference is a gardener’s must-have tool; now fully revised (Dec. 2017).
BREAD TOAST CRUMBS: Alexandra Stafford’s debut book, hailed by baking superstars Dorie Greenspan and David Lebovitz, serves up the easiest no-knead peasant loaves baked in Pyrex bowls (!!!) then teaches you to use every crumb. Brilliant recipes that go way beyond baking.
SPIDERS AND THEIR KIN is a tiny treasure, a little book that will get you understanding and appreciating these incredibly important creatures, and even beginning to ID the major groups. Best $7ish ever spent.
WATER RIGHT HOSES: Many years ago I gave away all my too-heavy garden hoses in favor of lightweight, drinking-water-safe and US-made ones by Water Right Inc. The 400, 500 and 600 series each have slightly different diameter; most of mine are 500 series. My favorite color is the olive. The most asked-about tool here in my garden during tours.
NOBLE OUTFITTERS MUDS BOOT: A not-too-clunky short rubber boot that can stand up to all seasons, including mud and snow, is hard to find. This one is a durable winner, and comfortable, too.
SANGEAN WIFI RADIO: I can’t imagine life without my Sangean wifi radio, which through its high-quality speakers (not out of the side of my laptop!) allows me to stream the world’s radio stations–like
DOUGH CUTTER-AS-SCRAPER: For working with dough, yes, but also this: A culinary friend taught me to stop dulling my knife blade by using it to scrape chopped onions, celery etc. off my cutting board, and use a dough scraper instead. Love it.
TEA TUMBLER: A personal infuser, made of double-walled borosilicate glass, that keeps tea hot and yet isn’t hot to the touch. I drink right out of mine (there is a screen up top to keep leaves down), then refill for a second steeping.