Stories in the Garden

Saturday May 16, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library Garden

This event is intended for preschool - grades 3.

Enjoy garden-themed stories read by teen volunteers and AADL staff.

We’ll have story stations in the Garden, the Youth Area, and other surprise locations.

Visit every station to hear a story and get stamps and stickers!

Newspaper Pots & Seed Starts!

Saturday April 11, 2015: 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for youth (grade K and up), teens and adults.

Make a biodegradable newspaper pot and start your seeds!

You will use a handful of different seeds (bean, basil, squash ...), newspaper and dirt - and we have everything you need!

Permaculture: Practical solutions for self-reliance

One of our newer magazine subscriptions at the library is to Permaculture: Practical solutions for self-reliance. This magazine is a "bestselling international green-environmental magazine (with) inspiring articles written by leading experts alongside the readers' own tips and solutions," their website states. More from the website: "Published quarterly, this pioneering magazine is full of money-saving ideas for your home, garden and community. It features thought provoking articles on organic gardening; food and drink; renewable technology and green building; education, health and economics; transition towns and ecovillages; personal and community development; and sustainable agriculture and agro-forestry." Permaculture magazine also runs reviews of new books, DVDs, tools, courses, and access to contacts. Sounds like a good one!

Cool Summer Drinks

When you think of a cool, refreshing drink that you'd like to have on a hot, summer day you think of lemonade, right? Or maybe iced tea.

But there is a lesser known, fizzy drink great for summer known as kombucha. It sort of tastes like a cross between carbonated water and tea. You can even add juice to it. There is another side benefit to drinking kombucha: It's fermented! You make it be starting with some tea that has loads of sugar in it. After adding a probiotic yeast and bacterial colony (known as a SCOBY mother) and letting it sit for several days to weeks, the probiotics break down the sugar into acids so that by the time you drink it, it's very low in sugar. With every cup you get loads of healthy bacteria and B-complex vitamins. Talk about healthy! There is a book that shows you how to make it at home here and here.

It’s summer so a lot of Ann Arborites are growing a vegetable garden. I know I am! But what if your garden is doing so well that you have armfuls of veggies that you don't know what to do with? A great way to get some awesome nutrition or to use up extra veggies and dark leafy greens is to make smoothies or juices. For a great smoothie all you need is a blender and a knife to cut up the toughest pieces. "But won't that taste icky?" I can hear you say. Fear not! The sweet fruit you add makes the bitter taste of vegetables like kale hardly detectable. Try it and I bet you'll be a smoothie addict in no time.

Preparing Gardens For Winter With Kathy Squiers, Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Horticulturalist

Wednesday September 10, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Kathy Squiers, County Parks Horticulturalist, will share what her fall garden tasks may include to prepare plants and gardens for winter. The why, when and how of her methods will be explained with anecdotes and photos, along with opportunities for you to share what works for you! This event is co-sponsored by AADL and the Ann Arbor Garden Club and presented by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.

An artist trained as a scientist, Kathy Squiers` has been tending gardens for over 30 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Planning and Design from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, with two years of work on a Master of Landscape Architecture. Her concentrations and interests are in Botany, Plant Biology and Resource Ecology Management.

May is Gardening for Wildlife Month

Isn't it great to see the daffodils and tulips finally blooming? And the bunnies bouncing around? And to hear the multitude of birds singing and chirping in the trees? I don't know about you, but I'm ecstatic that spring is finally here!

If you want to fully embrace spring, there's no better way than by celebrating Gardening for Wildlife Month! Make your yard a welcoming place for urban or rural fauna (depending on where you live). We've got books in our catalog on how to make your yard attractive to various wildlife species. Try the following titles:

Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife
The National Wildlife Federation's Guide to Gardening for Wildlife
Your Backyard Wildlife Garden: How to Attract and Identify Wildlife in Your Yard
Attracting Backyard Wildlife : A Guide for Nature-Lovers

Good luck on creating your backyard wildlife wonderland!

Tonight: Gardening with Gusto with Karleen Shafer!

Now that the weather is finally beginning to warm up, many of us are thinking about getting our gardens started. Local landscape designer, author and Master Gardener Karleen Shafer will be at the Mallets Creek branch of the Ann Arbor District Library this evening to discuss various gardening topics. She will touch on pruning techniques, planting issues, building healthy ecological communities with plants, and creating a sense of space in your garden, no matter how large or small it may be. She will also be available for questions about more specific topics at the end of her talk.

Useful handouts on local invasive species and how to combat them will also be provided at the event. Karleen’s talk will begin at 7:00 tonight (Tuesday, May 6) in the large meeting room at Mallets Creek. Read more about Gardening with Gusto and about Karleen here!

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor: March 27, presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday March 27, 2014: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for Adults

For the last year, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

The next Nerd Nite will be Thursday, March 27 at LIVE (102 S 1st St.). Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

What topics are on tap?
Did you know about Michigan's own "Forgotten Woodstock," held less than an hour away back in 1970? Have you ever wished you could tell what the heck a tree was just by looking at it? Want to learn a little more about the most effective world revolutionary of all time? Nerd Nite Ann Arbor teams up with Ann Arbor District Library this month to bring curious folks all of this with absolutely NO COVER!

Mark Deming – The Goose Lake Rock Festival
Ben Connor Barrie – Barking Up the Wrong Tree: A Crash Course in Tree Identification
Michael Leonard – Thomas Paine: How the First World Revolutionary Fell from Fame and Became the Forgotten Founding Father (of both America and France!)

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

This month's event is NO COVER (usually $5), thanks to AADL's sponsorship!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us for the AADL + NNA2 Mashup!

Gardening With Gusto With Local Landscape Designer Karleen Shafer

Tuesday May 6, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

It’s spring planting season in Michigan!

Local landscape designer and Master Gardener Karleen Shafer will tell you how to access your garden, creating a unique space for yourself and others. Learn more about planting issues, and the importance of ecological balance, pruning techniques, plant communities and creating a sense of place.

Karleen Shafer has been in the Green Industry for more than 20 years. She owns and operates Landscape Design & Associates LLC, a design/build company working throughout southeast Michigan. She is a Certified Green Industry Professional, Natural Shoreline Professional listed with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and her company is also certified for green roof installation.

Her gardens have been featured in numerous garden tours, received several awards both regional and national and have been used by national plant growers in their own advertising. Karleen has been a contributing garden writer for a monthly publication of Brighton Argus and has co-authored The "Perennial Reference Guide," a quick reference guide used by designers and gardeners alike. She is currently working on a new book to help homeowners develop an ecological, environmentally balanced landscape.

It's Time for Indoor Gardening!

With fall upon us and winter approaching faster than some of us might prefer, it’s time to think about indoor gardening! Indoor gardening can be as simple or complex as you like, from keeping a few house plants in the living room to maintaining a full herb garden or a bonsai display in your home. The library has a number of great books to help you get started, give you advice on how to move outdoor plants indoors, and tend to plants that are struggling now . Don’t Throw It, Grow It! even gives tips on how to grow plants on windowsills from food scraps. For the ambitious, books on more unique plants or on caring for the finicky bonsai trees are also available.

Kids can get involved in keeping things green over the winter too. Check out My Indoor Garden by Carol Lerner for easy suggestions for helping kids choose and care for plants during the chilly months.

To learn more about both common and unusual houseplants, think about attending Life as an Epiphyte at Matthaei Botanical Gardens on November 16, when artist Penrith Goff will speak about over 6,00 types of bromeliads.

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