We love being outside, but the winter provides gardeners a gentler-paced time to turn inwards and curl up with a good book or puzzle and a cup of tea. Check out our new favorite books for gardeners, herbalists, naturalists, children, adults and old hippies! And we have puzzles galore, including some that teach about the natural world and some that are just stunningly beautiful! Plus, or selection of music CDs by exceptional local talent is small but unique and delightful.
Now celebrating its 36th year, The Boulder Irish Session is a Boulder ‘institution’ and is still going strong. They are an informal, dynamic gathering of top-notch Front Range musicians who, until Covid, came together on Sunday evenings at License No. 1 in the Boulderado Hotel to share tunes and songs of the Celtic tradition. After the last 2 summers of outdoor sessions on Sunday evenings at Harlequin’s Gardens, beginning Sunday Oct. 3rd, BIS is trying out a new indoor venue. We’ll update you soon!
Over the years, the Session has gained many loyal followers who know they will always hear some of the best, most spirited live traditional Irish and Celtic music in the region on any given Sunday. Harlequin’s Gardens co-owner Eve Brawner is one of the founding members of the Boulder Irish Session and is still a ‘regular’ there, playing English concertina, and singing. We offer both of their excellent CDs, Sunday at Conor’s and the sequel, Next Sunday at Conor’s.
If you have met and spoken with our founder and guiding force, Mikl Brawner, then you know that he is, to say the least, an interesting man who has led an interesting life. He is also a gifted storyteller and writer and has at last begun to recount his adventures and observations on paper.
These stories are from true experiences in Mikl’s life. They start at the end of his 2-years of work in the Peace Corps in India, with a trip to Katmandu, Nepal. From there, Mikl chronicles his adventures travelling solo overland from India in 1971 through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, Munich, and London, and has added a bonus of a few other stories. It’s a page-turner. Read a paragraph and see.
Profits from the sale of his book will be donated to our Staff Prosperity Fund.
Are you an Old Hippie? Are your parents? If so, this book is for you, or for them! Our friends Brus and Jean Westby travelled the “Great Hippie Trail” back in 1970, at a time in America marked by the Vietnam War, social unrest and change, a proliferation of psychedelic drugs, and a quest for a meaningful spiritual path. After college, the young couple travel overland through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, bound for ‘Mother India’ and compelled by a desire to explore a world different than their own, a world of mystery, challenge and discovery. In this recounting of their eventful journey, Brus weaves together the reassuring letters they wrote home to their families and the more accurate and compete account of their adventures and lessons learned along the way.
Nearly everyone loves butterflies! We watch them because they’re exquisitely beautiful, but they also have magical life cycles and intricate relationships among their host ecosystems. Are you overwhelmed by the array of possibilities in field guides that cover a broad geographic range?
This expanded second edition is a user-friendly book focusing on 100 frequently seen species in the Colorado Front Range. Easily identify butterflies using over 120 striking color photos of individuals in their natural setting, and clear descriptions of both males and females. Each entry also includes that species’ habitat and life cycle, the caterpillar’s host plants, and look-alike butterflies. The introduction includes tips on where to find butterflies, how to get close to them, and what we can do to attract them to our gardens and preserve their sensitive habitats. Belongs in every Colorado hiker’s backpack or back pocket!
Crevice Gardens Rock!
The Crevice Garden: How to make the perfect home for plants from rocky places was in the making for 5 years, a project undertaken by two young rising stars of horticulture in the west. Kenton Seth lives and works in the Grand Junction area and Paul Spriggs in Victoria, B.C. Both have studied the craft extensively and experimented, designed, built, planted and maintained crevice gardens large and small, public and private, in dry conditions and wet, using all kinds of stone and various planting mediums.
We have recently received a veritable avalanche of excellent well-written, regionally appropriate books about a wide range of gardening approaches, soils and plants, and more are on the way! Hint: If you are a current 2023 Member of Harlequin’s Gardens, you receive 25% off all full-price books, all year!
Children have a lively interest in the natural world. They love vivid pictures, but they are bored if we dumb it down for them. We offer children’s books that are fascinating even for adults, full of in-depth science, but graphic and fun—many with projects and activities that make facts real. Also, great story books, beautifully and cleverly told and illustrated.
Mikl enjoys the search for the best children’s books, and delights in artful and expressive illustrations and well-written text. This year he has brought in these gems for our Holiday Gift Market:
The Camel’s Lament by Charles E. Carryl: A rollicking rhyme about animals, for children up to 7; illustrations from richly realistic oil paintings by Charles Santore.
Big As A Giant Snail by Jess Keating: Colossally cool collection of photos and kid-friendly illustrations by David DeGrand. Polar bears to huge Atlas Moth for ages 4-8; sizes explained in multiples of bananas.
The Ocean in Your Bathtub by Seth Fishman: The science of oceans explained for children 4-8. The ocean is part of your life and you are a part of the ocean’s life. Wonderful quirky fun illustrations by Isabel Greenberg.
The Variety of Life by Nicola Davies: exploring the extraordinary variety and diversity of the natural world for readers 5-8. Fascinating facts come with charming but accurate paintings of plants and animals.
The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by Douglas Florian: Follow a family of rabbits through the seasons in this lyrical story about rabbits doing what they (mostly) really do. For children 4-7; with illustrations by award winning Sonia Sanchez.
Bugs of the World by biologist Francesco Tomasinelli: Children 9-12+ will relish exploring 250 creepy, crawly, creatures, realistically illustrated by Yumenokaori. Get the facts, unique characteristics, life cycles and why bugs are so important to our world. For adults too; Mikl grabbed a copy.
Dragonflies of the Colorado Front Range by Ann Cooper of the Boulder County Nature Association
Dainty but deadly, these shimmering beauties dart over ponds, streams and clearings on the hunt for prey. Showcasing 45 dragonflies and 28 damselflies, the guide covers the most common species found in the region. Accompanying over 90 brilliant photographs are descriptions of habitat, appearance, length, behavior, similar species, flight time and interesting facts for each species. Also included are tips on watching, identifying and photographing these tiny jewels. An excellent field guide for beginners and seasoned naturalists that belongs in every hiker’s backpack or back pocket!
Don’t be fooled by the title; a lot of the area covered is in Colorado, including Denver, Boulder and Ft. Collins. This is a very good plant ID book from by Mary O’Brien and Karen Vail with interesting descriptions. In addition, it’s an excellent herbal, giving both medicinal and edible uses. Highlighted in yellow are important “cautions”. It is presented in a respectful way honoring nature as did the Ute Indians who pioneered the use of these plants. For example, did you know that Gambel Oak “…is a good back country first aid plant to know, using the leaves as a poultice or wash for insect bites and wounds, or chewing a piece of the bark for toothaches….” Good photos. These local gals really know their stuff and we highly recommend their book!
Meet the Natives Author Dan Johnson, curator of Native Plant Gardens at DBG, invites you to meet the native plants of Colorado. He has updated Pesman’s classic field guide to make the guide more useful than ever before. Herbaceous flowering plants are organized by color for faster identification, and color photos assist with accurate identification. Horticultural information is included to help you bring these durable and beautiful native plants into your own garden.
Nourishing Waters, Comforting Sky by Stephen R. Jones
Boulder naturalist, ecologist and author Stephen Jones has been visiting Pine Lake in the Nebraska Sandhills for 35 years. In his beautifully written and moving account, Jones “lends us his naturalist’s eye and compassionate sensibility…..to bring us intimately close to this natural treasure of subtle and stunning beauty “ (Chris Hoffman) and the remarkable richness of its wildlife.
We have stocked these classics AND a plethora of NEW puzzles with beautiful floral and mushroom imagery!
Piece together a fascinating visual exploration of the natural world. Featuring illustrations from Julia Rothman’s best-selling books in her Nature Anatomy series, these jigsaw puzzles will open your eyes to new ways of seeing earth and sky, flora and fauna. With each of the 500 pieces you put in place, nature’s wonders unfold: the crystalline structure of a single snowflake, the different types of feathers on a bird, a constellation of stars. A distinctive blend of art and science, this sweeping study of the universe will delight, educate, and enlighten.
We have stocked several different puzzles in the Nature Anatomy series!
These make great gifts for nature enthusiasts, design fans, homeschooling families, and curious learners of all ages.
Kikkerland’s Classic labyrinth Jigsaw Puzzle: 1000 pieces, 27”x20”.
Despite its simplicity, this mesmerizing design offers a unique jigsaw puzzle challenge that builds fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, problem-solving and critical thinking!
Enlightening, illuminating and visually extravagant, Maia Toll’s Wild Wisdom series sheds light on the magic and mystery that abounds in the natural world — animal, vegetable and mineral, and features the opulent art of Kate O’Hara. We are offering two of the stunning 750-piece puzzles from O’Hara’s fabulous illustrations.
AND a plethora of new puzzles with beautiful floral and mushroom imagery!
There aren’t many Reshetniks left in the US, and yes – you guessed it – this one is my beloved big brother. And I couldn’t be more proud of him for this exquisite recording, a true labor of love, which I love to listen to, repeatedly. I believe you will, too!
Originally inspired by the singing TV cowboys, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, Michael started guitar lessons at a tender age, and quickly moved on to studying classical guitar. Hearing him practice was actually a pleasure. Later came Folk and Blues, and eventually my bro joined me in playing Irish and other Celtic traditional tunes with the Boulder Irish Session. The selections on this album are all his original transcriptions and arrangements.
“This album draws from the last 20 years of listening, arranging, playing and passionate involvement with the guitar. The seeds for Bach transcriptions were sown by the music of Andres Segovia and Julian Bream, both of whom were performing in NYC when I was a kid. The ‘traditional’ tunes are a selection from music heard much later on at music camps and at the Boulder Irish Music Session, played on other instruments. All of these pieces have an elegance, an emotional richness, something beautiful, that I hope speaks to you.”
Scary? Maybe. Cool? Definitely. Author Pat Stadille used to be terribly afraid of these eight-legged daddies, until he started learning more about them. Now spiders are his best friends! As a nature enthusiast, we have a feeling you’re going to feel the same way, once you hear about their silky skills, hunting habits, and generally shy and gentle nature. Learn about jumpers, wolf spiders, tarantulas, and, of course, the black widow!
Spiders in Your Neighborhood features detailed drawings and photos of the critters you’ll find, and sections on types of webs, how and where to discover spiders, spider anatomy, common and odd relatives. So, grab a flashlight and your sleuthing kit and join Pat “Spiderman” Stadille on a journey around your backyard that will leave you spinning with excitement. This small book is suitable for any age.
Over 40 new pages in this exciting expanded edition! More delightful spiders to love, plus nature-journaling ideas and easy, fascinating spider science activities. Pat even shows you how to study and draw your spider friends. Written with such personable warmth and wit that readers will find themselves charmed, and eager to explore the spider world!
Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountain Region, the most complete, up-to-date field guide for identifying a huge number of our wildflowers. All of the plants are described, located, and photographed, and arranged in an easy-to-use format.
Explore the fascinating and accessible arts of papermaking and paper crafts with Helen Hiebert, Colorado’s foremost artist working creatively in this medium! She has taught inspiring papermaking and papercrafting workshops for people of all ages, and her books will walk you through every step of dozens of fun and exciting projects.