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Department Resources

Related Resources

Grow Your Green Thumb

Unearth gardening resources and programs at the library.

Online and In-Branch

The library offers many options for the aspiring or advanced gardener. In addition to books and online resources, branches frequently offer free-to-the-public gardening events. From Easy-to-Grow Shrubs and Culinary Herbs workshops to Fall Gardening and Gardening with Native Plants tutorials, these events take place year-round. Branches often post information in their display areas about gardening events and Master Gardeners, and a full listing can be found at

Master Gardeners: Onsite Experts 

The Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Master Gardener Program at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria trains interested volunteers to serve as a community resource. These Master Gardeners provide research-based horticultural information, tips, techniques and advice to home gardeners through services including:

  • Plant Clinics held May-September at local farmers markets and FCPL branches throughout Fairfax County for in-person answers to gardening questions, plant and insect identification, soil tests and more
  • VCE Horticultural Helpline at 703-324-8556 or
  • Ready, Set, Grow™ school-based instructional program for children
  • Home Turf, a Virginia Healthy Lawns Program through which Master Gardeners make house calls to help with lawn problems
  • Speakers Bureau providing expert speakers for garden clubs and other organizations

All Fairfax County Public Library branches also have a supply of Virginia Tech soil testing kits for residents to check their soil’s fertility and determine if any corrective action is needed. A routine soil test package costs just $10.00 and includes analyses for soil pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, iron and boron, along with fertilizer and lime recommendations for specified plants.

Books for Earth Day and Beyond

  • Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution by Beth Gardiner
  • Travel the world to learn the story of modern-day air pollution.
  • Earth Day by Nicole Swanberg 
  • Tour the planet as this documentary DVD explores the impact of human existence upon the Earth and what can be done to prevent an ecological disaster.
  • The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the 21st Century by Ronald Bailey
  • The author finds many present ecological trends are actually quite positive.
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