A garden book will help you through the dreary days of winter. And there's an abundant crop of recent books available.
A delightful little book is "A Bouquet of Flowers: Sweet Thoughts, Recipes, and Gifts From the Garden, With 'The Language of Flowers' " by Barbara Milo Ohrbach (Clarkson Potter, $9.95). The book's title tells it all. The recipes include one for scented note paper.
Also from Clarkson Potter come the nicely illustrated "Victoria and Albert Day Book," with spaces for your garden record or engagements, and "The Scented Room Gardening Notebook," also by Ohrbach. She has organized the spacious book into sections for flowers, roses, herbs, vegetables, fruits and berries. There is space for garden tips and supply sources.
Other noteworthy garden books include:
* "Pests of the Garden and Small Farm" (AMR Publications, $25) by Mary Louise Flint." The author is director of the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest-Management Project. The book includes 250 color photographs to help identify pest problems.
* "The Language of Flowers," edited by Sheila Pickles (Crown, $19.95). The flowers you receive, the way they are presented, even how the ribbon is tied, have special meaning. The author speaks the language, from amaryllis to water lily.
* "A Gentle Plea for Chaos: Enchantment of Gardening" (Simon & Schuster, $22.95), of which author Mirabel Osler says: "This book is an appeal for a return of a little 'amiable disorder' to the sense of enchantment and vitality that comes with a more random and intuitive approach to gardening, to an awareness of the dynamics of a garden where plants are allowed to scatter as they please."
* "American Cottage Gardens," edited by Ruth Rohde Haskell, and "Garden Photography," edited by Charles Mareen Fitch, are paperbacks from Brooklyn Botanic Garden. They cost $6.95 and $5.95, respectively.
* "Bringing the Outdoors In: How to Do Wonders With Vines, Wildflowers, Ferns, Mosses, Bulbs, Cacti and Dozens of Other Plants Most People Overlook," by H. Peter Loewer. The author, who also illustrated the book extravagantly, roams the world of plants and offers advice on containers, simple greenhouses and planters.
* "Focus on Flowers" by Allen Roach and Anne Millman (Abbeville, $39.95) aims at discovering and photographing beauty in gardens and wild places. The authors are experts with pen and lens.
* "Jerry Baker's Flowering Garden" (Collier, $7.95). Baker tells how to plan a garden with "a different face for each season, even when the grass withers and the flowers fade."
* "American Gardens" provides a tour of the nation's finest private gardens by Peter Loewer (Simon & Schuster, $35). The author uses color photos to guide readers to 30 lovely gardens.
* "Taylor's Pocket Guides" (Houghton Mifflin, $4.95 each) include "Bulbs for Spring," "Bulbs for Summer" and "Roses and Perennials for Shade," all edited by Ann Reilly; and "Perennials for Sun" and "Old-Fashioned Roses," edited by Maggie Oster.
* "Harrowsmith Magazine Gardener's Guide to Spring Flowers," edited by Katherine Ferguson (Camden, $9.95), deals with flower bedding, bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs.
* "The Potpourri Gardener" by Theodore James Jr. (Macmillan, $22.95) is a guide to making and growing potpourri, with information about more than 100 perennials, roses, bulbs, herbs and shrubs specially suited for creation of potpourri.