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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Garden Notes

It's January in Maine, so what's a girl to do? Read gardening books, and lust after activities I cannot possible for several more months. Sigh...

The Edible Front Yard - Ivette Soler

This book is all about changing your front yard from a typical lawn into an edible plant garden, but doing it in such a way that you won’t look like the kooky hippy neighbors.

There are lots of pictures of other gardens enclosed, with many examples of planting combinations. Unfortunately for me, it’s very west coast centric, which I can’t really blame them for, since most of that coast has really great gardening conditions. I lust after some of the plants they can have at my latitude there that I could never manage here in Maine.

So, for me, the most valuable section was the chapter on ornamental edibles. Some of these are plants you’ve probably never heard of, and some are different varieties of plants that you may not have previously thought could be ornamental. I have a number of sticky tabs in that section.

So, for a New England garden, this book is probably more inspirational than truly aspirational.

Grow Great Grub - Gayla Trail

This gardening book is about making do with whatever space you have, no matter how small, to be able to grow some sort of food in your own space. There are a number of DIY projects for various containers and raised beds, and there are ways to use your harvest.

What I liked best about this book was the plant section, where it talked about the best plants to use in small spaces. It also had specific information about growing each plant in containers, which was what convinced me to buy this book. The author is also out of Toronto, so it gave me much more suitable information for my gardening zone than the other book I bought this winter.

There’s also a section on compost, and about the best ways to prep your beds or containers for the best yields. It’s about organic gardening, so there’s also a section on organic pest control.

I think this book would be a great primer for a city dweller that’s never gardened and would like to get their feet wet. I was already familiar with the fundamentals, but still got a lot out of this book.

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