The Victory Garden Companion

Michael Weishan, Author, Laurie Donnelly, Author . Collins $29.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-06-059977-5

PBS's popular, long-running The Victory Garden inspires this work by Weishan, the show's host, and Donnelly, its executive producer/director. Weishan, the first-person voice of the text, doesn't necessarily provide new information, but rather "a triage of the data already out there" with an information-packed overview of the full range of gardening basics. Chapters on design, planning and preparation, the front yard, the back yard, the lawn, the flower garden, the vegetable garden, growing berries and urban gardening combine inspiring ideas with solid, how-to instruction. Weishan's detailed descriptions of relevant features at the Victory Garden itself, informative listings of recommended plants, step-by-step project guides, insights and profiles of outstanding gardens are firmly rooted in the real world. For example, he blames the media (himself included) for tending to "underestimate and downplay the difficulties involved in designing and maintaining large flower borders" and offers alternative schemes that are more manageable but equally attractive. This levelheaded approach is a welcome relief from the breathlessly enthusiastic tone of many other authors. Likewise, the 200 color photographs and 46 b&w illustrations do more than decorate; they illuminate. The real victory here is for gardeners at all skill levels, who will learn to create beautiful, enjoyable, useful outdoor spaces that will enhance their lives and the value of their homes. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-0-06-059978-2
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