cover image A Northeast Gardener's Year

A Northeast Gardener's Year

Lee Reich, Author Da Capo Press $20 (262p) ISBN 978-0-201-55050-4

Since this book sets the beginning of the gardening year in March, it's too bad that it won't be published until April; readers will have to wait 11 months until they can take advantage of the otherwise hard-to-come-by information in the first chapter. However, there is plenty of gritty, hands-on advice to be found throughout the 11 other monthly chapters and in the invaluable appendix, which contains a week-by-week gardening schedule for the entire year. Reich ( Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention ) is no prose stylist--his writing is simple and folksy--but any literary deficiencies are more than made up for by the abundance of horticultural lore that he enthusiastically shares. What sets this book apart from so many other manuals is that it is based on significant firsthand experience, gained through years of gardening ``as far west as Wisconsin, as far south as Delaware, and as far north as New York.'' Readers will learn what seed catalogue ``lemons'' to avoid, how to press flowers, how to plan graceful foundation plantings, and much else. Chock-full of useful information and commentary, this is destined to become a well-thumbed mainstay of the serious gardener's bookshelf. Photos not seen by PW . Garden Book Club selection. (Apr.)