Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden

Niki Jabbour. Storey, $19.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-61212-061-4
Although not as pioneering as the title implies, this collection provides plenty of food for thought, and hopefully for the table too. Jabbour (The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener) has engaged an impressive array of master gardeners; prize-winning bloggers; prominent authors and media personalities; and gardening advisors and experimenters to offer a tasting menu of garden plans suitable for the palate of just about anyone. The designs range from novelty and theme gardens such as Amanda Thomsen’s weiner-shaped Chicago Hot Dog Garden—featuring Windy City condiments: tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, dill, mustard, celery, and poppy seeds—to functional plans for attracting wildlife or beneficial insects. Historical plots include LaManda Joy’s Vintage Victory and Stephen Westcott-Gratton’s Elizabethan Gardens while other plans focus on practical considerations: using rooftop space, featuring shade-tolerant vegetables, or minimizing water. Microlivestock—chickens, bees, and soil microbes—make their appearances too. Instruction are minimal, which is adequate for the more straightforward plans, but readers attempting complex gardening concepts such as Mac Mead’s Biodynamic Farm may need to consult more detailed sources. Although gardeners’ locations are included in their bios, regional and hardiness zone information is missing from the plans themselves, which is likely to annoy experienced gardeners and may lead some novices astray. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-60342-844-6
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