cover image Herb Gardens: Catriona Tudor Erler

Herb Gardens: Catriona Tudor Erler

Better Homes and Gardens / Author, Catriona Tudor Erler / Author
Less successful than its sibling volume (reviewed above), this entry fails to deliver the clear instructions promised in the title of Better Homes and Gardens Step-by-Step series. A discussion of plant placement advises the reader to put tall plants in the back unless the bed will be viewed in the round, in which case tall plants can go in the center; it is also suggested that tall plants be placed to the North to avoid shading smaller ones, or one can follow well-known gardeners Penelope Hobhouse and Rosemary Verey and mix plants of varying heights. Garden plans and artists' renditions of a Knot Garden, a Culinary Herb Garden, a Fragrance Garden and a Potpourri Garden do not include measurements, references to scale or recommended numbers of plantings per herb-absences likely to give a beginning gardener pause. Some of the plants in the encyclopedia photos are hard to recognize (e.g., dill and fennel; sweet cicely is shown with its juvenile foliage, not a good guide to its mature appearance). Overall, this is a cheerful but unfocused guide to one of gardening's most popular subjects. (Aug.)