cover image The Frugal Gardener: How to Have More Garden for Less Money

The Frugal Gardener: How to Have More Garden for Less Money

Catriona Tudor Erler, Catriona Tudor Erler. Rodale Press, $27.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-87596-801-8

With the healthy skepticism of a practiced penny pincher, Erler (The Garden Problem Solver) examines just about every conceivable aspect of gardening and shows readers how to achieve beautiful, bountiful results on a budget. Erler offers a host of suggestions and technique, from finding top-quality tools at bargain-basement prices (garage sales are a good source) to using found objects for garden art (try driftwood as sculpture), propagating plants from cuttings, creating a water-wise landscape and making homemade pesticides. The Virginia gardener's emphasis is on creativity and practicality, but Erler's down-to-earth ideas don't sacrifice style--in fact, she makes such a persuasive case for using ""your ingenuity instead of your wallet"" that even green thumbs with deep pockets may adopt her methods. Packaged in a reader-friendly format, the information is grouped logically, with separate chapters on such topics as tools, plants, soil amendment and design. The pages are peppered with recurring sidebars: ""The Frugal Gardener's Workshop,"" for example, offers how-to instructions for creating a Victorian gazing globe from an inverted fishbowl and a can of metallic spray paint. (Sept.)