Jun 3, 2008

The One-Hour Garden

How You Can Have a No-Fuss, No-Work Garden
by Joanna Smith

This book gives you ideas on how to create a garden that is attractive and low-maintenance, requiring an hour or less of work per week. The One-Hour Garden is really written for people who are very busy and want a pleasant outdoors area to enjoy without spending lots of time weeding, pruning, mowing, etc. For me this isn't really the case, so I did find some of the repetitive statements about how tedious weeding is and why lawns are a poor choice tiresome after a while. I really felt like the book could have included less opinion and more detailed factual information. For example, on the front and back endpapers there are maps of climate zones for the entire United States. Yet in all the plant lists types of foliage, soil and sun needs are indicated, but never the zones. So although I now know the hardy plants that like the type of soil/sun exposure I have, I don't know which like my climate zone. There's lots of charts to help you plan your garden and choose plants that require little or no care. The downside to it all is that to have a self-sustaining garden requires a lot of work (and expense) in the beginning to establish- especially if you have to redesign most of your existing space.

I got some really good ideas from this book- like to put in a mowing strip, build a sandbox that can covert later into a fishpond (but it doesn't tell you how), and how to choose plants that look great and take care of themselves.

Rating: 3/5              157 pages, 2003


bethany said...

this does look interesting, I love gardening, but watering for some reason is hard for me to keep up on. I have made a vow to water, water, and water this summer!!!

Trish said...

Dangit, I just deleted my first comment on accident because of the word verification. In short--in a family of landscapers I didn't get the green thumb. This sounds like a good place to start, though--thanks for the review.

Bookfool said...

I don't think it's possible to spend just an hour a week on a yard, down here, since everything turns to jungle if you let it go at all. But, I may see if my library has a copy, just in case they have a few helpful ideas. I'm slowly learning. It took me years to figure out how to handle the little corner garden plot by our driveway, which is absolutely baked in the summer. I finally found some drought-resistant plants (which seems odd, given our climate, but it worked). And, then I hired some young guys to clean up my yard and they pulled out the best plants. Sigh. Thanks for the review!