Aug 20, 2008

The Self-Taught Gardener

Lessons from a Country Garden
by Sydney Eddison

Thus far my focus in gardening has been to get something edible out of the ground. But I do want to plant some flowers next year, where the back part of my yard is all dreary. I didn't know The Self-Taught Gardener was mostly about flower gardening when I picked it up, and was delightfully surprised. I really like the way this book presents its information. It begins just as any new homeowner like myself does: contemplating the blank or messy slate of a piece of land and feeling the urge to do something with it. So Eddison encourages you to just jump in: clear some ground, dig a hole, plant something, and learn as you go. Based on the author's own thirty-odd years of gardening experience and those of several gardening friends, this book gives examples of a variety of gardening designs and how to make them work. Narrow city lots, sprawling country estates, formal and informal, gardens focused on roses, on evergreens, on color schemes. What I liked most were the discussions on color theory and basic landscape design, all of which rang familiar to me as an artist. There's also some basic gardening info on composting and transplanting, mail-ordering plants, dealing with pests, growing bulbs, etc. Written in a very friendly, informal fashion, this book is great for someone who wants to immediately go out and get their hands dirty in the garden, without a lot of extra fuss. And I really like the descriptions recommending lots of beautiful, hardy plants.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 238 pages, 1997


Ruby (Mouth) said...

I heard this was a fairly decent book. Your review has been a big help and I went and requested it from the library. :)

Jeane said...

Glad to be of help!