Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbs. Show all posts

Eat Your Yard!

Eat Your Yard!
Edible trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, and flowers for your landscape

by Nan K. Chase

160 pages
Gibbs Smith, 2010
List price: $19.99

There have been many volumes of books published in the last couple of years on edible gardening. In spite of heightened interest in growing your own food, I wasn't sure the gardening world could use yet another one when I was handed Eat Your Yard! nearly a year ago. I put off reading it.

A few weeks ago, I picked it up and it wasn't long before I found it to be different from the others I had read. I really like this book. It doesn't focus on the garden proper, nor the usual fare consisting of tomatoes, beans, and lettuce. Nan Chase looks at the bigger picture and suggests using fruit trees and shrubs in addition to herbs and edible flowers in landscaping.

Edible foundation plantings serve three purposes: they provide a framework for other supporting plants, they're attractive, and they feed you! They feed wildlife too, which brings life to your garden beyond its inherent beauty, although it might be a race to see who gets the harvest first. It's the perfect marriage of form and function.

Added bonus: Recipes!

Nan K. Chase writes about architecture and landscape design from her home in western North Carolina. She is the co-author of Bark House Style and author of Asheville: A History.  Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, Fine Gardening, Architectural Record, and Southern Living. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a contributing editor of WNC Magazine.

The publication being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for reviewing it. All opinions expressed here are mine. If I like something, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that,too.


Creative Herb Garden Themes and Projects
by Judy Lowe

192 pages
Cool Springs Press, 2011
List price: $19.95

Books on edibles - both growing them and preparing them – abound, but here’s one of a different nature. Herbs! by Judy Lowe is a collection of ideas for gardeners who want to grow herbs, but it’s also a book for those who don’t actually grow herbs themselves. Most herbs are edible, of course, but they’re also highly prized for their aromatic qualities and Lowe gives many ideas for using them in this way, too.

The information is slotted into appropriate chapters according to the theme of the garden growing a particular herb, along with beautiful illustrations and photographs. But many herbs fit into many categories, so to get a complete picture of a particular herb's characteristics, you'll want to check out each garden description. In addition, those clever folks at Cool Springs Press have color-coded (green!) the pages in the middle that contain concise plant descriptions for more than 45 herbs. It’s a scrapbook of sorts, and a testament to the versatility of herbs.

Beginning with basic facts, all the way through the various themed gardens described in the bulk of the book, to the reference and source material at the end, this is a book that gardeners who grow herbs already and those who have a desire to grow them will put to good use. It’s also a book for which the index is a necessity, so as to not miss finding nuggets of inspiration for each particular herb.

Judy Lowe has had a lifelong love of gardening, and has been writing about it for more than twenty-five years. She has been the garden editor of the Chattanooga Times-Free Press in Chattanooga, Tennessee and The Christian Science Monitor in Boston, Massachusetts. Her numerous articles have appeared in many magazines, including Woman's Day and  Southern Living. She has been active in the Garden Writers Association, serving on the board for fourteen years and as president for two years. This is Lowe's eleventh book.

The publication being reviewed in this blog post was the sole compensation for reviewing the product. All opinions expressed here are mine. If I like it, I'll say so. If I don't, I'll say that, too.