Books for small-space gardeners
Small-space gardeners have special needs, and most offerings on bookstore shelves generally don't meet them. Fortunately, some publishers and authors are providing quality offerings. Here are my four favorite new releases. -- Jessica Damiano
"EASY GROWING: ORGANIC HERBS AND EDIBLE FLOWERS FROM SMALL SPACES," by Gayla Trail (Clarkson Potter, $19.99)
"Easy Growing" makes for easy reading, as it’s as pleasant to flip through as it is informative. Packed with mouthwatering, full-page color photography, this guide demonstrates that growing herbs and edible flowers is easy, even for the most inexperienced gardeners. Included are profiles of dozens of plant varieties and guidance for selecting the right ones, tips for winterizing plants and extending the growing season and recipes to cook and preserve the harvest.
"FRUIT TREES IN SMALL SPACES: ABUNDANT HARVESTS FROM YOUR OWN BACKYARD," by Colby Eierman (Timber Press, $24.95)
This beautifully photographed and presented book provides options and guidance for choosing and growing fruit trees in containers, creating a mini-orchard on less land than you’d think, and a month-by-month guide to help gardeners grow fruit successfully, regardless of the space available. Recipes for the harvest are also included.
"The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Small-Space Gardening," by Chris McLaughlin (Alpha, $19.95)
Don’t be put off by the title; there’s actually a lot of smart information in this book, which is part of the Idiot Guides how-to series. It’s not much to look at, with no photos and only a couple of roughly sketched illustrations, but readers will learn quite a bit about container gardening, growing in raised beds and planting vertically. Plus, there’s informative guidance for enriching soil, using fertilizer and controlling weeds and pests.
"The Balcony Gardener: Creative ideas for small spaces," by Isabelle Palmer (Cico, $19.95)
This utilitarian, step-by-step book of how-to’s is jam-packed with great ideas for creating a beautiful garden in the smallest of spaces. Included with each themed project is a list of materials, a little intro and numbered steps accompanied by photos. Projects include a cocktail window box that’s coupled with a recipe for kumquat-ginger caipirinha); a curry window box — with the requisite eggplant Thai curry recipe; a pallet wall planter, Alpine-planted metal crate and about a dozen others.