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Gardening with Heirloom Seeds: Tried-and-True Flowers, Fruits, and Vegetables for a New Generation
     

Gardening with Heirloom Seeds: Tried-and-True Flowers, Fruits, and Vegetables for a New Generation

by Lynn Coulter
 

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Heirloom seeds are more than the promise of next summer's crookneck squash or jewel-colored zinnias. They're living antiques handed down from one generation to the next, a rich inheritance of flavor and beauty from long ago and, often, far away. They are sometimes better adapted to pests and harsh conditions than many modern varieties and often simply smell or

Overview

Heirloom seeds are more than the promise of next summer's crookneck squash or jewel-colored zinnias. They're living antiques handed down from one generation to the next, a rich inheritance of flavor and beauty from long ago and, often, far away. They are sometimes better adapted to pests and harsh conditions than many modern varieties and often simply smell or taste better. Gardening with Heirloom Seeds serves as a resource for gardeners, cooks, and plant lovers of all levels of expertise who want to know more about finding, sharing, and propagating the seeds of heirloom flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

In these beautifully illustrated pages, Lynn Coulter describes fifty treasured heirloom species, from Frenchman's Darling, a flowering herb whose seeds were pocketed by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in 1798, to Snow White beets, an old Dutch favorite that will not stain the cook's fingers red. Most of the plants included here will grow all across the United States; a few are best suited for warmer climates.

The text is sprinkled throughout with practical advice from heirloom gardeners and lists sources for finding the seeds of many old varieties. Because it also provides ample room for making notes, Gardening with Heirloom Seeds can be used year after year and can become an heirloom in its own right—a personal journal to pass along to the next generation of gardeners.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Coulter sets out to provide readers with "a sampler for heirloom seeds" to learn about and grow. Each of her four chapters focuses on a single season, with an informative essay on its tasks and pleasures and descriptions of heirloom garden plants, including an overview, recommended varieties and helpful growing tips. While the listings are far from exhaustive, they include a wide enough range of edible and ornamental plants to populate a large and varied garden. They also provide well-researched, lively descriptions, including fascinating facts about common plants and their uses throughout history. For example, readers will be delighted to learn that the green paint used to illustrate medieval manuscripts was made from spinach, and that carbon dating has placed the pea as far back as 9750 B.C. This makes Coulter's book an ideal armchair companion to seed catalogues-an extremely popular genre in their own right. Coulter's organization does violate some conventions: vegetables are intermingled with flowers, and annuals are not clearly distinguished from perennials. Still, her stylish, interesting text, an exhaustive listing of sources for heirloom seeds and numerous color and b&w illustrations make this a welcome addition to every gardener's bookshelf. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Suitable for both the novice and the experienced gardener, this book describes heirloom varieties of 50 species of flowers, vegetables, and fruits. These older varieties are often better tasting or more richly scented than their modern hybrid counterparts. Coulter (journalist and writer; contributor to Family Circle and other publications) organizes the entries by season, then alphabetically by the common name within each season so that the flowers are intermixed with the vegetables. Each entry begins with an introduction to the plant, including its history, then lists a sampling of the plant's heirloom varieties and their history, description, and days to maturation. The final section of each entry, "Growing Tips," reveals sun, soil, and temperature requirements, how to sow the seeds (indoors and outdoors, if applicable), germination tips, harvesting, and how to save the seeds. Lovely color photographs complement the text, although not all the varieties are pictured. A bibliography and an extensive list of companies offering heirloom seeds for sale conclude this title's heirloom coverage (although the list of seeds for sale would have been more usefully placed at the end of each variety's entry). Recommended for public and horticultural libraries.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"A well-written, useful, nicely organized, and beautifully illustrated book. For die-hard gardeners who grow plants from seed, it's a great experience."
Washington Gardener

"The 'living antiques' of fruit, vegetable, and flower worlds get their due in Lynn Coulter's premier book, Gardening with Heirloom Seeds. Through lush photography and fascinating stories about seeds lost and found, Coulter inspires the urge to plant these rare beauties, and provides some basic growing tips to boot."
Midwest Home

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807856802
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
06/19/2006
Edition description:
1
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,378,918
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
[Gardening with Heirloom Seeds] is a detailed delight.—Southeast Gardening with L. A. Jackson

The 'living antiques' of fruit, vegetable, and flower worlds get their due in Lynn Coulter's premier book, Gardening with Heirloom Seeds. Through lush photography and fascinating stories about seeds lost and found, Coulter inspires the urge to plant these rare beauties, and provides some basic growing tips to boot.—Midwest Home

This pleasant book leads us cheerfully and invitingly through the seasons, sowing and growing heirloom plants. Lynn Coulter's light, informative style makes this book good reading for both new gardeners and those already smitten with seed sowing and heirlooms. . . . Gardening with Heirloom Seeds is delightful to peruse with morning coffee, with evening tea, or anytime the gardener needs a break from daily cares. Whether you read it straight through or in bits and pieces, you'll find it informative and diverting.—American Gardener

Meet the Author

Lynn Coulter is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in Delta Sky, Family Circle, Southern Living, and other publications. She lives with her husband and son in Georgia.

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