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

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

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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.
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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469608716
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 6/19/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,273,641
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

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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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    Heirloom Plants for the Modern Gardener

    Vintage, antique, old-timey. Use your own choice of words to apply to collecting venerable items. Antique automobiles, vintage clothing, and heirloom seeds. All have their unique charm and attraction to certain aficionados. Numerous authoritative books have been written about antique automobiles and vintage clothing to informally educate the reader in those subjects. Now, I¿m pleased to see a book written that performs the same function for home gardeners. My wife and I prize our ginger, brought from Hawaii in 1960 by her mother. Each fall its incredibly aromatic blooms transform our front entrance into a perfumery envied and enjoyed by all. While the ginger is a bulb rather than a seed, it is heirloom and extremely valuable to us. Through the years, my wife and I have often stopped at old homesteads and gotten cuttings and seeds from their generous owners. These people, proud of their plants, many times have regaled us with the history of their unique plants. Even so, I never really thought of documenting the history behind many of these rare finds that I wanted for their color, overall structure, or scent. Indeed, I had never considered many aspects of heirloom seeds, per se, until I read this wonderfully researched and informative book. I am very grateful that Lynn Coulter has taken the time and made the effort to document this information. Most people today are familiar with Angel Trumpet (moonflower) vine, a night bloomer that is unique in its own right. But we have moonflower shrubs that came many years ago from an old homestead in Stamps, Arkansas. Their history can be traced back generations. It is the importance of these types of seeds that makes Gardening With Heirloom Seeds such a valuable, informative, and interesting book to read. Knowing the history and availability of heirloom seeds will once again send me to my planning template as I search for just the right location to put `one more gem¿. I strongly urge anyone interested in bringing a touch of the past to their modern gardens to get a copy of this book for their use and reference. It is one volume every serious gardener should have.

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