Living with Herbs: A Treasury of Useful Plants for the Home and Garden

Overview

Through her experience gardening in the inhospitable climate and soils of Nova Scotia, Jo Ann Gardner has learned simple but innovative growing methods and, as she says, "to become a more conscious gardener". The wisdom she shares—with vivid stories and a self-deprecating wit—is useful to herb growers living anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

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Overview

Through her experience gardening in the inhospitable climate and soils of Nova Scotia, Jo Ann Gardner has learned simple but innovative growing methods and, as she says, "to become a more conscious gardener". The wisdom she shares—with vivid stories and a self-deprecating wit—is useful to herb growers living anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

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Editorial Reviews

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For the past quarter century Jo Ann Gardner (The Heirloom Gardener) has managed to make her herb gardens thrive in the notoriously inhospitable climate and poor soil of Nova Scotia. Her Living with Herbs explains how applying the principles of "economy, simplicity, and conservation" with diverse strategies enabled her to transcend even these difficult conditions. Even more entertaining than these valuable tips are Gardner's 75 "plant portraits," illustrated guidelines for growing herbs, wildflowers, and shrubs. A bountiful, 290-page trade paperback and NOOK Book original.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Part manual, part memoir, this volume blends Gardner's broad knowledge of common herbs with the intimacies of her spartan gardening life amidst the poor soil and harsh climate of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton, where she's lived for 25 years. Guided by principles of "economy, simplicity, and conservation," Gardner (The Heirloom Garden) has compiled a bounty of tips (from drying herbs to building cold frames) to go with a houseful of graces (from swags and sachets to candied flowers). While pragmatic gardeners will be struck by the low-tech tools and equipment designed by Jigs (Gardner's husband), others will be romanced by the sensual pleasure of making potpourri and sachets and the poetic language of flowers (yes, rosemary for remembrance; but also lamb's ears for surprise and lady's mantle for comfort). Two-thirds of the book is devoted to plant "portraits" that include the growing requirements and unique uses of 75 herbs, wildflowers and shrubs. In this section, unexpected topics (violas versus violets) and intriguing recipes (white clover room fresheners and rose petal sandwiches) invite casual perusals. American and Canadian plant sources cited. Line drawings by Elayne Sears. (Feb.)
Library Journal
While at first glance these two titles might seem very similar, they approach their subject from different angles, down to the different varieties of herbs discussed. For Gardner (The Old-Fashioned Fruit Garden, Chelsea Green, 1991), life revolves around herbs, and she joyfully draws on her extensive experience with them. Opening with a section on growing methods, she includes information on soil preparation and propagation, traditional and alternative methods of harvesting herbs, uses of herbs in the home (from aromatherapy to wreaths), and a short section on landscape design with herbs. More than half of Gardner's book is devoted to 75 herb portraits, each focusing on one herb (or in a few cases a wildflower or shrub) that the author has found useful. In her culinary-inspired work, Saville (coauthor of Herbs: A Country Garden Cookbook of Collins Pub. San Francisco, 1995) examines unusual herbs. After providing readers with a short chapter on growing herbs, she moves right into an up-close and personal look at 60 uncommon herbs, with a soupon of history and folklore, scientific and common names, growing instructions, culinary uses, and even recipes. While Gardner covers a broader range of topicseverything from crafts to building your own drying racksSaville prefers to concentrate solely on the growing and culinary usage of herbs. Gardner's charm and commonsense approach will appeal to the herb neophyte, while Saville's poetic and lyrical writing style will inspire the adventurous gardener/cook looking for new ideas and unusual varieties of herbs to try out.John Charles, Scottsdale P.L, Ariz.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881503593
  • Publisher: Countryman Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/17/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jo Ann Gardner has been growing, preserving, and baking with small fruit for over forty years. She and her husband, Jigs, operated a small hand/horsepowered farm on a remote peninsula on Cape Breton Island, Canada, which inspired books, articles, and lectures beginning in 1978. Together they wrote
Gardens of Use and Delight, describing how they transformed a bare farm into a lush landscape using simple methods. Jo Ann and Jigs now live in Westport,
New York, in the Champlain Valley where they have established a small farm with extensive gardens.

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