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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
As all urban gardeners know, in small spaces, every inch counts. This revised edition of former New York Times garden columnist Linda Yang's essential manual for urban gardeners shows how to create spectacular effects in even the most cramped city landscapes. Part horticulturist, part cheerleader, Yang suggests styles most city dwellers would never have thought possible, eschewing annuals for formal clipped hedges and woodlands. She also encourages readers to experiment and ignore admonitions that certain plants just can't thrive in the city. After all, any garden is a work in progress, and sometimes trial and error is the only way to go. (That advice applies to giving up, too -- Yang urges gardeners to be ruthless about getting rid of or moving plants that simply aren't working.)
City gardening -- and rooftop gardening in particular -- presents unique safety challenges. Instruction on keeping drainage clear and containers secure, as well as the reminder that roof leaks are almost inevitable, will help readers keep their gardens running smoothly and safely. High-rise-specific issues are also addressed, including tips on transporting large plants in the elevator and rigging up a hose to the kitchen faucet. For the lucky gardener with a yard, Yang provides ground cover lawn alternatives and warnings about getting soil tested for possible toxicity before planting edibles. Finally, the book offers vital information about the signs of pollution damage on plants and a rundown on garden pests that are indigenous to urban areas.
Yang's informative text is accompanied by photographs of sumptuous urban gardens (some including plans) and delicate line drawings of individual plants. Handy plant lists and a resource section round out this invaluable book. (Laura Wood)
Laura Wood is the Barnes & Noble.com Science & Nature editor.