``Small is better'' is poet and environmentalist Fawcett's philosophy and experience of gardening. For those with both limited time and space, he provides practical suggestions for making the most of their property. Information on soil improvement, using microclimates, learning from neighbors, coping with urban vandals, and dealing with condo boards, will all be useful to the city or suburban gardener. Garden design is not emphasized, and since Fawcett's experience is mainly in British Columbia, not all of it will be applicable to the United States. For these reasons, Linda Yang's City Gardener's Handbook ( LJ 4/15/90) is the first choice for most American libraries, but The Compact Garden will be a useful addition, especially in urban areas.-- Molly Newling, Pis cataway P.L., N.J.