Bonnie Poquette, Appleton Public Library, WI
Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening: Your Seasonal Companion to Creating a Beautiful and Delicious Gardenby Maria Rodale
Maria Rodale, the third generation of the family that originated the organic gardening movement in the United States, has written a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to designing and planting an organic garden that is both beautiful and productive. Conveniently divided by season, the book includes delicious recipes. 600 full-color photos and 50 color illustrations.
Bonnie Poquette, Appleton Public Library, WI
Maria Rodale, granddaughter of J. I. Rodale, who founded the organic gardening movement in the United States, has written a book that is firmly in the latter category. Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening, is like opening up your favorite magazine and telling people, "This is the best issue ever written." It isn't that she selects these particular words (although she does), or that she has an eloquent style of writing (actually, her style is rather conversational). What is at the heart of her book is that she is able to evoke a feeling that makes you want to finish the book, get some organic soil and seeds, and start gardening at once.
Rodale has divided her book by season, each section discussing pertinent organic gardening issues. Beginning with winter, she encourages you to dream about the garden you really want. But before your imagination takes you too far, she offers an amusing little quiz to check for Peer Pressure in Suburbia symptoms. (Do you "hold up" your newly planted trees with cords? Do you maintain your front yard lawn so you can match your neighbor's? Peer pressure victims beware!) Rodale also includes landscaping techniques to keep your house warm during winter months and cool during summer months. As she does in each seasonal section, she concludes with a calendar of suggested "planting," "harvesting," "pruning," "doing," and "preparing" for each of the winter months.
From ways to naturally fertilize your plants to a top ten list of essential tools (her number one choice is the Japanese weeding knife), Rodale's spring section is filled with helpful tips. Her Q&A with Cyane Gresham, a compost expert at the Rodale Institute, provides unparalleled information about composting how to do it effectively, what you can and cannot include in a compost pile (feel free to throw in head hair but no meat or bread), and how to make your compost more beautiful. Rodale also includes magazine-like articles throughout the book. "Power Tools and the Problem with America," for example, is a funny yet informative discussion of the ridiculous expense, wastefulness, and laziness associated with power tools. Rodale addresses the subject with winning honesty, admitting that though she couldn't live without her laptop computer or compact disc player, she can live without the 90 million gasoline-powered garden tools in the United States that account for 6.8 tons of pollution.
If nothing else, Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening, will help you enjoy the outdoors in a new way. In the summer section, she shows you how to enhance the wonderful things all around you. For instance, if you want to attract adult butterflies to your home, Rodale suggests some plants among them azaleas, hibiscus, and violets that will do the trick. She debunks the magazine myth that the beautiful cushions on your furniture outside will stay beautiful. The only way to maintain this look, she explains, is to bring the cushions indoors after each use. And, to satisfy the many organic gardeners who grow their own food, she includes some delicious recipes, as she does in the other sections, among them bruschetta and tomato sauce.
Rodale concludes her book with the fall the perfect time of year, she says, to visit public and private gardens because of the fresh, crisp air. Fall is also an ideal time to plant trees. Besides being cheaper than in the spring, many perennials do better if planted in the fall. Rodale includes a list of ways to enjoy the season watch the leaves fall, plant bulbs to reiterate your faith in the coming of spring, and be thankful for the gifts of nature.
The richly photographed Maria Rodale's Organic Gardening, proves that organic gardening is a soul-satisfying activity. Rodale's in-depth interviews with gardening experts, insider tips for creating magic in your own garden, and breezy, amusing writing style are certain to convince readers of the enchanting power of organic gardens.
Soozan Baxter, barnesandnoble.com
- Rodale Press, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.81(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.13(d)
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