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Notes From The Garden: Reflections And Observations Of An Organic Gardener

A hands-on gardener, Henry Homeyer gives practical advice on how to garden -- whether building a hot box, transplanting peonies, defeating the deer, planting ginseng, growing ladyslipper orchids and shiitake mushrooms, or keeping the birds out of the berry bushes. Each month covers a range of topics relevant to the season: starting seedlings, edging and mulching, gardening with children, getting rid of invasive plants, pruning, putting the garden to bed, growing houseplants. His 72 short reflections and observations will interest amateur, dedicated, and armchair gardeners alike, especially those living in zones 3-5, the climatic belt that includes New England and runs across southern Canada and west to the Rockies. Homeyer grew up in the 1950s learning about organic gardening from a grandfather who used manure tea and compost, not 10-10-10, herbicides, and DDT. For him, organic gardening is not a political position, but a commonsense approach to having the best soil and the healthiest plants. An unusual feature is Homeyer's interviews with other gardeners. Meet Joe Mooney, the aging wizard of turf at Fenway Park. Spend an afternoon in the garden with Jamaica Kincaid. Learn more about the White House gardens from chief horticulturist Dale Haney. Or marvel at Marguerite Tewksbury, an 85-year-old organic gardener who single-handedly runs a farm stand, drives her 1950 Ford Ferguson tractor, and weeds her 6,000-square-foot vegetable patch with a full-sized rototiller.

Hardcover: 264 pages

Publisher: UPNE (June 1, 2002)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1584651091

ISBN-13: 978-1584651093

Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Best Sellers Rank: #4,103,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #97 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Region > New England #864 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Essays #1999 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > By Technique > Organic

It is a tricky thing to adapt columns written with a particular region in mind into a book with a national audience -- a special trick, perhaps, when a kind of gardening calendar is retained to organize the text. Henry Homeyer's practical "reflections and observations" may seem most germane to gardeners in New England, but if you know enough to place his experience in your own climate, you will find plenty to interest you.What I like best about this book are the pieces that transcend zones entirely, such as a report of his visit to White House gardens and his interview with Jamaica Kincaid. Discreet illustrations (block prints, a few black and white photos, and a few drawings) add to the text. And there is an excellent index, something which alas can no longer be taken for granted in gardening books.Despite my misgivings about how serviceable some of these essays are beyond New England, Henry Homeyer's plain and personal prose reminded me of the great American garden writer, Henry Mitchell. I think Mitchell would not be unhappy to find this book on a shelf alongside his own.

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