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The garden primer
2008
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  Library Journal Review

Beginning gardeners can be overwhelmed by the vast amount of printed information available. Damrosch offers a comprehensive book for the new gardener that clearly explains the basics of garden planning, plant care, and equipment. Detailed chapters on the different categories of plants--annuals, perennials, vegetables, fruits, lawns, shrubs, roses, vines, trees, wildflowers, and even house plants--give general advice on how to use and care for these varieties. A valuable book for public libraries.-- Peter C. Leonard, Mt. Lebanon P.L., Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

This comprehensive compendium of gardening facts, helpful hints and earthy advice is an unusually readable, user-friendly gardening encyclopedia. The book's first section covers the basics of what a gardener needs to get started: principles of landscape design, "What Plants Need," gardening gear and how to buy plants. Damrosch, who aims to "answer as many questions about gardening as possible," gives more than the standard instructions for making compost and buying pruning tools; she includes details like parts of plants and a comprehensive guide to botanical names that give beginning gardeners an unusually sophisticated and scientific footing. Her intimate, up-to-date, down-to-earth writing is distinctly rooted in the garden, with humor born of experience: "A garden hose is like a lover that you can't live with and can't live without. No scientific advance, to my knowledge, has yet tamed its willful nature." With sections on annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, fruits, bulbs, lawns, trees and even houseplants, to name a few, and with specifics for individual plants in each section, this book will be a useful addition to the collections of seasoned gardeners as well as novices. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
The most comprehensive, entertaining, down-to-earth one-volume gardening reference ever, and highly praised:<br> <br> "Barbara Damrosch delivers the goods."-- Chicago Tribune <br> "Best of the crop."-- House Beautiful <br> "Barbara Damrosch's writing has the snap of a good snowpea and the spice of an old rose."-- The Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer <br> "Covers just about everything you could think of and then some." -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution <br> "An extraordinarily comprehensive guide." -- The San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle <br> "Takes your soaring visions of garden splendor and plants them firmly in the ground."-- The Toronto Star <br> <br> Now the beloved classic is revised front-to-back. The new edition has gone 100% organic, which in Barbara Damrosch's hands also means completely accessible. It reflects the latest research on plants, soils, tools, and techniques. There is updated and expanded information on planning a garden, recommended plants, and best tools. Ecological issues are addressed much more extensively, covering lawn alternatives, the benefits of native species, wildlife-friendly gardens, and how to avoid harmful invasive species. More attention is paid to plants appropriate to the South, Southwest, and West Coast, while cold-climate gardeners are given detailed advice on how to extend the growing season. Simply put, the book is a richer and fuller compendium than ever before, with more text, more illustrations and garden plans, expanded plant lists, and gardener's resources. But Barbara Damrosch's core of practical, creative ideas and friendly style remain--she is still an "old-fashioned dirt gardener" at heart.
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