From Publishers Weekly
For anyone who loved Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles, Sandbeck's terrific guide to "nontoxic" home care and gardening, this guide to organic gardening will seem the perfect follow-up. A Duluth, Minn. based landscape gardener, Sandbeck remains just as thoughtfully practical about sustainable practices as ever, but browsers who pick up this book (or Thistles) for the first time will be struck foremost with its beautiful design (Sandbeck is also a graphic designer), which strikes an uncanny balance between archaic and modern elements. The fonts recall late 19th century pre-Raphaelite floridity without being florid, while the silhouette-style illustrations and icons used throughout are less decorative than integral to explaining techniques and even gardening postures. Chapters on soil health, balance in design, knowledge of differing plant needs, tools and pests ("Learning from Your Enemies") are concise and commonsensical, while those on "Gardening as Exercise" and "The Meditative Gardener" cover physical and spiritual ground directly, and without goading or sentimentality. Sandbeck offers just the right amounts of encouragement, healthy skepticism and experience; this book will be a favorite of experienced gardeners and novices alike.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Dispensing organic and original gardening advice with wit and wisdom, Sandbeck walks novice and knowledgeable gardeners alike through those philosophies and practices that have earned her the title Queen of Nontoxic Know-how. From creative composting to prudent pruning, Sandbeck's approach to garden bliss stresses fun over fuss, success over stress, and victory over vermin, all without the use of products or procedures that will harm the environment. Hers is a garden where harmony can be produced without herbicides and where a modicum of patience is preferable to a dose of pesticides. Covering topics as diverse as rototilling and rodent removal, Sandbeck presents her logical, commonsense recommendations with self-deprecating humor in a comprehensive how-to guide as entertaining as it is informative. Whether recycling cooking water to quench thirsty plants or cooking hot pepper spray to deter rampant rabbits, Sandbeck relies upon readily available materials and ecologically sound strategies in her organic gardening pursuits. Arcane facts blend with feasible advice in this delightful discourse on natural and nurturing gardening. Carol Haggas
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