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113 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful gardens that look good, do good and taste good!!!
Rosalind Creasy is an amazing landscape designer who really shows how to create amazing landscapes with edible plants that look ornamental, provide a wonderful ecosystem and provide plentiful food. She is a very talented photographer and most of the photos in her book are the ones she took and often in her own edible front yard in Los Altos california where she has been...
Published on October 12, 2010 by FabCook

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327 of 368 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars See it in person before buying
I love Amazon. I say this without reservation. I buy all kinds of things here, including many books, but occasionally I run into a situation when I wish I'd seen the book in person at a bookstore before pulling out my credit card...because I might not have decided to shell out 25 bucks in that case. An example of a book I wish I'd seen in person is Rosalind Creasy's...
Published on February 20, 2011 by veratrine


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113 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful gardens that look good, do good and taste good!!!, October 12, 2010
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
Rosalind Creasy is an amazing landscape designer who really shows how to create amazing landscapes with edible plants that look ornamental, provide a wonderful ecosystem and provide plentiful food. She is a very talented photographer and most of the photos in her book are the ones she took and often in her own edible front yard in Los Altos california where she has been growing edibles for over 25 yrs. This is the bible if you want to really enjoy the fruits of your effort in the garden. It is not just a cottagey informal garden you can create but edible plants will work even in formal landscapes. Be inspired to break free from the confines of tucked away out of sight backyard veggie garden!! This is the garden book to get for your foodie friends. The book covers it all- trees, vines, companion planting, herbs, flowers, shrubs. Best of all, it gives very specific advice on the landscape aspect of it --> How to keep that hedge of variegated basil looking nice, when to harvest your produce and how to (Lettuce and chard is one leaf at a time from each plant) to keep your garden looking good. What plants do better in containers. How to use, color and form and line to make your garden visually stunning.
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327 of 368 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars See it in person before buying, February 20, 2011
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
I love Amazon. I say this without reservation. I buy all kinds of things here, including many books, but occasionally I run into a situation when I wish I'd seen the book in person at a bookstore before pulling out my credit card...because I might not have decided to shell out 25 bucks in that case. An example of a book I wish I'd seen in person is Rosalind Creasy's Edible Landscaping. It has some beautiful pictures both from Rosalind's garden and from the gardens of others, but not as many as I had hoped for. Overall, however, they are the highlight of the book.

Unfortunately, since there are proportionately fewer pictures than I hoped for, there is also proportionately more text, and the text is not as helpful as it could be. (I find that the text is frequently the weak point of gardening books in general, and perhaps of garden design books in particular.) In the case of Edible Landscaping we have the following observations as samples (and I did not have to read closely to pick these out):
"Climate has a huge effect on your landscape."
"Paved paths are a necessity if you want to keep your feet clean and dry as you move from one part of the yard to another."
"A retaining wall holds back the soil on a hillside or slope."
"Certain plants or interesting structures and decorative gates or pottery are intended to stand out in the landscape..."
"Form (shape) is the most obvious characteristic of plants."
"Texture describes the coarseness or fineness of a plant..."

The text is very environmentally conscious, which I certainly don't object to. But green advice is sometimes less scientific than other advice, as if the environmentalists' rejection of the products of the highly-scientific chemical industry prevents them from actually backing up their concerns with data. I find some of this tendency in Edible Landscaping. For instance:
"Although (rubber) is a recycled material, I don't think it should be used near edible plants because of possible toxins." Well...are there toxins, or aren't there? And will they leach into soil and be absorbed by plants or not?
"If your soil has been repeatedly treated with artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, no doubt it is deficient in microbial life." One of the suggested solution is adding mycorrhizae, but this is of debatable value. For instance, one extension article states: "At present, there is very limited, unbiased scientific evidence demonstrating that mycorrhizal inoculations of urban soils with commercial preparations make plant establishment more successful or that the inoculated plants grow better and remain healthier over time".

Edible Landscaping is just over 400 pages long; pages 184 and following are devoted to an `Encyclopedia', Appendices A and B (two lists of edible plants), Appendix C on planting and maintenance, and Appendix D on pests and disease, plus resources and an index. There's not much to say about the appendices, but truthfully, I'm not sure for whom most of the information in the Encyclopedia was written. Consider:
Broccoli: How to use: "Both broccoli and cauliflower are terrific raw in crudités platters..."
Lettuce: How to use: "Lettuce is the keystone of salads of all sorts."
Tomato: How to use: "Tomatoes need no introduction." Okay, thanks for giving us at least that much credit. But the entry goes on to mention that tomatoes can be eaten fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or pickled and they can then be used in salsa, soup, or pizza. If your conversations in restaurants sound like this, you may need this part of the book:
"Bubba, there's some red things on this plate...what do you think they are?"
"I dunno...there's some green things on mine, and I can't tell what they are, but I sure can tell you they're tasty."
I think the rest of us can manage without this advice.

Overall, this will not be a book I return to frequently or perhaps at all. I have stronger books both on gardening and on design. None of is perfect, but they offer more that is of use to me than "Edible Landscaping." So...why did I buy this book in the first place? Because of rave reviews from Garden Rant and the LA Times. Eh. I guess I'll be a little more careful next time.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeding Heart and Soul--and Belly, January 3, 2011
This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
I think I wore out the 1982 edition of Rosalind Creasy's Edible Landscaping, which revolutionized my thinking about garden design: Rhubarb as an accent in perennial beds? Tulips poking up through lettuce? Strawberries edging front walks? Why not? No reason, really, except that I had grown up, as most gardeners do, segregating food plants in the working garden and never imagining they had a place in the decorative garden, much less that the decorative garden could be edible.

While the original Edible Landscaping was inspiring; the new version goes all out. It's a gorgeous volume packed with lush photos that'll have your mouth watering and your fingers itching to re-design your entire garden. Whether you have space for a just few pots of edibles or you can rip out your lawn and plant an entire yard full of delicious and beautiful vegetables, fruits and herbs, Creasy's book shows the way.

After telling the story of how she ripped out her sterile front lawn and replaced it with a glorious and ever-changing landscape of edibles, Creasy guides readers through a short course in landscaping, followed by a complete encyclopedia of edible plants, from almonds to yams. Separate chapters detail how to design with herbs, vegetables, and fruits, berries, and nuts. There's even a chapter on designing for small spaces, as well as appendices covering container gardens, planting and maintenance, and strategies for dealing with pests and diseases. The book is chock-full of examples of edible landscapes on both coasts and in the Midwest, plus an abundance of color photos, providing a feast of visual information as well.

My one disappointment: Creasy gardens in coastal California, where pretty much every plant grows exuberantly (hence the state's terrible problem with introduced invasive plants, but that's another story). For those of us who garden in unfriendly climates, whether the summer heat of Texas, the serious extended droughts of the desert Southwest, or the severe cold of northern climates, the book may seem a mite optimistic.

Still, Creasy's writing and passion for landscaping that feeds heart, soul, and belly won't fail to inspire, and inspiration goes a long way to overcome difficult gardening conditions. Gardeners are after all, by nature believers in the great miracle of life, as Creasy points out:

"With all my heart, I believe that growing edibles is a connection to our vital being, hands in soil, planting seeds, marveling at how they grow, and glorying in that first juicy, sun-warmed fruit of the season. Although each step in the process is a ritual in itself, it is also part of the larger ritual of life. As Gandhi said, 'To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.'"

This new edition of Edible Landscaping is a must-read, a delicious call to re-envision our outdoor domestic spaces as both beautiful and bountiful.

by Susan J. Tweit
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth reading, November 4, 2010
By 
J. Henry (Reno, NV USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
I am a professional permaculture landscape designer and this book has been invaluable to me as a reference for edible landscaping. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to add edibles to their yard. It is an easy and beautiful way to get more from your yard!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures, but more please..., February 22, 2011
By 
J. Agee (Beaverton, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
I totally love the idea of edible landscaping and, in fact, purchased this book for ideas to fill in the space around our recently downsized lawn. However, I found there to be far too few pictures of the actual landscapes or drawings of the plans to help. The pictures that are there are beautiful and mouthwatering and make me long for spring weather, but are of little help in the planning stage. Also, almost all of the pictures are of cottage style gardens. Not much help for someone looking for a more clean, modern take on the garden. The information in the text I found to be a bit "well, duh", lots of talk about taking into account the various requirements of the plants, information that I could get from the seed packets. There is a relatively extensive section in the back listing edible plants and their various requirements for growth that I might use again for ideas on what to put in a specific spot. But after reading most ( not all because there is just far too much text in this book for me) I feel as though I am left not much farther from where I started in planning my new front yard garden.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, beautiful, good for all skill levels, November 12, 2010
By 
Deb Wiley (Des Moines, IA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
Rosalind Creasy's nummy new book, Edible Landscaping: Now You Can Have Your Gorgeous Garden and Eat It Too! is almost good enough to eat.

Ros coined the now-ubiquitous term "edible landscaping" in 1982 when she published her first book on the subject. Thirty years ago, putting swiss chard and tomatoes with the roses in a front yard was considered radical. Now even the White House is doing it.

Many of us are adding edibles to our yards for the first time. Ros gives valuable information for experienced gardeners and for beginners. In the chapter devoted to "Designing with Vegetables" she recommends starting small with a 9-foot by 3-foot pine tomato box. A friend of hers in Pennsylvania grew three tomatoes (Ros says there's room for 8 plants): a cherry, `Celebrity' and `Early Girl' that yielded 67.5 pounds in one season.

Luscious photographs show how veggies can be as gorgeous as flowers.You don't need a lot of space; pages 172-173 show the design for Ros' front-yard edible patio garden in California packed with sesame, edamame, basil, strawberries, peppers, and more. The patio holds nine permanent wine barrel containers and a few permanent beds with a blackberry vine, climbing rose, and annual vines and flowers. She changes the contents of other large decorative containers every year.

Common-sense design techniques pepper the book. For example, she mentions that many large homes have tiny garden beds that are out of scale with their surroundings.

Although it's a paperback, it's beautiful enough to put on your coffee table. As a reference book, it's invaluable.

Disclaimer: Ros is a friend and fellow member of the Garden Writers Association, but she did not ask me to write this, nor did I receive a review copy.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Worthwhile, November 17, 2010
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
A big, beautiful book filled with color photographs that demonstrate exactly what Ms. Creasy is talking about -- edible landscaping. If you live in a small suburban yard and are looking to expand your vegetable garden without offending your neighbors, this book will teach you exactly what you need to do. I can't wait till Spring so I can expand my veggie garden!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on edible landscaping, April 4, 2011
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
I'm a master gardener with a particular interest in edible landscaping. Creasy's is the third book on the subject I've acquired, and the best. All the basics are here, including preparing the soil and deciding what to grow and how to lay it out attractively, along with copious examples and illustrations, lessons learned from her personal experience, and additional print and Web resources for those who'd like to delve further into particular topics. There's something here for everyone, including techniques for small space gardening and growing edibles in pots on a balcony. Her plant encyclopedia is extremely detailed and helpful about the characteristics and requirements of the plants she recommends (to make her list, a plant must be both edible and beautiful). And the photographs and descriptions of her own garden projects are inspiring and made me want to get right out and start digging.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edible Landscaping, December 8, 2010
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
This book is beautifully written and illustrated and is the real deal for designing a practical, attractive, sustainable and ecologically sound landscape. Landscape designer as well as home gardeners will find this a valuable tool for hobby or profession in the field of residential gardening . The plant index is outstanding for educating everyone on the care of these pratical plants and trees . I have studied horticulture and landscaape design for 2 years and this book summarizes everything I studied and complements the plants I learned with edible choices in place of purely ornamental which for me are unworthy of my time and effort to raise. Edible plants can give beautiful ornamentation as well as nutrition .
Bottom line, I recommend this book for the hobby gardener , for the landscape designer and for all master gardeners.

Farmer Dan
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable Gourmet, August 27, 2011
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This review is from: Edible Landscaping (Paperback)
I am a senior citizen who has been tearing up the front yard, and combining food and flowers and shrubs since I moved here eight years ago.
I am very glad to have a book by Rosalind Creasy that is both beautiful, and based on organic gardening principles, as well as sound "how to garden" information.

To a hard core gardener, it is a real boon. This week, I harvested some fingerling potatos that I could not justify paying the market price for, combined in a roast with my home grown carrots, onions and parsnips, garlic, and herbs, I will have a feast!

Time those of us inclined, stop wasting valuable front yard space, and use our resources more wisely. This book will lead the way.
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Edible Landscaping
Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy (Paperback - November 1, 2010)
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