Starting off with ultrabasics, like "how do I get my plants to live rather than die?" Gardening for Dummies
is a terrific textbook for the novice gardener. Explanations are laid out simply, and all terms are defined as soon as they are first used--if you've never grown so much as a houseplant, this is the book to get you started. Emphasis is on choosing proper plants for your zone (it's OK--the color map will show you which zone you're in) that are fairly low-maintenance and high-success. Large sections on both seeds and bedding plants will give you lots of options and specific instructions for getting good results--seeds, especially, are treated as persnickety little critters that require some extra effort in exchange for low cost and large variety. The big downside to this book is its lack of pictures. There are lots of line drawings, but they tend to show particular stages of a process, rather than each step. Color photos are limited to two sections, and most of them are close-ups of various plants. While it's nice to see what the bark of a paperbark maple looks like, it doesn't particularly add to the value of the book. For folks who learn best with straightforward reading, the sections on mulching, pruning, soil preparation, and tool choices are all extremely helpful. With bullet-point lists, icons for highlighting categories like ecofriendly or time-saving, and simple tables and charts, how-to photos aren't essential, but if pictorial aids are what you need for learning, look elsewhere. --Jill Lightner
From Library Journal
This book has much to recommend it, in spite of the title. It is a simple, well-laid-out introduction to basic gardening by the editor-in-chief of National Gardening magazine and editors of the National Gardening Association. Its light tone is clearly aimed at novice gardeners. Snappy headings, the use of icons (as symbols are called nowadays), checklists, and diagrams make the book appealing for beginners. Gardeners with some experience might prefer a more substantial and better-illustrated introduction such as the one provided in Burpee Complete Gardener: A Comprehensive, Up-to-Date, Fully Illustrated Reference for Gardeners at All Levels (LJ 2/15/96). This volume is even more up to date, including good lists of mail-order suppliers and further readings and information about on-line resources. Recommended for public libraries.?Daniel Starr, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.