From Publishers Weekly
Coulter sets out to provide readers with "a sampler for heirloom seeds" to learn about and grow. Each of her four chapters focuses on a single season, with an informative essay on its tasks and pleasures and descriptions of heirloom garden plants, including an overview, recommended varieties and helpful growing tips. While the listings are far from exhaustive, they include a wide enough range of edible and ornamental plants to populate a large and varied garden. They also provide well-researched, lively descriptions, including fascinating facts about common plants and their uses throughout history. For example, readers will be delighted to learn that the green paint used to illustrate medieval manuscripts was made from spinach, and that carbon dating has placed the pea as far back as 9750 B.C. This makes Coulter's book an ideal armchair companion to seed catalogues—an extremely popular genre in their own right. Coulter's organization does violate some conventions: vegetables are intermingled with flowers, and annuals are not clearly distinguished from perennials. Still, her stylish, interesting text, an exhaustive listing of sources for heirloom seeds and numerous color and b&w illustrations make this a welcome addition to every gardener's bookshelf. (June)
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"A fine gardening book that takes a beautiful, fresh look at a subject of great interest in the past decade." -- Charlotte Observer, July 15, 2006
"Suitable for both the novice and the experienced gardener." -- Library Journal, March 2006
"This pleasant book leads us cheerfully and invitingly through the seasons, sowing and growing heirloom plants." -- American Gardener, Nov-Dec 2006
"[Gardening with Heirloom Seeds] is a detailed delight." -- Southeast Gardening with L.A. Jackson