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Gardening with Heirloom Seeds: Tried-and-True Flowers, Fruits, and Vegetables for a New Generation Hardcover – June 19, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"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
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (June 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807830119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807830116
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,235,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Welcome to my Amazon page! I'm the author of Gardening with Heirloom Seeds (UNC Press) and 2 books in the spiritual genre: Mustard Seeds and Little Mercies (both published by B&H Books).

I write about gardening for HGTVGardens.com and often freelance for magazines and websites. Currently I'm working on a novel for middle-graders.

I love to hear from readers, so visit me at www.LynnCoulter.com. That's also where you'll find my blog--and occasional pictures of my loyal office assistants/rescue doggies, Miss Paws and Molly.





Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. Hester on July 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Vintage, antique, old-timey. Use your own choice of words to apply to collecting venerable items. Antique automobiles, vintage clothing, and heirloom seeds. All have their unique charm and attraction to certain aficionados.

Numerous authoritative books have been written about antique automobiles and vintage clothing to informally educate the reader in those subjects. Now, I'm pleased to see a book written that performs the same function for home gardeners.

My wife and I prize our ginger, brought from Hawaii in 1960 by her mother. Each fall its incredibly aromatic blooms transform our front entrance into a perfumery envied and enjoyed by all. While the ginger is a bulb rather than a seed, it is heirloom and extremely valuable to us.

Through the years, my wife and I have often stopped at old homesteads and gotten cuttings and seeds from their generous owners. These people, proud of their plants, many times have regaled us with the history of their unique plants.

Even so, I never really thought of documenting the history behind many of these rare finds that I wanted for their color, overall structure, or scent. Indeed, I had never considered many aspects of heirloom seeds, per se, until I read this wonderfully researched and informative book. I am very grateful that Lynn Coulter has taken the time and made the effort to document this information.

Most people today are familiar with Angel Trumpet (moonflower) vine, a night bloomer that is unique in its own right. But we have moonflower shrubs that came many years ago from an old homestead in Stamps, Arkansas. Their history can be traced back generations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. W. Evans on August 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that should be in everyone's collection. Not only does it tell you what you need to know about heirloom seeds it has some of the most beautiful and real pictures of flowers, fruits and vegetables. The section on where to find seeds is most helpful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tapirfrog on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish Amazon had warned me before I ordered this large print edition that it would not have the same production values as the original. University of North Carolina books are gorgeous -- they're beautifully laid out and exquisitely photographed. This large print version is not from UNC books, but is a reprint from ReadHowYouWant.com, and ... well, it's terrible.

The paper is inexpensive and rough enough that you can see other pages through the sheets.

The illustrations and photographs are bad black-and-white reproductions of color -- it looks like someone photocopied the photographs. You can't even really tell what most of the vegetables are supposed to be. They're just black blobs.

The layout is ghastly. Scattered throughout the pages are big squares that say "NOTES. This area was blank in the original book." Which means that you can't take notes on them (because they're filled up with the 'this area is blank' message) and they just remind you of the barfed-onto-the-page layout as compared to the original.

Why was this large print edition not advertised with the warning that it offers only 2/3 of what makes the book useful? The information is still there, yes, but the helpful layout, the note pages, and any representation of what the seeds will grow into are just gone.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Runkel on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
A must for anyone who cherishes the beauty and bounty of a garden. This book is well-written, meticulously researched, and beautifully photographed. The information and wisdom it provides on flower and vegetable varieties handed down through the generations are well worth any gardener's attention.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I got it for my mom the advid gardener who loves local/organic gardening. The pictures are beautiful and there is ample knowledge for the advanced gardener.
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