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Sugar Snaps and Strawberries: Simple Solutions for Creating Your Own Small-Space Edible Garden Paperback – January 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A movement to embrace home-grown edibles, whether propelled by economics or the hope for sustainability, is taking shape around us, writes Bellamy, setting the stage for a thorough introduction to the basics of creating a small-space garden, in which beauty combines with functionality. Bellamy offers design tips as she discusses assessing space and common site problems (e.g., poor drainage); preparing containers, raised beds, and soil; sowing; growing; maintaining plant health; pruning; and harvesting. Highlighted are edibles from apples to zucchini, with details for the cultivation and enjoyment of each fruit and vegetable, including useful growing tips and information on the most popular varieties. Of particular inspiration are Bellamy’s suggestions for veggie patches on balconies, patios, and the tiniest of city plots. Many full-page color photographs by Jackie Connelly complete this yummy and useful presentation. --Whitney Scott


“An inspiring book for those with a can-do spirit but not much gardening space.”
(Life on the Balcony blog)

"A stylish yet substantial introduction to growing edibles in small spaces."

(Portland Monthly)

“A great book for beginners and for those of us who need winter eye candy.”
(Red Dirt Ramblings)

“Inspiration…for veggie patches on balconies, patios, and the tiniest of city plots…complete this yummy and useful presentation.”

“A marvelous book that's entertaining, extremely useful, and lovely. I recommend it highly.” 

(Garden Rant)

“An invaluable resource for aspiring greenthumbed terrace farmers.”

(The Source Weekly)

“I’d recommend it to any new gardener of edibles, particularly one who has limited or no access to a plot of earth she can call her own.”
(Digging blog)

“Full of wisdom and practical advice…stands apart for its tone, which is both gentle and practical, and its many fascinating sidebars and offshoots. Easy to flip through and find something fun to read in a hurry.”
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“Particularly useful to those urban/suburban homes with very limited space.”
(Sustainable Horticulture)

“Full of smart ideas for how to deal with a seemingly impossible growing situation.”


“A fine piece of informational, inspiring and winning work.”
(Library Journal)

"Creative and fresh."

Beautiful, down-to-earth, completely enticing.
(Skippy's Vegetable Garden)

A nice book for a new gardener or an old one - to sift thorough as we wait for the gardening season.

Bright, cheerful, and motivating…you will wonder why anyone would ever hesitate to grow a few edibles even if they have only a fire escape or deck.
(Portland Mercury)

Whether you've got a porch or just a windowsill, Heavy Petal blogger Andrea Bellamy has you covered—her Sugar Snaps and Strawberries is an accessible, comprehensive guide to small-space gardening.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604691247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604691245
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrea Bellamy is the creator of Heavy Petal (, a blog devoted to urban organic gardening. She has a certificate in garden design from the University of British Columbia and studied permaculture methods for food production at an urban micro-farm. She has been gardening since childhood and has grown food on rooftops, balconies, boulevards, and patios, and in community garden beds, window boxes, traffic circles, and front and backyards.

She combined her love of writing and gardening when she began writing features for home and garden publications. After a stint as assistant editor at a Vancouver-based gardening magazine, she launched Heavy Petal to answer the need for a gardening blog that spoke to a new generation of gardeners. The site has been featured in Canadian Gardening and Sunset magazines and has been noted by online tastemakers Apartment Therapy, Treehugger, Design*Sponge, and Decor8.

Andrea is involved in community garden advocacy and community-based food security. On her own small third-floor balcony, she grows a wide range of edibles including tomatoes, potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and saffron crocuses. She is an active guerrilla gardener and a proud steward of a plot in her local community garden. She lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and daughter.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fern Richardson on December 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am so excited to review and highly recommend blogger Andrea Bellamy's debut book: Sugar Snaps and Strawberries. Andrea-who can be found at one of my favorite gardening blogs, an inspiring book for those with a can-do spirit but not much gardening space.

One of my favorite parts of garden books are the pictures, and Sugar Snaps and Strawberries does not disappoint! The photos are beautiful, and inspiring, but they're also real, and attainable. You look at them and think "I can do this!" Another visually appealing aspect of this book is the overall design, it looks like a crafty person's scrapbook and makes the book feel very approachable.

The next thing on my list of requirements for a gardening book is actionable information that I can implement right away. Even though I've been gardening in one form or another for close to twenty years, I felt refreshed and re-inspired by Andrea's advice. I really appreciated the sidebars sprinkled throughout the book with quick "hey, try this" sort of tips. For example, on page 19, Andrea made a list of easy-to-digest info on making an edible garden beautiful, with ideas like "Aim for a variety of leaf shapes in your planting. Contrast crinkly leafed chard with fern like carrots and large leafed squashes with tall, slim straps of leeks."

Andrea really does a great job of holding your hand as you create your vegetable garden, but respects you enough to point you towards a vegetable garden that is just as pretty as any flower bed. Someone who has never gardened before can pick this book up, follow Andrea's advice, and be very successful. And those of us who have grown a tomato or two in our lives will find plenty of great ideas and advice to keep us flipping to the next page.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Terry Quast on March 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a new but aspiring gardener this book was by far the best tool I could have dreamed of. Although I got my copy from my local book store I was pleased by the amount of information on combining plants for optimal space, the suggestions and tips for deck gardening. There are fantastic photos, step by step instructions on things from mulching, to composing, to building a raised bed, and saving seeds at the end of the year. If you are looking for a great book on starting your first garden this is the book for you!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrea on May 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Fantastic gardening book from the beautiful, bright, colorful photos to the easy to read text. A great read in itself, regardless of your current gardening style you will learn something from this book. I always gardened with my parents and have had my own garden for about 3 years and I definitely learned quite a bit. I highly recommend this book for beginner to intermediate gardeners, the info is complete and an easy to read. It's as if your next door neighbor or best friend was explaining gardening to you, in plain English and answering all your questions before you even have to ask. My favorite part was in the back where she lists all the common garden edibles and a thorough review of how, when, where to plant them, including notes on "companion planting" and specific varieties she recommends. Loved this book, learned a lot. The gorgeous photos are so inspiring. I have already implemented many of the new techniques she mentioned with great success. Two green thumbs up :)
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Format: Paperback
If you have limited space for gardening, you'll definitely appreciate this gem of a book. Whether you plan on having a rooftop garden, setting up a few pots on your patio, or even attempting a few pots in your home, this book will provide you the basics and add a lot of incentive to the mix. Simply browsing the pages is a visual delight and will make you want to dive in and immediately research the fruits and vegetables you'll want to grace your table as well as beatify your minimal "landscape." Even captions to photographs provide informative vignettes.

For example, there is a partial photograph of a raised bed that is domed by some chicken wire. The caption reads, "Dissuade larger pest such as cats from digging in newly cultivated beds by covering them with chicken wire or by keeping exposed soil frequently watered--they seem to prefer digging in dry beds." Believe me, in the past there has been no love lost between me and my neighbor's cat.

This book, which is conversational in nature, will especially appeal to the beginning gardener. The first chapter will help you explore you "garden style." One might find beauty and utility in a weathered gallon can of crushed tomatoes or might be interested in tucking red cabbage along the edges of an ornamental garden. Bellamy lays out several considerations you'll have to keep in mind when you design your "edible garden." For example you might want to think about a "few key design principles [that] can help you create a gorgeous edible garden." No, they aren't laid out in detail, but rather are tossed out for you to think about. After all, only you know what you have to work with and what appeals to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matt SamyciaWood on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
So many times you are left mid-growing season scratching your head wondering what happened to your vegetables. So anxious to get planting there's often little thought to such details as what to plant where, what soil to use, how to optimize your soil, deal with pests and keep your food edible (i.e. no chemicals). But who wants to read a boring textbook on gardening when the sun is shining and your empty garden is beaconing, "Plant me!"? Enter Sugar Snaps and Strawberries. Written in plain language in an engaging, fun and light voice, this book is a fantastic guide and terrific reference to getting gardening right. So much so that you might find yourself glued to the pages and putting off your crops until you reach the last page! Follow even some of the advice in here and you'll be guaranteed to get better yields, and do more eating of the food you grow. When you have limited space, as Andrea suggests, maximizing what you plant can still be very rewarding. Even if you have more room, everything still applies.

Full of wisdom and gorgeous photos, and packaged in an attractive design, this book is worth every penny. Actually, come to think of it, for the cost of a bag of Farmer's Market veggies, this is the best investment you will make in your garden and your future food supply.
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