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Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden Paperback – August 7, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For those gardeners who, like me, are always searching for something a bit out of the ordinary for both their gardens and their tummies, this book is a gem."
—Rita Pelczar, American Gardener, July/August 2004


“This book is ideal for teaching and discussion.  I can find no weaknesses in it.”



"If only I’d found Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden sooner!”

Book Description

Though names like jujube, juneberry, maypop, and shipova may seem exotic, these fruits offer ample rewards to the gardener willing to go only slightly off the beaten path at local nurseries. They are reliable even in the toughest garden situations, cold-hardy, and pest- and disease-resistant. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (August 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881929441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881929447
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard Frost on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a very well written book. There are 23 chapters, each devoted to a single fruit or berry -- all of which are considered "lesser known" to at least the American gardening culture. The chapters all contain a lot of information on lore, characteristics, planting, culture, propogation, and harvest.

What is missing are: listings of particular cultivars that do well in certain regions of the country, certain microclimates, etc. Further, little attention is paid to climate in general with the exception of a few references to USDA zones.

Still, I recommend this book to you with the caution: find out (from a grower or a high-quality nursery in your area) which cultivars are known to work in your area. Consider a line drawn from Monterey CA to Jacksonville FL. For those living above this line, the only real concern is which varieties taste better. For those living below this line, you have the additional question of which varieties will bear fruit and actually survive.
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Format: Hardcover
Lee Reich has complied a wonderful, detailed listing of "the fruits less planted". His style is very readable and the photos and illustrations compliment the written material very well. Detailed information on plant descriptions, cultivation, propagation and recommended cultivars. His vivid plant descriptions are enough to make your mouth water, and he has purposely focused on fruits that are relatively low maintenance and disease free. Plants also vary in size, so there are options for those who use containers to those who have room for full grown trees. I enjoyed the book very much, and look forward to adding many of these plants to our homestead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, I thought this book was excellent and contains great information on the uncommon fruits. Specific pruning recommendations for each plant are great because this info is hard to find elsewhere. I'm not giving this book 5 stars because the start of each chapter does not list the zone and size of the described plants. If this information was included, it would be much faster for me to determine which plants I could use without having to scan the chapter or search online.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book a few years ago. It is fun to read, very informative, nicely illustrated. Both my wife and me are still frequently use it and recommend it to other growers. We now have 16 of 23 fruits described in the book. Even for the fruits we knew about we learned a lot of interesting.
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After reading Mr. Reich's other book (Landscaping With Fruit), i got pretty excited about trying to grow a few of the plants it discussed. However, the 2-3 page description of each was only enough to get me interested, and not enough to guide the actual selection and maintenance of the plants.

To address that problem, i got this book. It contains a subset of the fruits listed in the other book, ignoring the more common plants and instead focusing on the ones for which a gardener might be hard-pressed to find reliable information. (For example: even the edible plants expert at my local nursery had no idea juneberries were edible.)

Each chapter focuses on a specific plant, and provides a thorough overview. Everything from the history to the plant, its growing habits, cultivation techniques, soil and sun preferences, and so on are listed. For the more baffling fruits (pawpaw, medlar, etc) there are even tips on how to get to the edible parts of the fruit. A center section has 50-odd color pictures of the plants and the fruits.

What keeps the book from being perfect is that Mr. Reich has way too much information in some places, and way too little in others. In several of the chapters, there's a protracted discussion of how breeders might want to try to modify the plant to get better, hardier, or tastier fruits. I doubt many backyard gardeners have the sort of time, energy, space, money, and resources to engage in a selective breeding program. Likewise, i doubt anyone planning to engage in a selective breeding program needs a book as general as this. In other chapters, Mr. Reich wastes hundreds of words saying what a few sketches could have shown.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Reich's book is a great source of inspiration to those who want to do something different in the spaces that God has given them care over. Did you even want a hedge that you can bake a pie from? Would you like to grow a Chinese date in your side yard? Do you want to surprise your neighbors with fruits that they have never heard of? This is the book for you. Buy a copy of this book today and replace that Bradford Pear tree that blew down with a useful, beautiful fruit tree that will put a smile on everyone's face. You might also want to look into Lee's brand new book "Landscaping with Fruit"
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Note that this is a later version of " Uncommon Fruits Worthy of Attention: A Gardener's Guide". Content has been expanded to cover more fruit species. This still mostly covers only fruits that can be grown in US gardens with 4 seasons in zones less than 9. Lacks coverage of fruit species that can be grown in Mediterranean climate of CA or the desert areas of SW.
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