Most helpful positive review
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
A fantastic update
on February 26, 2010
I love Sunset Magazine and was excited when I found out about this book. I own Sunset's "The Edible Garden" (2005), which is my favorite gardening book. As I suspected, Sunset's "Western Garden Book of Edibles" (2010) is an updated version of the prior book. It has 304 pages, as opposed to the 194 of the earlier book. Recent readers of Sunset Magazine will recognize some of the pictures in the new book.
I think this book is very useful. It is just beautiful to look at as well, which is important to me. I love their comprehensive climate zone information; all 32 zones! The book is also full of inspiration, especially for gardeners with challenges, like apartment dwellers. The majority of the book consists of individual listings of plants in six categories: vegetables, herbs, berries, fruits, nuts, and tropicals. Each individual listing tells you what zone the plant works in, how much sun and water it needs, information about how to eat it, information about different varieties of the plant, and specifics on how to grow it. The specifics on how to grow beets, for example, list sections on the best site, yield, soil, planting, spacing, water, fertilizer, harvest, and challenges (such as bugs).
The section on garden design discusses issues like color, texture, & form, balance & repetition, focal points, relating to architecture, arbors & trellises, paths, raised beds (including building instructions), containers, and space-saving garden plans. The practical guide section is a step-by-step guide to just about everything else a new or moderately experienced gardener would want to know. It is meant to be an overview covering the basics in a few pages for each topic.
Overall, this would be a great book for newbies. This is our family's third season gardening in a community plot and it is the perfect book for us.