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Beginner's Illustrated Guide to Gardening: Techniques to Help You Get Started Paperback – February 13, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katie Elzer-Peters is a horticulturist who writes gardening books, blogs, and articles. A resident of Wilmington, North Carolina, she also teaches classes and runs workshops dedicated to gardening and garden writing. She has an MS degree in public garden management and has published several renowned books with Cool Springs Press.

www.thegardenofwords.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (February 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591865336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591865339
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This guide is completely straightforward and comprehensive without being jargon-y. When I first became a homeowner with a yard, I wanted to begin gardening and had no idea where to start. Every book and website I looked at explained things in terms I could not comprehend. It seemed so complicated to me that I abandoned the idea of ever having a flourishing garden. After reading this book, I feel like gardening is something I can totally do. It explains everything in a completely easy to understand way, and includes step-by-step tips that are easy to follow. It covers everything from trees to flowers to vegetables. The photos are also excellent, and there are a lot of them on every page. This book would be a great choice for anyone who wants to begin gardening, and it would also be a very nice housewarming gift.
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Format: Paperback
Katie Elzer-Peters is one of those dynamos of the gardening world who is so busy Getting Things Done that you may not have actually heard of her yet. But she's been working behind the scenes on so many projects - nursery newsletters, writing articles for sites too numerous to mention, and mentoring authors with Cool Springs Press - that even if you haven't seen Katie's name, you've almost certainly benefitted from her work.

And the special juice she brings to every project is her preternatural talent of simplifying the complex. So when I heard that her first published book was to be a guide for beginning gardeners, I could think of no better author for the topic. In The Beginner's Illustrated Guide to Gardening, Katie brings her talent to the fore with a simple, straightforward, relaxed guide to gardening.

This isn't a book that gardening geeks need. But how many of us have a friend who comes over, looks longingly at our attempts to grow things, and wishes they were the kind of person who could do that? Or a young person in our life who wants to start a few seeds on their patio, but hasn't ever really gardened before? This is exactly the kind of book I've wished I could give my friends and clients - warm, personal, and with a "you can totally do this!" kind of feel.

Yet it's not overly chatty, and the text is delightfully simple. It's got all the gardening tips that people like me have gathered over the years, yet aren't usually covered in books. Things like how to understand a fertilizer label, or why to buy plants that are in bud rather than in bloom. Katie demystifies these processes and gives readers the benefit of years of experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has just the right level of info to get anyone started on their own yard. Sun or shade, wet or dry, voles or moles, this is a great place to start. It has some plant recommendations, but not so many as to make the book overwhelming. The size of the book is not intimidating, either. Next time a new acquaintance says to me, "You studied horticulture? You should come and give me advice on my yard sometime," I think I will just buy them this book instead!

-Update-A horrible book to have sitting out where visitors can see it. I've 'lost' four copies from people borrowing it and not returning it. Now I hide my copy!
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Format: Paperback
The author has a degree in horticulture and many years of experience working in public gardens. Her knowledge and ability to teach others shines through on every page of this book. She is never preachy, just matter-of-fact with the information you need to know. For example, she doesn't tell you there is only one way to stake or cage your floppy plants. She gives you the pros and cons for each and suggestions for when one method might be better than the other.

The book's design and graphics are nothing short of brilliant. the good stuff begins right away in the "Introduction" and "What You Need" chapters that are full of colorful line drawings and photos explaining everything from the parts of plants, flowers, and seeds to which clippers are used for different tasks.

The next part is tabbed with red edges clearly explains to newbie gardeners how to navigate around a garden center, read a plant tag, understand seed packets, decipher a hardiness zone map, figure out fertilizer, and choose healthy plants. Again, I don't think I can stress this enough, the graphics are so gosh darn cool. After looking at these images and reading Katie's advice, an alien from outer space would understand how to garden on Earth.

The following chapters are all tabbed with a different color, making it quick and simple to get to the right part. Part Two is blue and covers gardening basics like seed starting and how to correctly water plants. Part Three is about lawn care and is appropriately tabbed in green. Part Four is purple and covers trees and shrubs; how to buy them, plant them, prune them, and fix tree and shrub problems. Part Five is yellow and about flowers, both annuals and perennials, sun plants and shade plants. Part Six is about vegetables and is carrot orange.
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Format: Paperback
When it comes to gardening books and coobooks, I prefer volumes with large color photographs. This fabulous gardening book delivers! With very simple guides this book motivates me to plan and work in my garden. This year I plan to grow more herbs and will use the book's tips to help me succeed. I've been gardening for years and notice that the technical text-heavy volumes just aren't used. This book makes me eager for planting season.
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