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The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping: Home Landscaping with Food-Bearing Plants and Resource-Saving Techniques Paperback – June 12, 1982

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Knowledge, appealing text... [and] glowing illustrations should make readers confirmed believers in the benefits of homegrown foods... This is an unusually rewarding how-to, full of practical advice for beginning and experienced gardeners."
----- Publishers Weekly -- Review

From the Inside Flap

This hefty, feature-packed book shows how you can create beauty around your home, grow delicious healthful produce, and save money and natural resources all at the same time -- by landscaping with edible plants.  Includes a 160-page Encyclopedia of Edibles with horticultural information, landscaping and culinary uses, sources and recipes.

This timely new concept in home landscaping incorporates energy, water and soil-saving techniques with specific designs for all geographic/climatic regions of the country.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sierra Club Books Publication
  • Paperback: 394 pages
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (June 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871562782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871562784
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I love this book. I'm not a professional gardener, just a homeowner with a passion for gardening, and an interest in more sustainable and environmentally inclined gardening ideas and techniques. I believe this book has information that would be of benefit to almost any level of gardener. The author covers every aspect of gardening and landscape design in a very in thorough manner that is as informative as it is easy to read. For those who want to delve into related subjects she makes suggestions for additional reading that I found very helpful. Her encyclopedia of plants is extensive. The astounding list of plant and seed suppliers she has compiled is a great benefit. If there be any fault in the book, it is that it is somewhat dated with the most recent edition being 1982. Her coverage of drip irrigation reflects this. Otherwise it is superb book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a couple of minor criticisms about this book, so let me begin with those. Firstly, it is showing its age. It makes frequent reference in the early chapters to the water shortages and environmental disasters that were widely expected to occur by the end of the century. As you know by now, those never really materialised. There is still plenty of reason to be concerned about the way American society (mis)uses resources, but the threat is neither as immediate or as dire as the author makes out.
Secondly, in the suggestions on building planters, and retaining walls, the author fails to note the potential dangers of CCA treated lumber (now being phased out) and railroad ties treated with creosote.
Lastly, more color illustrations would have been nice. Those that are there are very good. The b&w drawings are nice, but not as good as photos.
Those criticisms out of the way, the book is excellent. The first few chapters provide the rationale for edible landscaping, then introduces the principles of landscaping, giving numerous examples of applying different themes to different climates. The chapters on techniques, especially in relation to trees (the basics of pruning, and plenty of advice on espaliering) are particularly good. An entire chapter is devoted to identifying insects and dealing with the undesirables.
The second half of the book is a plant encylopedia. Handy to have in one volume, but if you already have a good plant encyclopedia, it is probably redundant.
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By A Customer on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I grew up in a garden designed using this book, and now I am working on designing my own. It is a teriffic book with a lot of information about different edible plants and how to design an edible landscape. The only drawbacks are (1) it's a bit dated (new smaller rootstalks let you have smaller trees than you could in '82) and (2) it's a little bit california-centric.
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Format: Paperback
Being in a rural area and living on a small family farm, we aren't overly concerned with decorative landscaping. We try to make every inch of our property productive and useful. Apart from the fields and pastures in use for livestock, we have allotted a small area for produce on our property.

Within the 1.5 acres surrounding our farmhouse, we have made allowance of space for a vegetable garden (based upon the concepts of Edward C. Smith in his book titled "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" and an orchard that adheres to the philosophy found in Patrick Whitefield's book titled "How to Make a Forest Garden".

With the ideas found in this book, "The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping", we are now planning to landscape with a conscience and purpose aside from simple aesthetics. We are delighted with the information provided to serve as a foundation for our planning.

We have given the 4 star review based upon the fact that this book hasn't been revised for nearly 25 years and could certainly benefit from more current data. And, we would always like to see more color photographs and illustrations to complement the text.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just wanted to add my voice, if the authors are listening, that this book is a great resource and a new edition would be so welcome. Some of the info doesn't go out of date, of course, but there are so many new cultivars and plants that are more easily obtained than they were 20 years ago that would fit well into the home landscape and the permaculture view of gardening. I got this book at the library and i may buy a used copy, but I would jump at the chance of an updated edition!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a little skeptical of purchasing this book based on a few reviews here - suffice to say the book exceeded my expectations. True, it is an older book but the information is still good. The thumbnail info on size of plants, what they can be used for, how to grow them, certain things they need and so forth enables planning for even plants not previously grown. The photographs as well as artists sketchings gives a visual idea of what combining fruit/nut trees, flowers and vegetables looks like in various ways. The use of containers both large and small, raised beds and other methods of planting gives a variety of looks and possibility. Love the idea of a floating deck around trees! The warnings of some plants, such as bamboo, spreading as well as suggestions on using the plants grown are a starting point, but a good one. Possible miss on some things, such as the availability of bush cherries for those not wanting cherry trees; but those are few. There's enough information to adequately plan, to fit plants into the budget and allow for adding more later and to plant and make use of "wasted space" for the average person capable of reading, comprehending and following suggestions. A bit dated it's true but still a lot of great information and well worth the money. If you're buying one book on the subject this would be a good one, with a great deal of information, to start with!
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