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Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for All Senses and All Seasons Paperback – June 27, 2011
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Achieve gardening nirvana by employing basic principles and a don't-worry-be-happy attitude.All too often, gardeners make the mistake of becoming preoccupied with what the neighbors might think instead of designing gardens for their own pleasure. Rushing (Tough Plants for Southern Gardens, 2003, etc.) cautions gardeners against falling into this trap; plant perfection, he writes, especially cosmetic perfection, is not obtainable-so why even try? If something doesn't work out, just throw it in the compost pile and plant something else. It is this attitude that sets this book apart from other gardening how-to books. Embracing the author's gardening philosophy will allow readers to savor their time out in the dirt. Rushing's bit-by-bit approach is likely to encourage gardeners of all enthusiasm levels. The author includes enlightened strategies gardeners should practice in order to achieve optimal results, including tips for how to make their own compost-or at least keep a pile of leaves that will eventually turn into compost. He suggests reducing the size of the lawn and several varieties of low-maintenance plants. As for pests? Avoid the pesticides and opt for pest-resistant plants instead. When it comes to fertilizer, Rushing advises for quality over quantity.The author's slow and natural approach should strike a chord with those who are tired of quick-fix alternatives in the backyard.
Though the title suggests that this will be a guide to low-maintenance, low-anxiety gardening, garden lecturer and author Rushing (Passalong Plants) invites gardeners to make enjoyment and creative expression central to the gardening experience. Whether one loves strict formality or careless chaos, Rushing delightfully urges gardeners to follow their own bliss in the garden. Marigolds in military lines, flocks of lawn flamingos, and homemade art are as welcome as boxwood parterres and immaculate lawns. Rushing is a horticultural inspirational speaker who offers solid advice along with encouragement. Beginning gardeners will benefit from his hard-won tricks of the trade, proven plant combinations, and easy maintenance plans. The more experienced will appreciate his tips on making compost, propagating plants, and engaging all the senses in the garden. All will find some inspiration in his infectious enthusiasm and good humor. 126 color photos.
"Felder knows that if gardening isn't fun, it isn't worth doing. So if 'power gardening' has emptied your wallet and sent your blood pressure soaring like a condor on caffeine, give yourself a break. Try Slow Gardening."--Steve Bender, Southern Living Magazine
"Felder's enjoyment-based approach, which is what I do and teach but didn't have a name for til now, is sustainable gardening at its most enjoyable-without the usual anxiety over doing something wrong."--Susan Harris, cofounder, GardenRant and founder, Sustainable-Gardening
"Slow Gardening is a delight-a welcome stress-free approach, refreshing in its simplicity and firmly placing the gardener in their own space, at their own pace."--Sandy Felton, Reckless Gardener UK
"Between the covers of Slow Gardening, Felder mixes his famous Southern wit and wisdom with hard science. Leave it to Felder to come up with the 'slow' theme that entices beginning and intermediate gardeners to get their hands into the dirt in a variety of unique ways."--Rosalind Creasy, author, Edible Landscaping and member, Garden Writers Association Hall of Fame
About the Author
Felder Rushing is a tenth-generation American gardener, raised into his teen years under the apprenticeship of a horticulturist great-grandmother who grew flowers, vegetables, herbs, and fruits without a hose or pesticides, and a garden club grandmother who garnered hundreds of blue ribbons for her plant breeding and displays. He is a longtime national director of the Garden Writers Association, member of the National Youth Gardening Committee, past president of several horticulture societies, and board member of the American Horticultural Society. He delivers more than eighty lectures each year and is the author of several books including Passalong Plants, Tough Plants for Southern Gardens, Slow Gardening, and Gardening Southern Style.
Top Customer Reviews
The book has great information for gardener wanna-be's like myself, but I am betting even experienced gardeners would find this nice to add to their collection. It is chock full of colorful photos, making it cozy to sit down with an iced tea and take a break with this book. And the author has scattered wonderful quotes from a variety of people throughout history about gardening. I hate to seem so cliche, but it's just one of those books that is a delight to sit down with.
Someone gave me some blueberry bushes this summer and I got a red flowering plant and it hasn't died on me yet! It is a baby step, but next year I will be ready for more. I've always had an interest in gardening, but with no experience it always seemed like a huge undertaking that I knew nothing about. When I would ask advice from people who have large gardens I tended to get the vague "it's easy, just plant and weed" or the very long yet fast-paced replies that left me clueless since I felt I needed a notebook and pen (and shorthand know-how!) to jot down all of the stuff they quickly shot out at me, which I had no clue about. When I saw the name and description of Slow Gardening I thought it might help me. Felder Rushing seems to have the approach that just might work for me. I am about half way done with the book and it's inspiring me to finally let the gardening begin! Thank you Felder! This seems to be just what I was needing.
After all, as the reviewers say, there are a lot of books on gardening. Perhaps it's about time that one contemporary garden writer slowed down enough to question the whole philosophy of gardening in the 21st century.
Instead of giving gardeners lengthy lists of rules or plants for our gardens, Felder takes his trademark step back and asks us, truthfully, how far we are able to give ourselves permission to savour what we do. It is easy to respond `I am free to do as I please in a free country', but life is complex, and a bit more soul searching is required before most gardeners can really get to the bottom of that question.
The author has spent many years working with American gardeners, admiring the quirky, the determined and the skilful in his travels across the US and Europe, taking most of the pictures in this book on his journeys. His images tell a story of the many slow gardeners he has been inspired by. He celebrates those who go a little bit further in their gardens - no matter what the direction. His gift to the gardener is greater self-fulfilment, if they can accept his passion for gardening and for life at face value. After all, while gardening can have its fair share of torments, there are few safer, more addictive ways of having fun.
Reading some of the reviews below, you may not get a sense of the questioning, joy and mischief in this unusual book, which exhorts the reader to reappraise their whole approach to gardening. It's true that if you want the usual gardening book, (how sad in this age of diversity and choice that we even have a concept of the usual gardening book!), you should look elsewhere. But if you are looking for liberation from garden chores - looking for a little gardening therapy - willing to explore `why am I gardening?' or to re-evaluate `Is there anything I can do to enjoy what I am doing more?', then this book will be a companion and guide for your journey of self discovery.
Quotes from an eclectic mix of writers, artists and thinkers - including the fictional time traveller, Dr Who - give the thoughtful reader more to reflect on. Don't read this book from cover to cover like an academic textbook. It's a book that will repay browsing and re-reading. Dip into it when your mind is free to play around a little, when you're relaxing in a garden hammock - to quote the author, `the longer the string, the slower the swing'. If you haven't got a hammock - borrow your neighbour's, imagine a hammock, or better still - go out any buy one!
I have tried growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers with laughable results. I want to be able to grow things. I truly do. I just have no skills with it. I need this book.
It advocates a laid back, natural approach to gardening. It is also big on sharing what you know (well, not me, I don't know anything...they're sharing with me!) and teaching the next generation.
Hats off to the photographer. The photos are stunning and give me great hope for what my yard could potentially be. I was kinda surprised to have a chapter on garden psychology. Yet, it all made sense!
The rest of the book deals with how to make your space, how to make the garden interesting and different kinds of plants.
I wish I'd had chapter 5 when I planted the poor hydrangeas. It deals with climate, the plant zone map and other best practices for the garden. I've learned a lot from the book that I hope I can incorporate into the yard/garden next spring so we have something pretty around the house.
I received a copy of the book through the Amazon Vine program for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gift to my master gardener wife.....she is absolutely excited about its contents and considers it an A Plus guide for both the experienced gardener...Read more