on January 24, 2007
I adore this book! Wow! It has all the things I wanted!
- it's organic
- it very thorougly covers many herbs in different formats, so you know everything from what bugs they attract or repel, how tall they grow, and what zone they can be grown in
- common uses for them: I discovered many herbs I thought were inedible plants that are indeed herbs
- easy to use tables
I wasn't too hip on all the cosmetic and craft uses - I'd rather eat them, but they're short and may come in handy. I know the rest of the book sure will!
on June 28, 2002
A good book for (mainly) culinary herbs and how to recognize them, but thin on information about medicinal use, and lacking in too many delicious plants that really ought to be mentioned. Great starter book for someone getting into growing their own herb garden though. I thoroughly enjoy it.
on June 9, 2007
This is a relatively small book at about 150 pages, but it manages to pack in a lot of information very concisely. It's beautifully illustrated with color photographs and drawings.
The first 2/3 of the book includes general herb gardening background and use of herbs tips: how to choose plants, pick the location, general design principles, planting instructions (including some nice tips on extending the growing season), propagation, harvesting, drying, pests and diseases, etc.
It also includes suggestions for common culinary uses, such as salads, herbal vinegars, flavored oils, teas, jellies, honeys, and breads. These are not an extensive set of recipes, but more like master recipes with some suggestions for how you can mix them up with variations.
The book also includes suggestions and recipes for health and beauty products (again, not an extensive collection). This section includes potpourri, sachets, bouquets, dried arrangements and insect repellents.
The last 1/3 of the book has individual pages on about 50 different herbs. These individual pages tell you a description, how to grow, harvesting instructions, suggested uses, tips, cultivars, and also includes a quick key on the level of care required (using a 4 glove rating system), if it attracts beneficial insects, whether or not it is ornamental, whether or not it can be grown in a container, how much yield you can expect to get and how easy it is to grow.
The back of the book contains a few pages of resources for laboratories, vendors, herb associations and other books or literary resources.
There are lots of charts and sidebars and overall I found this book to be very useful and easy to access. It doesn't have the level of information needed to make this anything other than a quick reference book though.
on August 23, 2006
This is a great book for a beginning herb gardener. The first half of the book is a general overview of gardening techniques, designs, and uses for herbs. The second half gives specific information on growing and using many herbs. This has been extraordinarily helpful to me as background and reference for me.
However, it is pretty basic and only covers the most commonly used herbs, so I'm not sure that advanced herb gardeners would get much out of this.
on June 25, 2006
I really like this book. It is very easy to follow and has a little bit of everything you need to know packed into the book. I bought it for the outside herb garden design, but I changed my mind. I am trying a kitchen garden, growing the herbs inside in containers. If you are new to herb gardening, this is the perfect book. And in my opinion, it is the only book you will need. I want to use the fragrant herbs for sachet crafts and dry some herbs for cooking. These will be terrific gifts for my DIL because she buys and uses a lot of herbs for cooking and will never have the time to grown them. You will never put this book away. There are so many possibilities of what to do with herbs.
on June 19, 2004
I really enjoy this book! I am new to gardening and really wanted a book to guide me in growing herbs and this is a great start. It has a great deal of information on growing herbs and their uses. There are other books that have more specific information on each and also has a larger selection of herbs, but this is good for a beginner. Not to mention that it is visually appealing and well laid out.
on March 26, 2010
The only drawback to this book is that many herbs are not included. If you are really interested in encycolpedia coverage of herbs, you will need to supplement this with another book. But, there are still over 50 herbs covered, and covered well here and all of the most common varieties are here. The book is easy to understand and very helpful when it comes to understanding the herbs and the conditions they need to grow so you can be sucessful. Many herb books spend too much time focusing on remedies and recipies - which will do you no good if you aren't sucessful growing the herb in the first place. The book also covers many general gardening tips, including both ground and container gardening. There are some crafts/recipies/remedies in here, and they are good, but the focus of the book is on growing herbs. Once you grow your herbs this book can be handy in coming up with gifts for people using your herb garden. While I wish more herbs were covered, I admit I have an exhaustive curiousity and most or all of the ones I would actually grow are included here. The book is clear and easy to understand, and I think even a novice gardener could be sucessful with this book. Highly recommended!
on April 5, 2013
Miranda Smith's 'Your Backyard Herb Garden' is a beautiful book to browse. The photographs are helpful, but it's the sketches of herbs and gardens that are most appealing. It's a great book to dream through in late winter while planning a spring herb garden.
I'm in the process of setting up my first two small 4x4 raised herb beds, and Smith's book is my 'go to' book. Each entry details not only how to plant but also where to plant and how to use the herb. There are introductory chapters on how to prepare beds, select and care for plants, and use herbs in cooking, crafts, and beauty products.
An aspect that I greatly appreciate is the information detailing how to harvest and store herbs. When and how to cut herbs and whether they are best frozen or dried is confusing no longer.
If, like me, you're a neophyte herb gardener, this is the place to start.