Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Robogenesis

    Daniel H. Wilson 9780385537094

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.50
List price: $18.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Burnside Gardening- Organic Gardening

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

The Garden Primer

by

The Garden Primer Cover

ISBN13: 9780761122753
ISBN10: 0761122753
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $9.50!

 

 

Excerpt

Green Side Up

I firmly believe that in order to learn anything you have to be willing to ask dumb questions. People often say to me, "I don't know anything about gardening," and some of them just let it go at that. Intimidated by the sheer volume of gardening lore that exists, much of it very scientific and arcane, they leave gardening to those who presumably have lots of time to read and better yet, have a "green thumb." But others, unable to resist a pastime they suspect may be a lot of fun, wade right in. I love people who ask things like "Why should I prune my plants?" or "What is mulch?"

The aim of this book is to answer as many fundamental questions about gardening as possible. I may not be able to anticipate everything you want to know, but I will explain how pruning can make your plants bushier, more compact, or more fruitful. I will tell you that mulch is a layer of material, such as shredded bark, that you lay down on the ground chiefly to keep weeds from growing and to keep the soil moist. And I will try to come to your aid when you're standing there alnoe in the garden, holding a plant that looks like an amorphous tangle, and you have no idea what to do with it. If I could go out there with you, I would tell you what my nurseryman friends Mary Ann and Frederick McGourty used to tell their fledgling workers: "Plant it with the green side up." Everyone has to start somewhere.

I'm the first to admit that I have my own idiosyncratic approach when it comes to gardening. Someone once called me an "old-fashioned dirt gardener," and I guess the description fits. I use almost no commercial fertilizers and no pesticides at all, except the occasional soap spray. I prefer hand tools to power ones. I take my cues from the way nature gardens, and also from the gardens of the past. I read as much as time allows about scientific advances in horticulture, and I'm usually willing to try something new, but most of what I do has come from just plain experience. There's no substitue for spending time in your garden and using all your senses to judge the results. Are your plants' leaves a healthy green? Does your soil feel porous and fluffy when you stick your fingers into it? Does your sick plant have bugs on it, or is there evidence of disease? Far more gardens fail because the gardener is absent or not paying attention than because he or she lacks erudition. Yes, you need to know your ABCs, but the more you garden, the more you'll learn what works and what doesn't.

One of the hazards of writing a gardening book is that the author is addressing gardeners in many different localities with many different climates, soil types, and selections of plants to choose from. The more exact the information I give you, the less it may apply to the specific conditions of your very own yard. I'd have to tell you what to add to your soil, for example, without knowing what is already in it. I've tried, therefore, to steer away from formulas, though there are times when saying "Add some fertilizer" is not enough. ("Should I add a spoonful or a bucketful?" I hear you asking) So use my recommendations as a starting point, and try to learn as much as you can about your own garden's needs. Local resources such as nurseries, universities, and the Cooperative Extension Service can be very helpful.

You'll find most of the general information about gardening in the first four chapters of this book; the rest deals with specific kinds of plants. Use the book by going back to the early chapters if you need to have one of those basic quesions answered. The index will help you if a cross-reference does not steer you to the answer at the point where you need it.

Gardening, for all its down-to-earthness, has always had some mystery about it, a mystery that each culture had its own ways of expressing. In olden days you might have had a village maiden dance around the fire to woo the corn god, or made a burnt offering of the harvest to thank the deity that made it possible. Now we do soil tests, make tissue cultures, and even try to become gods ourselves in our quest to create new genetic plant material. But I don't think we'll ever shed so much light on the subject that we dampen the awe a gardener feels when the first vegetable seedlings poke up in spring. We may never explain why we're drawn to flowers just as butterflies and bees are, even though normally we have no role in their pollination. Perhaps their form and fragrance are luring us to some fateful role in their survival. We'll never know all there is to know about gardening, and I'm glad there will always be some magic about it.

So just go out there and start doing it. It's often said that a green thumb is a dirty thumb. Choose good spots for your gardens, prepare the soil well, keep a close eye on things. And remember: the green side is always up.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

gardening in new city, May 6, 2008 (view all comments by gardening in new city)
This is my gardening "bible". My mother bought me this book when I bought my house in 1994. I loved flowers but knew nothing about gardening. I have shared this book with many gardening friends. It is a great basic handbook. Of all of the gardening books I have bought, borrowed from friends and the library - Barbara Damrosch's book is by far the best. I would love for her to write an update to this book. I would also love to find the original edition in hard cover.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780761122753
Subtitle:
Second Edition
Author:
Damrosch, Barbara
Illustrator:
Funk, Linda Heppes
Illustrator:
Maher, Ray
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company
Subject:
Techniques
Subject:
General
Subject:
Gardening
Subject:
Gardening : General
Subject:
GARDENING / Reference
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Second Edition,Revised,2nd
Publication Date:
20080228
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
820
Dimensions:
9.0 x 6.0 in

Other books you might like

  1. Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At...
    Used Trade Paper $10.50
  2. Growing Vegetables West of the...
    Used Trade Paper $15.50
  3. The Truth about Organic Gardening:... Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. A Garden in the Shade Used Hardcover $7.95
  5. The Walking Tour Used Trade Paper $1.75

Related Subjects


Home and Garden » Gardening » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Organic Gardening
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

The Garden Primer Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 820 pages Workman Publishing - English 9780761122753 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This comprehensive compendium of gardening facts, helpful hints and earthy advice is an unusually readable, user-friendly gardening encyclopedia. The book's first section covers the basics of what a gardener needs to get started: principles of landscape design, 'What Plants Need,' gardening gear and how to buy plants. Damrosch, who aims to 'answer as many questions about gardening as possible,' gives more than the standard instructions for making compost and buying pruning tools; she includes details like parts of plants and a comprehensive guide to botanical names that give beginning gardeners an unusually sophisticated and scientific footing. Her intimate, up-to-date, down-to-earth writing is distinctly rooted in the garden, with humor born of experience: 'A garden hose is like a lover that you can't live with and can't live without. No scientific advance, to my knowledge, has yet tamed its willful nature.' With sections on annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, fruits, bulbs, lawns, trees and even houseplants, to name a few, and with specifics for individual plants in each section, this book will be a useful addition to the collections of seasoned gardeners as well as novices." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Barbara Damrosch delivers the goods."
"Review" by , "Barbara Damrosch's writing has the snap of a good snowpea and the spice of an old rose."
"Review" by , "An extraordinarily comprehensive guide."
"Review" by , "Takes your soaring visions of garden splendor and plants them firmly in the ground."
"Review" by , "Covers just about everything you could think of and then some."
"Review" by , "Best of the crop."
"Synopsis" by ,
Remarkably complete, this is the one: the indispensable one-volume reference guide to gardening simply, beautifully and well. It is jam-packed with useful information, old-fashioned common sense, and a lifetime's worth of experience, and is thoroughly revised and expanded to be 100 percent organic in its recommendations. Updated with the latest on plants, soils, techniques, and tools, it includes: The basics of landscaping, emphasizing sustainable methods. Understanding what plants need and avoiding complex rules and formulas. How to choose and combine flowers for season-long color, orchestrating with perennials and accenting with annuals. Extending the season - that's right, harvest carrots in January. The secret to raising roses without fuss, less demanding lawns, vines with discipline, and trees that will enhance your property. There is new information on native species, and all the gardening resources you need—explained in a voice that "has the snap of a good snowpea and the spice of an old rose"
"Synopsis" by , The most comprehensive, entertaining, down-to-earth one-volume gardening reference ever, and highly praised:

andquot;Barbara Damrosch delivers the goods.andquot;and#8212;Chicago Tribune

andquot;Best of the crop.andquot;and#8212;House Beautiful

andquot;Barbara Damrosch's writing has the snap of a good snowpea and the spice of an old rose.andquot;and#8212;The Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer

andquot;Covers just about everything you could think of and then some.andquot; and#8212; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

andquot;An extraordinarily comprehensive guide.andquot; and#8212; The San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle

andquot;Takes your soaring visions of garden splendor and plants them firmly in the ground.andquot;and#8212;The Toronto Star

Now the beloved classic is revised front-to-back. The new edition has gone 100% organic, which in Barbara Damrosch's hands also means completely accessible. It reflects the latest research on plants, soils, tools, and techniques. There is updated and expanded information on planning a garden, recommended plants, and best tools. Ecological issues are addressed much more extensively, covering lawn alternatives, the benefits of native species, wildlife-friendly gardens, and how to avoid harmful invasive species. More attention is paid to plants appropriate to the South, Southwest, and West Coast, while cold-climate gardeners are given detailed advice on how to extend the growing season. Simply put, the book is a richer and fuller compendium than ever before, with more text, more illustrations and garden plans, expanded plant lists, and gardener's resources. But Barbara Damrosch's core of practical, creative ideas and friendly style remainand#8212;she is still an andquot;old-fashioned dirt gardenerandquot; at heart.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.