Synopses & Reviews
The most comprehensive, entertaining, down-to-earth one-volume gardening reference ever, and highly praised:
"Barbara Damrosch delivers the goods."—Chicago Tribune
"Best of the crop."—House Beautiful
"Barbara Damrosch's writing has the snap of a good snowpea and the spice of an old rose."—The Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer
"Covers just about everything you could think of and then some." — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"An extraordinarily comprehensive guide." — The San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
"Takes your soaring visions of garden splendor and plants them firmly in the ground."—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 remain—she is still an "old-fashioned dirt gardener" at heart.
Gardening is very simple, really. You just have to learn to think like a plant.
- Barbara Damrosch
Garden simply, beautifully, and well with The Garden Primer, a comprehensive gardening reference jam-packing with useful information, advice, tips, and quirky wisdom. Barbara Damrosch, an "old-fashioned dirt gardener," spent years refining her natural, common-sense approach to gardening and now guides you through all aspects of planning, planting, and upkeep.
Each chapter is a book in itself.
Planning Your Property: landscape your yard into a series of "outdoor rooms"
What Plants Need: understand the basics and avoid complex rules and toxic chemicals
Garden Gear: what's essential and what's not
How to Buy Plants: a guide through the nursery jungle
Annuals: choose and combine for dependable summer color
Perennials: coordinate a flower garden to bloom each year
Vegetables: harvesting a bounty you'll really use
Herbs: making your herb garden as pretty as it is useful
Fruits: pick the best for your climate
Bulbs: plant them properly, display them imaginatively
Roses: raising roses without fear - they're really not "fussy"
Lawns and Ground Covers: how to have a better lawn, and what to use in places where you don't want grass
Vines: keeping them within bounds
Shrubs: find interesting shrubs and avoid common pruning mistakes
Trees: select new trees to enhance your property and make the most of the old
Wildflowers: what really works at home and what doesn't
Houseplants: keep your indoor garden in good health
With complete instructions for growing and tending approximately 300 plants, plus 365 illustrations, easy-to-read diagrams, and design plans for all types of gardens.
A 688-page volume jam-packed with practical information, advice, tips, and quirky wisdom, both basic enough for the novice and complete enough to help those with more experience improve their gardening habits, The Garden Primer
leads all readers down the path to a simpler and more successful garden.
Combining easy "how-to" instruction with quirky wisdom and tried-and-true advice, the author reassuringly guides the reader through the flower garden, the decorative garden, the vegetable patch, and more. Each fully illustrated chapter is a book in itself, from planning your property and stocking the tool shed to growing perennials, annuals, roses, bulbs, vegetables, herbs, fruits, lawns and groundcover, trees, shrubs, vines, and more. Instructions are included for growing and tending approximately 300 plants. Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the Quality Paperback Book Club, and the Better Homes and Gardens Family Book Service. 364,000 copies in print. A Regina Ryan Book.
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"
About the Author
Barbara Damrosch is one of the nation's most respected garden experts and writers. She is the author of Theme Gardens and The Garden Primer and writes a weekly column for The Washington Post called "A Cook’s Garden." She appeared as a regular correspondent on the PBS series The Victory Garden, and co-hosted the series Gardening Naturally for The Learning Channel. She is the co-owner, with her husband, Eliot Coleman, of Four Season Farm, an experimental market garden in Harborside, Maine, that is a nationally recognized model of small-scale sustainable agriculture.
Table of Contents
Planning Your Property
What Plants Need
How to Buy Plants
Lawns and Ground Covers