Chicken Encyclopedia–We Have a Winner

Who could resist?  The Chicken Encyclopedia goes to Lisa Beckman for her totally charming chicken story.  Thanks for playing, everybody!   This isn't about our chickens but rather my neighbors who also raise meat goats. Just the other day she came home to frantic children because one of the mommy goats was in process of […]

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm   This post has 8 responses.

Rose’s Garden: A $1.99 eBook You Won’t Want to Miss

I'm thrilled to see that Algonquin has chosen Carrie Brown's beautiful novel Rose's Garden for their second round of $1.99 ebook promotions. This is a gorgeous book about a man left to cope with his wife's garden after her death. It's a sweet and tender love story, and she...

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 at 9:22 am   This post has 2 responses.

Have You Peed on Your Garden Lately?

Well, why not? Our favorite garden professor, Jeff Gillman, tells you how.  Well.  Not how.  I'm pretty sure you know how.  He'll tell you why, though! These and other amazing bits of information can be found in his clever and highly useful new book Decoding Gardening Advice, written with...

Read more in: Books, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on March 14, 2012 at 5:06 am   This post has 12 responses.

Home Depot to Stop Selling Books, and My Advice to Publishers

This just in from Publishers Weekly:  Home Depot has announced they will no longer sell books.  It may be that you never bought a book at Home Depot.  Last time I looked, they sold an array of how-to books on home improvement and gardening, some of which were fairly...

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm   This post has 23 responses.

The Chicken Encyclopedia

If you keep chickens, you probably already have a book or two by Gail Damerow. She's the author of The Chicken Health Handbook, which is the What To Expect When You're Expecting of chicken-raising. It is incredibly detailed, sometimes terrifying, and yet it is the first book we bought...

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 at 4:43 am   This post has 48 responses.

A Way to Counter Forces Beyond Our Control

This week, The New York Times ran a piece suggesting that tensions in Iran and Syria may soon bring us $5 a gallon gasoline.  Nothing any of us can do about that.   Frankly, over the last four years since the start of the Great Recession, it's hard not to...

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Posted by on March 2, 2012 at 6:24 am   This post has 17 responses.

The New Sunset Book is Here!

I feel like this every time a new edition of the Sunset Western Garden Book arrives. (I wish I could just embed that video–that would be so awesome–but copyright protections are just so sophisticated these days.  Go watch the first 30 seconds or so and come back.) Okay?  Yeah. ...

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Posted by on February 29, 2012 at 5:17 am   This post has 32 responses.

Cactomania: We Have a Winner!

Thanks, everyone, for your highly amusing comments on Scott Calhoun's post about his fine new book, The Gardener's Guide to Cactus.  I was just in Phoenix for a day, and I drove around with a genuine interest and curiosity about the cacti I saw, all thanks to Scott and...

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Posted by on February 22, 2012 at 5:24 am   This post has one response.

Curry Please

I really enjoyed my visit to Cornell Plantations this week, particularly the herb garden, which was still looking good after several hard frosts. Even in the relatively chilly November air, I was overpowered by scent as I passed one of the 17 theme beds.  This was clearly the "tussie...

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 5:07 am   This post has 8 responses.

Guide to Smithsonian Gardens

Tourists to D.C. typically see the Smithsonian museums, but how about the 28+ acres of maintained gardens around them?  Most would be surprised to learn there’s that much hort action going on right there on the National Mall.  But straight from Smithsonian Books, the new Guide to Smithsonian Gardens...

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Posted by on October 25, 2011 at 4:26 am   This post has 4 responses.

Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs

This book is being hailed as the "horticultural publishing event of the year" and that's probably no exaggeration. Professor Michael A. Dirr is THE MAN when it comes to woody plants.  And I agree with all the blurbs – that this 951-page Bible of woody plants is a "trove...

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Posted by on October 4, 2011 at 2:14 am   This post has 14 responses.

Sleep, Creep, Leap

So your new book is a memoir about your garden.  I know from my own experience that anytime you're writing about something that's true, you have all these creative challenges to deal with–other people in your life become characters, you have to find a plot and a narrative arc...

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Posted by on September 22, 2011 at 4:57 am   This post has 46 responses.

What I Learned from The New American Landscape

Here's my latest for Kirkus Reviews.  Click here to read Amy's interview with Benjamin Vogt about his book Sleep, Creep, Leap. Sustainable v. traditional front yards in Santa Monica, CA I must have read every book ever published about “sustainable gardening” – surely there aren’t any more of them! –...

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Posted by on September 15, 2011 at 3:00 am   This post has 72 responses.

Being Anna Pavord

Here's the post that appeared on Kirkus last Thursday. Tune in here for Susan's thoughts on The New American Landscape. There can be great pleasure in reading gardening advice that has little or no practical relevance for you. That’s why we cherish the British garden writers. From Christopher Lloyd’s...

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 at 5:11 am   This post has 5 responses.


This ran last week on Kirkus; head over there to check out our latest bookish post.   Years ago, I very much wanted a piece of chicken art by S.V. Medaris, but I couldn’t afford it, so I bought a t-shirt instead. That t-shirt now has a hole in...

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 at 5:34 am   This post has 5 responses.

Whatever Felder Rushing’s “Slow Gardening” is, I’m fer it!

Here's my latest for Kirkus Reviews. Click here to read Amy's review of the clicken book "Cluck". Felder Rushing, despite his actual horticulture degree, radio show, books, and years on the speaking circuit, is also one of the few real characters in the gardening world.  He stands out from...

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 at 3:58 am   This post has 101 responses.

They shrunk the hostas!

Here's last week's Kirkus post, and I've added a giveaway to it. Check here for Susan's take on Felder Rushing's Slow Gardening. Hostas—not the most exciting plant, but gardeners who have to deal with heavy soil, part-to-full shade, and aggressive tree roots know their value. They easily thrive under...

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Posted by on August 11, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 55 responses.

The Bad-Tempered Gardener

This piece ran on Kirkus' gardening blog–head over there now to see our latest posts.   There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on in the publishing world right now.  The poor economy, the closure of many fine independent bookstores, the rise of ebooks—it’s causing a lot of anguish.  And...

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Posted by on July 28, 2011 at 3:29 am   This post has 24 responses.

Will “The Well-Tended Perennial Garden” go Digital?

Here's my latest for Kirkus Reviews, and check here to see Amy's review of the Bad-Tempered Gardener. Back when perennials became the hot plant group for American gardeners, new fans of perennials glommed onto Tracy DiSabato-Aust’s 1998 book The Well-Tended Perennial Garden because it so clearly explained how to...

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Posted by on July 21, 2011 at 3:52 am   This post has 4 responses.

A world of weeds

Here's my take on Weeds (on Kirkus last week). If you missed Amy's Washington Post review of this book, check here. And go here for Susan's Kirkus post on the digital revolution at Timber and more. Some delightful weeds I've been hosting behind the garage. How you define weeds...

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Posted by on July 14, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 12 responses.
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