Monday, 16 March 2015

Groundbreaking!

Niki Jabour's Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden, is available at EPL

The GardenDesign.com featured book is made up of 73 different edible garden plans -- each designed by a different garden writer / blogger / horticulturalist /... The collection covers a wide array of situations, interests, and themes (E.g. Chickens! Balcony only! The entire front yard! A biodynamic farm! Go Elizabethean!").

Each plan is introduced by Jabbour with information about the designer, background on the theme, and great gardening tips to complement.  Charming illustrations (3 different illustrators) give each plan life. 

Though plant lists are included, Jabbour's introduction stresses "grow what you like to eat" and that designers offered the lists only as suggestions (to be replace freely with things that fit your region, climate, and personal tastes).


Overall: A great jumping point to finding your next favourite garden writer / blogger / designer / ... This book is a sampler: packed full of inspiring ideas and information from general to niche, but as a result not everything is applicable.  I will definitely be coming back to this book because even plans not obviously achievable for a urban Edmonton home are still educational (design and ecology) fun reads.

Pros:
  • Jabbour has done all the work in tracking down the best people to submit a garden design.  
  • Plan design principles and complementary gardening methods are included making the book educational -- more than just a "plant this here" map
  • Some powerhouse food producing plans and some more focused on style -- most fall in between
  • Adaptable, environmentally-conscious plans to fit many situations
Cons / Limitations:
  • The plans are fairly flexible, but does seem to be geared towards mid-range climates.   Edmontonians and other northerners will have to work harder to adapt the plans
  • Can be overwhelming as plans are not obviously grouped in anyway 
  • No photographs - which would be particularly helpful for some of the more abstract plans

Bee-Friendly: Working with nature is highly stressed in many of the plans and Jabbour uses organic methods.  Plans particularly focused on this include "Backyard Beekeepers' Garden" by Kenny Points, "Pollinator-Friendly Raised Bed" by Paul Zammit, "Wildlife-Friendly Garden" by Tammi Hartung, "Good Bug Garden" by Jessica Walliser

1 comment:

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