Notes from the Garden: Reflections and Observations of an Organic Gardener
A hands-on gardener, Henry Homeyer gives practical advice on how to garden, whether building a hot box, transplanting peonies, defeating the deer, growing ladyslipper orchids and shiitake mushrooms, or keeping the birds out of the berry bushes. Each month covers a range of topics relevant to the season: starting seedlings, edging and mulching, gardening with children, getting rid of invasive plants, pruning , planting shrubs for attracting and feeding birds, putting the garden to bed, growing houseplants, . . . These are just a few of Homeyer's 69 short "reflections and observations" on matters of interest to amateur, dedicated, and armchair gardeners alike.
Homeyer grew up in the 1950s learning about organic gardening from a grandfather who used manure tea and compost, not 10-10-10, herbicides, and DDT. For him, organic gardening is not a political position, but a common sense approach to having the best soil and the healthiest plants.
Of special relevance to denizens of zones 3-5, the climatic belt which includes New England and runs across southern Canada and west to the Rockies, each of the twelve chapters (one for each month) contains several pieces combining technical information, practical tips, personal reflections, and more than a little humor.
An unusual feature is Homeyer's interviews with other gardeners. Meet Joe Mooney, the aging wizard of turf at Fenway Park. Spend an afternoon in the garden with Jamaica Kincaid. Visit Jean and Wes Cate, growers of heirloom vegetables at Fox Run Farm. Learn more about the White House gardens from chief horticulturist Dale Haney. Or marvel at Marguerite Tewksbury, an 85-year-old organic gardener who single-handedly runs a farm stand, drives her 1950 Ford Ferguson tractor, and weeds her 6,000-square-foot vegetable patch with a full-sized rototiller. "She doesn't say that keeping active and eating organically keeps her healthy and vigorous, but I have a feeling that it does," writes Homeyer.
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On the Virtues of Organic Gardening
March Is a Good Time to Prune Fruit
April Is the Time to Start Seedlings
Peonies Like Diamonds Are Forever
Constructing a Bentwood Arbor
Slugs Bugs and Feathered Garden Pests
The Deer Dilemma
Summer Is Over
Putting the Garden to Bed
Attracting and Feeding the Birds
Holiday Gifts for the Gardener
Winter Mulching Save Those Christmas
A Gardener Enjoys
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