Notes from the Garden: Reflections and Observations of an Organic Gardener

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UPNE, Jul 1, 2003 - Gardening - 264 pages
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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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Contents

March
1
CHAPTER
4
March Is a Good Time to Prune Fruit
8
Growing Vegetables All Winter Long in
16
August
18
Building an OldFashioned Hot Box
25
Starting a Garden from Scratch
32
The Wizard of Turf at Fenway Park
39
Growing Blueberries
110
Summer Is Over
127
Planting Bulbs
133
Planting the Smaller Bulbs
140
Putting the Garden to Bed
146
The Wonderful World of Hydrangeas
152
A Visit to the White House Gardens
158
Attracting and Feeding the Birds
165

Peonies Like Diamonds Are Forever
64
Constructing a Bentwood Arbor
70
Slugs Bugs and Feathered Garden Pests
76
The Deer Dilemma
83
Some of Summers Best Bloomers
90
Edging and Mulching
96
Shade Gardens
104
November
105
Planting Bulbs for Forcing
171
jean and Weston Cate Growers
177
Holiday Gifts for the Gardener
184
Winter Mulching Save Those Christmas
205
A Gardener Enjoys
219
Index
243
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

HENRY HOMEYER is a landscaper and garden designer whose column appears weekly in ten regional newspapers. He is the Vermont and New Hampshire editor of People, Places, and Plants, a New England-only gardening magazine. He also writes for The Boston Globe, Gardener's Companion, Yankee, and other publications.

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