Easy Growing: Organic Herbs and Edible Flowers from Small Spaces by Gayla TrailI really like this book because it combines two things that I think are really useful for people interested in small-space gardening. First of all, it has excellent beginner gardening information, so if you have never grown anything before, you can pick this up and green your thumb almost instantly. Secondly, this book is focused mainly on herbs, which I think is such an overlooked part of small-space gardening. Fresh herbs are outrageously expensive at the grocery store, and they take up very little space in the garden. Many of them are quite hardy, both of climate and neglect, and will often come back year after year with little help from the gardener. So, if someone was like I only have a patio/balcony/fire escape and I want to learn to garden and get the most return on my investment this would be a great book to hand them. This will go on the short list of books I recommend to city friends who ask about learning to garden.
As a more experienced gardener, I also got a lot out of this book. Gayla has a gift for plant lists, and she breaks them up into such useful groups. Plants that will tolerate damp spots, shady spots, boiling hot spots - theyre listed. There are lists detailing which plants you should grow from seed and which are worthwhile to buy as starts, and which propagation methods are best for most herbs in the book.
And, of course, in the style we have come to expect from Gayla, there are totally gorgeous photos, some funny write-ups, and many delicious recipes for using up all the herbs you are going to grow. This book is one you can come back to again and again when you want to expand your herb garden. Its a keeper.
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I absolutely love growing herbs and even wrote a book about it! They also include herb and edible flower focussed recipes that include making your own homegrown dressings and vinegars, olive oil infusions, refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic summer beverages, herbal teas, and much, much more. You can also try searching key categories and tags such as: herbs and edible flowers. The Basics Make more herbs by taking cuttings. How to extend the harvest.
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If you're determined to start gardening, or determined to start gardening better -- and having fun with it most importantly! I recently received my copy of Easy Growing , and highly, highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in growing herbs and edible flowers. In the book, Gayla covers everything from how to grow each type of herb and flower, how to preserve those herbs, and lists galore of herbs and edible flowers to grow in different situations shade, dry sites, etc. And a book about herbs wouldn't be complete without plenty of recipes -- lavender mochas or borage fritters, anyone? I had the pleasure of talking with Gayla the weekend before her book came out, and she offered plenty of great tips and advice for anyone who wants to get started with edible flowers and herbs.