Sunday, March 29, 2009

The All-New Illustrated Guide to Gardening – Reader’s Digest

I'm not going to do my normal review for this book since I didn't actually read the entire thing. I'm also not going to count it towards my reading stats, since I didn't read the whole thing and I don't plan to. This isn't the type of book that one reads cover to cover though. 

So with that being said, I absolutely loved this book! I've been looking for a great gardening book for awhile and this one did the trick. I love flowers and want to have a beautiful garden and landscaping, but I'm very much an amateur. My Mom and my Grandma kept talking about splitting plants. I knew what they meant, but not how to do it. This book actually has pictures showing you! My Grandma talks about it with flowers. I have some Iris's in my yard and know those can be split but wasn't sure how. This book shows you how to split iris's and seems easy to follow along. My Mom has some tall grasses in her yard. I want to put them around my pool equipment since it's an eye-sore for the neighbors. My Mom said that I could help her split the grasses and take some of hers. I was like ok, but I have no idea what I'm doing. I do!


I basically went through this book and just read the parts that fit with what I want to do for my yard. There is a huge section on perennials, which is mostly what I'll be doing. There are pictures of the flowers, how to plant them, how to care for them etc. There's a section for annuals which I flipped through but didn't read. I also didn't read the section on trees. I did stop and read a lot of the section for ornamental grasses (since I already have plans to plant some this sprint), fruits (since I want to grow some strawberries and raspberries this year too). I also stopped and read the section on shrubs and vines. I was just going to flip through this section but then an area on vines that can be used on fences caught my eye. I've been wondering what I could do near the fence that surrounds the pool. Bingo! Vines and shrubs will be perfect! It will be attractive and yet give me some privacy from neighbors and stupid neighborhood kids who walk through my yard in the summer. I never even thought of doing this! I figured I would just have to use grasses around the fence as well but didn't want to. There are a lot of other sections to, there are 27 different chapters/sections in all. Some don't apply to me right now, but will in the future.


There was also a section on taking care of your garden. There were pictures on common bugs and issues with plants and how to solve it. There was also a brief section on what to try to deter dear (which are a problem for me – They already ate my tulips and I'm pissed!!). They book also demonstrates the proper way to cut back certain plants. In fact, I realized I cut back the hydrangeas incorrectly at my last house. I bet that's why they didn't bloom much after the first year. I can't wait to buy more and take care of them properly this time!


I think this book is awesome for anybody starting out with a garden or somebody who already has one but isn't really sure how to take care of it. There is a ton of information in this book and lots of photo's too. This is definitely the perfect book for me. In fact, you should see all the post-its I stuck in the book marking plants I want to get, etc. haha!


Kristie said...

What did it say about raspberries? I love them and want to plant some but I heard it takes awhile for them to come in. For example, if I plant some this year, I won't have any until next year. Is this true? When do you think you will begin planting? It is so tricky here in SE Michigan with the weather. Sometimes I am afraid I will plant too early or too late.

Shelley said...

This looks pretty awesome. I just done a little bit of gardening and always need a good guide!

Kris said...

Kristie - If I remember correctly (I'll be re-reading it before I plant mine) you won't get fruit the first year like you thought. I'm going to try growing mine in a container. This wasn't mentioned in the book but I looked online and found others who have done it. The best area for me to grow these are on my deck. However, it did mention that full sun is best but some shade would be ok if necessary. So I might check the side of my house that gets sun in the morning. I'm not sure exactly how much sun it gets. I'm going to plant mine in mid-April. For my area that's usually a good time.

Shelley - I think this book will prove to be an excellent guide for me. I'm really in the mood to work on the landscaping now.