December 2, 2012

Master Gardener: For gifts that keep giving, gardening books never out of season

By Tom Atwell
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

"The Anxious Gardener's Book of Answers," by Teri Dunn Chace, tries to take the place of the older relative or neighbor who patiently gave many of us guidance when we began gardening.

Gardeners worry. They love their plants, and want to do the best for them. Chace writes in a friendly and relaxed style, giving advice. And each section ends with a section called "If I goofed, can I fix it?"

And most problems can be fixed, even when, in the case of bad pruning, the repair includes giving the plant a year off.

Chace has gardened everywhere from California to coastal Massachusetts, so her ideas will fit most of the country.

The book covers everything: lawns, vegetables, perennials, fruit trees, watering, fertilizing, pesticides, pests and more. It is $12.95, and published by Timber Press. It is the best book I have seen this year for the beginning gardener.

"The Encyclopedia of Planting Combinations," published by Firefly, is for more experienced gardeners. It assumes you know how to make things grow, and is aimed at making things look better in the garden. This North American edition came out this year, but is based on a book that came out in 2008 in Great Britain. It is 464 pages, with lots of pictures, and priced at $45.

"The Naturescaping Workbook," by Beth O'Donnell Young, is a book designed to help you make a more natural landscape out of your yard. It outlines the reasons for doing so, including attracting wildlife to your yard, and provides worksheets to help you do so. Young lives in Oregon -- when she isn't in Italy -- and teaches classes in naturescaping.

The book, published by Timber Press, is $24.95, 226 pages and full of photographs and drawings.

Tom Atwell has been writing the Maine Gardener column since 2004. He is a freelance writer gardening in Cape Elizabeth and can be contacted at 767-2297 or at:


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