I love gardens and I love books. It is always so pleasing to walk through the library's packed shelves of garden books. The wide variety of books available on gardening can easily keep us busy throughout the winter months here. With winter wanting to hang on for a little longer than hoped, I've been gardening vicariously through a variety of books. I always like to try on books through the library first (I think I love libraries as much as books and gardening) before I purchase it. If I bought every gardening book that I thought looked interesting there would be nothing left over for seeds.
This book has been on hold for ages and it took me several months to actually get the ability to take it out. Now that I have my hands on this little gem I fully understand why. Here are the reasons that this book is going to make it into my personal collection:
1. New Information - I find most gardening books enjoyable but not all of them contain new information for me. I was happily surprised at how much I learned from this book.
2. The Ideas are Accessible - there is enough variety in this book where no matter your space, you should be able to take some of the advice. While I enjoy looking at landscape architecture books, some of the ideas are beautiful but a little unreachable. Much of what I found in this book can be accomplished by one or two gardeners.
3. Useful Tables and Tips - I find putting information in tables is the quickest and easiest way to not only find the information you're looking for but also to compare. This can make one's life so much easier when you're trying to decide which berry bush will work best in your landscape.
4. Practical and Beautiful Landscape Plans - I was surprised to see some of the authors plans were similar to some of the advice I have added to this blog. I find there is nice balance in the landscape plans that can ensure that you have great fruit and edibles production but something that you would be proud of in your front yard.
5. A Useful Pruning Section - a key component of fruit growing is pruning. Luckily the author has also penned a book on pruning (from what I can see). This section is a useful component I see missing in a lot of design books yet it is a critical part. Pruning is the topic that stops almost all of my customers when purchasing fruit plants. Pruning is important in keeping any landscape design looking nice so it is great to see it as a chapter in this book.
The author addresses information needs for those across the continental US. While it doesn't suit all of our needs in Zone 3, some of the additional information is useful. He also is based in a zone 5 climate so he does speak to "pushing" your zone. Overall, I feel that this is a great book for any homeowner to purchase, in fact, I think it would be a great book to purchase for those that enjoy baking, cooking and canning as well as it can help those who know little about plants and pruning in general get their feet wet.
CA$85.00 - CA$98.00
Brookgold Japanese Plum - zone 2, grows 13-14 feet, golden yellow, 2-4 cm, ripens in late August, fresh eating, cooking
Brookred Hybrid Plum - zone 2, grows 13-14 feet, dark red plums, ripens in late August, fresh eating, cooking
Pembina Plum - zone 3, grows 13-14 feet, red with a blue hue, fresh eating.
Tecumseh Plum - zone 3, grows 13-14 feet, red skin with yellow flesh, fresh eating, jam
Ure Pear Tree
Ure Pear - zone 2, grows 35 feet, good disease resistance, cooking, canning, fresh eating
Black currant is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. The dark fruit is ready to harvest in July and can be used in syrups, smoothies, baked goods, dried and in jams. We also enjoy drying the leaves and including it in our loose leaf teas as the mood strikes us.
Ben Nevis black currant is a relatively easy plant to grow and care for. It enjoys well drained soil with some moisture retention. While the plant can withstand some shade it prefers full sun. Growing 3 feet across and 4 feet high it is a wonderful plant as a loose hedge or windbreak for an exposed garden area. Fruit is produced mostly on one and two year old wood, thereby making it relatively easy to prune.
Honeyberries are hardy bushes that are perfect for an edible landscape shrub. They can be used as a hedge and is adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. Being generally pest free (including deer) and frost resistant, these are great no-fuss plant if you are new to gardening. Regular watering is required to establish the shrubs but are fairly drought tolerant once established. The fruit are great for eating fresh or smoothies, baked goods, preserves or frozen. Use in the same manner as blueberries.
Cinderella Honeyberry - zone 2, blue with blush, 1 gram, grows 3-4 feet, considered best for fresh eating
Tundra Honeyberry - zone 2, blue with blush, 1.5 grams, grows 4-5 feet, suitable for mechanized harvest, matures mid to late June.
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