my almost-Square-Foot Garden, newly planted as of May 24, 2009
As someone who unfailingly turns to books to learn just about anything, I had to take a peek at Dominique Browning's review of gardening books in the N.Y. Times Books section (May 28, 2009). I'm so glad I did. Not only did I find a title or two to look out for at the library and bookstore, but my husband heard some pretty serious snickering coming from the general area of the computer while I read. Some of my favorite lines are below, but please take time to read the entire article here.
What the wine cellar was to the ’90s, the root cellar will be to this decade. Same concept, come to think of it: Climate control. Rotation. Status. Expense. By the time you read this, of course, serious gardeners will have sown their oats and tomatoes, but determined neophytes can still catch up.and
If you insist on growing flowers, or as they are frequently referred to with disdain by vegetable gardeners, ornamentals, then you should own UNDERSTANDING PERENNIALS (Frances Tenenbaum/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40), by William Cullina.
about the same title:
His description of crassulacean acid metabolism, wherein cacti, yuccas, agaves and sedums open their stomata at night when it’s cooler in order to “bind carbon dioxide on special molecules much like we bind oxygen on hemoglobin in our blood” had me on edge for hours
Sounds like my kind of book.
After reading pages and pages about the virtues of wood compost bins versus plastic and wire mesh, I was relieved to learn that I could simply dig a hole in the ground, dump in the kitchen scraps, rake on some leaves and call it a day.
Even about kids and the newly-popularized term "nature deficit disorder":
Not that we can summon much attention for yet another three-word problem, but I sympathize with her point that children spend more time cooped up than chickens.
And for my friends with chickens and guinea fowl:
They roam all over the road, getting to the middle and freezing in place, trying to recall why they wanted to cross. You have to sit patiently in your car until their brains shift into gear.
To end on a note that sings true to me:
You’ll even get a recipe for mint julep — and I can’t imagine a better place for a stiff drink than a vegetable garden.
Okay, one more--
Dominique Browning’s most recent book is “Paths of Desire: The Passions of a Suburban Gardener.”