by Gayla Trail
When I started reading this book, I thought it wouldn\’t teach me much new. I could not have been more wrong. Yes, it covers the basics of gardening, keeping things simple and small-scale whether you just have a balcony space or a patch of backyard. Includes explanations on things like mixing potting soil, making compost, cleaning tools, reading plant labels, thwarting pests, mulching, starting seed, saving the harvest and so much more. There\’s also lots of crafts such as making a planter box, sewing a gardener\’s apron with pockets, creating plant labels and seed packets, building a trellis, and custom stepping stones. There\’s directions for many things I\’ve never tried before such as candied flower petals, floral-infused vinagers and homemade hand salve. I already have ideas to try a few new things, or grow several plants I never considered before, due to her enthusiastic recommendation. Sunchokes and calendula are now on my list. It\’s all presented in a very cheerful, friendly style, telling you up front what to be concerned about and what to shrug off. This book really made me feel interested in picking things up for the garden again- I had been feeling quite blah about the cold weather lately but it is halfway through february after all, so before turning the last page I went and started seventeen trays of seed for my spring garden. Oh, and I finally found the name of the \’scat plant\’ I grew one year! This book tells me it\’s coleus canina, also known as \’scaredy cat plant\’ (which info I had before but somehow missed the correct ID looking that up). Kinda odd because it\’s not in the coleus family? so I\’m still a bit confused about this one but now I know how to find it again. Very happy to have that little mystery in my head solved.