By: Angela England
Illustrated by: Wendy Piersall
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Publication Date: February 2016
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 9, 2016
The thought of transforming a dull, drab yard into something beautiful AND edible sounds too good to be true but according to Angela England, it can be done. If the idea intrigues you, check out Gardening Like a Ninja!
As a long-time gardener, I know all about what to grow in my garden. That, however, doesn’t mean the rest of my land is being put to productive uses. The landscaping around my house has been severely neglected. I wasn’t sure what to plant, where to plant, how much sun, type of soil needed, etc. The author tackles all of these issues and more, and makes it fun too.
The book is broken up into three well-delineated chapters – Why Sneak Edibles into Your Landscape; Original Edible Garden Designs; and Plants That Matter. The first chapter gives an overview of just what you can do with an edible landscape, some things to take into consideration such as using color (to attract as well as detract), water and soil as well as zone considerations. Chapter two takes a look at some actual edible garden designs, with before and after photos that really excelled at showing just what you can do with a little space. And speaking of little spaces, that’s one of the neat things the author helps the reader with – for those with small properties and/or Homeowners’ Associations that tightly control what you can do – she shows you how to do a lot with almost no land and little if any notice by your homeowners’ association.
The third chapter is a very long list of the plants, from vines to annuals, perennials to trees and shrubs that you can consider for your edible landscape. For each plant the author has included botanical information, a growing guide, potential pests and diseases, how to use, and her recommendations.
Gardening Like a Ninja was a fun and very informative read and I’d recommend it to anyone who has a love of gardening – even if you’re not interested in adding edibles to your landscape. There’s a lot of helpful hints to keep your plants healthy and happy, regardless of use. I particularly enjoyed the second chapter where there are numerous before and after photos of landscapes, with the author adding her how/why for various plants, styles, etc. It gave me a lot of ideas of what to do with my own yard. In addition to the illustrations, there are a LOT of photographs that really add to the quality of the book and make for a great read. This is one gardening book that you’ll be referring to again and again.
Quill says: A very useful and informational book on transforming your landscape into something beautiful and edible!