Monday, May 23, 2011
Book review - The permaculture home garden
In the book The Permaculture Home Garden by Linda Woodrow, readers are guided through the steps to building a complete gardening system that she designed and used in her own home. Along the way elegantly describing the principles behind the system and permaculture.
The single most distinguishing feature of this book for me is that it describes a single system and a single way of doing things. Now that may sound a little dull and limiting but I found it refreshing and exactly what I was looking for. I have read numerous other gardening books and majority cover a variety of options from growing in pots to wicking beds. As a beginner gardener by the end of these books I feel excited by the diversity of gardening but overwhelmed by the vast knowledge that I must retain and am left confused as to where I should even begin.
In stark contrast Linda's book is like reading a recipe for a garden, listing the ingredients and describing a step by step like process that can be easily followed. Taking you all the way through from design to harvesting and everything in between. With every detail covered including exactly what you are going to grow and where. The only thing Linda leaves you to decided is where to located and to what size you are going to make the garden.
Now that may sound a bit impossible particularly as things very depending on climate and conditions. So I don't expect all of it will work for me exactly as described but for the bits that don't I can learn first hand how to adapt it to my particular environment.
As a result of this clear approach I was left lifted with a feeling and attitude of... LETS GO! I guess that is why Melanie and I found the decision to tear down our existing garden, destroying hours of work, to start a fresh was so easy.
What about the highly experienced gardener? Well not being one (yet) I will have to speculate. But for the same reason a professional chef would still read recipe books I believe this book would be a great source of ideas and inspiration. Particularly the more traditional gardener wanting to branch out into permaculture.
I found Linda to have a deep understanding of the relationships within nature and the permaculture principles, and a way of communicating them that strongly resonated with me. So much so that I heard the click from the light switch in my head when reading.
All of this, not that I find it that important in a gardening book, is wrapped up in an entertaining and slightly humours package. My only complaints is I would have likes to have seen some photos of the garden it describes. I highly recommend this book giving it 5 out of 5 stars.
Have you read it and what did you think?