August 20, 2013

Garden book review: lost and found



The Organic Garden
A practical guide to natural gardens--from planning and planting, to harvesting and maintenance.

Author: Christine and Michael Lavelle
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Hermes House
Published: 2003






I rediscovered this book the other day. I remember glancing through it when I received it as a gift nine years ago (can it be that long?). During the interim, it was buried under a pile of other books on the shelf and was neglected ... until now.

"The Organic Garden," is chock full of ideas on how to garden without pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides--and how to encourage a healthy, productive garden in the process. I've been committed to organic gardening since long before I received this book. Actually, I think it happened when we lived in our previous house--which was 13 to 18 years ago. Many of the techniques are familiar to me, although there are always things to learn and re-learn.

This book is in limited supply, but you can get copies on Amazon, eBay, or through used-book sellers. The authors also have published more recent books on the same topic, with slightly different titles (search for "organic gardening" and "Lavelle").

Like most of my favorite garden books, it has excellent photographs and step-by-step instructions on how to do everything from no-dig gardening to companion planting to willow weaving.

I'm embarrassed that I neglected this very useful book. But I'm also extremely pleased, because it will offer many hours of quality reading during the cold months ahead. For now, I'm putting it in a prominent spot so I won't neglect it again!

Thanks to Holley at Roses and Other Gardening Joys for hosting the Garden Book Reviews meme.

26 comments:

  1. I have done that with books before, too. It is a fun surprise to find them again! This looks like a beautiful book, and although I try to garden organically, I don't have any books on organic gardening (what an oversight on my part!). It does looks like the perfect book to read this winter! Thanks so much for joining in!

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    1. I'm really embarrassed about this one. So much for reading the most "current" gardening books. ;-) But most of these principles are classic and timeless. Thanks, again, for hosting Holley!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this book with us, I should probably read more about this topic although I try to be as environmental conscious as possible. I must admit I have a stack of gardening books I want to read, some I inherited from someone who moved over a year ago and left me some of his books. But there are only so many hours in the day and every time I need an answer to a specific question it's just easier to turn to Internet for an answer. Sitting down with a book is a completely different experience though, much nicer :-)

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    1. So true about the hours in the day! Usually during the spring and summer I'm busy gardening, blogging, and working. And during the fall and winter I'm busy reading fiction, blogging, and working. (And everything else in life that one does.) I guess I need to make more time for garden books, because they really are a treat! I think that's why I prefer quick garden reference books. Although, as you say, most of that info can now be found on the Internet.

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  3. It is fun to discover books again and when we are ready to read them. I love perusing my shelves over and over. I will look for one of their books. I love learning more and more about organic methods.

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    1. I have so many gardening books--most of which I've scanned and referenced over time. This particular book is a little more in-depth about organic methods--perfect for reading by the fire in January!

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  4. Looks like a great gardening book to have for reference.

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    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to spending more time with it--when I have a little more time. ;-)

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  5. Looks like a great book. I'm sure it will make a great winter read. The cover is so pretty.

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    1. I think so, too, Tammy! The photos inside the book are beautiful and helpful, too.

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  6. I don't usually have time for reading books, but this one seems interesting since I don't do anything much to the garden that is not organic. Maybe a few new ideas await.

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    1. It's a comprehensive book, so I'm sure I'll learn and re-learn some concepts. It makes me want a bigger plot of sun for veg gardening, though. I'm really limited there.

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  7. There are so many garden books that I have on my list to read, and I like that this one says "practical guide". That appeals to me right away! (I enjoyed seeing all the plants in the photo moasic in your header!)

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy. All the photos in the header are from our Shagbark Hickory trees in various seasons. I agree--I like the "practical guides" for gardening, too.

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  8. While recovering from recent surgery, I have had too much time to read! This sounds like a good one to add to my must read list.

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    1. Sorry you had to go through surgery, but I guess it gave you some quality reading time. Hope you're recovering well! Take care, Deb.

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  9. I "re-discovered" a similar book on my shelf last winter. I was googling how to care for a particular plant when I discovered I already had an excellent book on caring for perennials that had everything I needed to know. Sometimes it pays to clean and organize--oops, that comment was about me, not you:)

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    1. Tee hee. Yes, you're exactly right, Rose. I'm not a very good housekeeper, and during the summer I really neglect the house in favor of the garden!

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  10. I'll keep that book in mind when the snow begins to fall, not too soon, I hope.

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    1. Amen. I'd just as soon the snow waited to fly until January! It just lasts way too long!

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  11. I'm always happy when I find an old favorite book that I have forgotten about.

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    1. Yep. I'm embarrassed when it happens, but sometimes it's a nice surprise.

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  12. I should go backs nd look through my gardening books. There are probably lots of treasures there. My business and garden have always been organic. I am not sure why people think this is so hard but your book sounds like it would help convince them.

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    1. I agree, Carolyn. I think part of it is just realizing organic gardening is not that difficult. And sometimes people just don't know about concepts like companion planting and natural compounds and plants that repel pests. Gardening organically can be challenging and fun, and like solving a puzzle. Of course, I've never had to do it on a large scale or as part of a business. It's good to know that your garden business is organic!

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  13. Looks like a good one! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Julie

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    1. Yes, I just spent a couple of hours with it the other day--lots of great info!

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