Friday, January 18, 2013

The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler: a Book Review

It's winter, and I'm already planning my spring planting. Aren't you?

This year I've decided that I want to go predominantly edible with my plantings, because not only can they be beautiful, they're functional. Let's face it, anything is more functional than grass. Sure, grass is great if you need something for your sheep or goats to munch on, but we don't have sheep and goats at my house (at this point in time) and I'm so tired of wasting time and money on the gas powered goat, I mean, lawn mower. It's silly. Water the grass (okay, I admit I'm not a grass waterer, but my neighbors are), mow the grass, water the grass, mow the grass. We want it to grow, we don't want it to grow. As a nation, we have an identity crisis going on in our own front yards.
No more, I say.

So, I've been spending the long nights reading up on some alternatives, and I want to share them with you, then maybe as planting time approaches we can share some of our plans with each other and check back in throughout the growing season. It will be good old fashioned hard work with delicious rewards.

You with me?

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful GardenThe Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden by Ivette Soler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler is a good jumping off point for a person who is ready to start making the transition from growing a great big lawn of useless and resource wasting grass to having a functional garden space planted with the things one loves to eat while still maintaining the all important curb appeal. Her descriptions of various ornamental edibles that one might not consider growing, hello nasturtiums and orach, are truly useful in planning a garden. I appreciate that she includes a description of color, height, habit, days to maturity, drainage requirements, hardiness zones, and even what to do with the various edibles. That said, I wish she had included light requirements. It is not safe to assume that all plants need the same light, and while on a rare few Mediterranean herbs she says they require a lot of heat and sun, I know that my plant wish list, if drawn from this book, is going to require a substantial amount of light checking while in the planning phase. It just seems silly that with all of the details provided, that this one was omitted.
Still, it's a good book to have on hand when you're planning and drawing a blank outside the go-to garden veggies and looking for something both yummy and pretty.

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1 reflections:

Kristen N said...

I'm interested to see how your yard turns out! I feel like there's such a giant expense in maintaining a lawn...but also such a great expense in completely redoing your landscaping in edibles. I guess the moral of the story is to do a little bit at a time...but who wants to wait!?