'Groundbreaking' Ideas to Apply in Your Garden

Book Review

Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden
By Niki Jabbour

Courtesy of Storey Publishing
Lacking creative ideas for the garden? Author Niki Jabbour seeks to inspire vegetable gardeners by sharing the experiences of 73 different gardeners in her most recently published book, Groundbreaking Food Gardens. Insightful gardening suggestions pair well with Jabbour's journalistic style of short story/interview presentation. It's useful for the reader to see how gardening concepts and practices are implemented into real gardens for better results.

Specific varieties of vegetables are provided with most plans, which will please the reader who wishes to duplicate the ideas in his or her own garden. But general ideas of what to plant, such as a companion plant pairing for a fig tree as described in "Beautiful Balcony Edibles," is also helpful. And there are many possibilities to learn new things, as I did in "The Circle of Life" section. (I never knew the leaves of comfrey could be used as a natural fertilizer in the garden.)

Getting the most out of your garden, sometimes in a limited space, is a central theme that runs throughout the book. This is done by using space wisely and interplanting, both common concepts throughout the garden plans Jabbour profiles.

This isn't a book that will be read cover to cover in a few sittings. Instead, it's a reference to spark ideas for your own garden and interests. For this reason, gardeners ranging from the amateur to the experienced will each take away something different from this book. In addition, the illustrations used in the book are creative and accompanied by whimsical fonts.

One personal note: I originally purchased this book for my Kindle but found it difficult to follow, especially the section "About the Contributors" which was riddled with hyperlinks to make finding their garden plans later in the book easier. Also, the illustrations and copy flow were much easier to follow in the print edition. When comparing the two versions, some of the illustrations didn't even make it into the Kindle edition. When I found the book at my library, I checked it out to finish reading and abandoned the Kindle edition. In this case, reading the actual book was more enjoyable than reading it on the Kindle.

Groundbreaking Food Gardens retails for $19.95 and is published by Storey Publishing.

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