The good garden How to nurture pollinators, soil, native wildlife, and healthy food--all in your own backyard

Chris McLaughlin, 1964-

Book - 2023

"What makes a garden good? For Chris McLaughlin, it's about growing the healthiest, most scrumptious fruits and veggies possible, but it's also about giving back. How can your little patch of Earth become a sanctuary for threatened wildlife, sequester carbon, and nurture native plants?"--

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Location Call Number   Status
Bookmobile Nonfiction 635/McLaughlin Due Jun 8, 2023
2nd Floor New Shelf 635/McLaughlin (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 5, 2023
Handbooks and manuals
Washington, DC : Island Press [2023]
Physical Description
300 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Main Author
Chris McLaughlin, 1964- (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Master gardener McLaughlin (Vertical Vegetable Gardening) compiles a greatest-hits of sustainable gardening ideas in this somewhat cursory outing. Driven by the desire to "restore and replenish the land that is restoring and replenishing me," the author encourages readers to make use of regenerative gardening practices to improve soil, promote biodiversity, and protect local waterways. McLaughlin explains a wealth of gardening philosophies, including permaculture ("living in harmony with nature"), biodynamic gardening (in which a garden is "an organism unto itself"), and French intensive methods (in which "crops are planted up to five times closer" than normal). She also suggests looking to the natural world for solutions to common gardening problems: one can combat pests by cultivating a healthy population of insects, birds, and bats, for example, while covering bare ground goes a long way in reducing weeds, preventing erosion, maintaining moisture, and insulating plant roots. McLaughlin's commitment to stewardship runs deep, but here she spreads herself a bit thin, touching on many topics but not really digging into any of them. The frequent stock photos, meanwhile, don't show her ideas in action. Less a detailed how-to than a chatty why-do-it, this is likely to leave readers wanting. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Author, master gardener, and flower/fiber farmer McLaughlin (Growing Heirloom Flowers; A Garden To Dye For) offers a wide-ranging introduction to sustainable gardening practices. She covers the various types of eco-friendly gardens, beneficial insects, and wildlife, from amphibians to birds, along with best practices for extending the growing season, watering, and welcoming pollinators. She shares multiple low-impact techniques for dealing with weeds and pests, plus information about soils and their properties, composting, growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers, beekeeping, and raising small domestic animals, such as chickens and rabbits. She includes helpful charts such as "Butterfly Caterpillar Host Plants." She also explains ways to make sustainable gardens palatable to neighbors and how to share these techniques with them and the wider community. At the end, there's an extensive list of resources for gardeners who would like to delve deeper into these topics. The book is suitable for both beginners and experienced gardeners who want to garden more ecologically. VERDICT Enhanced with numerous lovely color photographs, this inviting book is a wonderful overview on sustainable gardening.--Sue O'Brien

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