Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gardening books for apartment dwellers

I've added a list of books that will be useful to renters. Today, you will find two new additions to the Green Tenant's Bookshelf. Both are gardening books.

The first is Food not Lawns. It's an urban gardening how-to guide and guerrilla gardener's manifesto. While it's not the best introductory gardening book, it offers suggestions that are really useful to apartment dwellers. In particular, it discusses vertical gardening (using window boxes, climbing vines and so forth) and devotes a good deal of space to the subject of finding a place to garden when you don't have a patch of dirt of your own (abandoned industrial sites, neglected municipal planters and so forth).

It also has a lot of gardening basics. It's not the best reference book for these, but it approaches the basics -- soil, water and so forth -- with a sincere, environmentalist approach and always with a DIY attitude. It also has a sense of humour, evident in the composting section, which includes a bevy of old "new age" recipes that involve, for example, stuffing some poor plant into a cow's horn and burying it in the ground over the winter. Most of the book, however, is earnest, and there aren't many gardening books that cater to the landless.

The other book really isn't for apartment-dwellers. Green Roof Plants is really better suited to people with expansive houses or commercial or industrial properties. It's a guide to creating low-maintenance green roofs. As such, it's probably best to check it out of the library to use as a one-time reference. Why? Because it's an excellent guide to the sort of drought-tolerant plants that will thrive in rooftop or balcony gardens.

No comments: