November 14

Books read

A list of the books I have read about gardening and brief thoughts.

What I am reading now!How to read the landscape by Patrick Whitefield.

Patterns in Nature: Why the natural world looks the way it does by Philip Ball

This is a beautiful book – one that explores the maths, science and beauty of nature’s patterns where often there is order behind what might be perceived as chaos. It brings together patterns which have relationships such as the ripples in wind blown sand and a zebra’s stripes, bubbles and cells in a bee hive and veins in a leaf and the fascinating dragon’s blood trees. I love it! This book fits with module 4 of the permaculture design certificate Patterns.

The Permaculture Garden by Graham Bell

This book is about using permaculture ethics and principles in a garden rather than a small-holding or farm.  There are chapters such as what can I do in a day?, techniques to grow plants well, water in the garden, soil and adding features.  All the tools of permaculture are in this book – ways of dealing with grey water, forest gardening, air drying of clothes, building your own worm composting bin and much more. If you are interested in developing a more sustainable life style and garden, this book is for you.

No Dig Gardening: From weeds to vegetables easily and quickly by Charles Dowding.

I have read all of Charles Dowding’s books – I moved to a no-dig approach having read them and visited his garden.  The book is a paper version of his first online course which I haven’t taken, deciding that this was a much more financially savvy way to learn more.

The book focuses on introducing no-dig with a brief history, comparing dig and no-dig, laying out paths and beds, weeds and fertility, compost and soil.  What comes over really clearly is how Dowding undertakes lots of trials and is always looking for better ways to do things, everything from dig to no-dig to commercial fertiliser vs. home made compost.  I enjoyed the planting plan for the Small Garden showing what follows on from each planting and the compost section was detailed. This is appropriate because the success of no-dig relies upon compost and many people, like me, struggle to make enough for our needs. If you are a fan of no-dig or are interested in finding out more about it, this is the book for you.