University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial Publications : Book of the Month

Passionate Gardening, Good Advice for Challenging Climates
Lauren Springer and Rob Proctor. 2000.  Fulcrum Publ. 336pp, hardcover
The fly-leaf of the book sums it up well: "Passionate Gardening take the gardener through the seasons in a most comprehensive, yet pleasurable and accessible way, as the authors celebrate a diversity of plants for every site and every season.  They champion sound, ecologically friendly gardening techniques, from soil and water issues to pest management.  They also offer up stories of their horticultural adventures as their personal gardens have evolved, making this lively, information-packed reading with a personal, real touch."

Although these authors garden and write from their experiences in Colorado, so many of the plants are appropriate for this climate, there are many applicable to other areas and most the garden concepts and ideas are universal.  Beside, the book is fun to read, built on personal stories from their gardens, and with many practical tips you can tell they gained from personal experience.  The short chapters can be easily read as desired, needed or at random, and alternate between the two authors. The titles and topics alone are enticing and give a feel for their style.

The first section on Common Ground has chapters such as on watering, learning to love latin, ode to clay, and garden one-upmanship.  Design and Inspiration section has almost 20 chapters on such as gardening between flagstones, borders,  garden art, and variegata.  Challenges section includes such chapters as Oh Deer!, hellstrips, made for mud, and the weeding instinct.  Through the Season section really has 4 parts, one for each season, with chapters such as dirt days in Spring, Panty Hose and Tomatoes in summer, Bulb Tricks in Autumn, and Ruthless People in Winter.  The fifth and final section on Perspectives has various assorted chapters such as Herbal Baths, Urban Wildlife, Labels and Pretty Poison.

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