University of Vermont Extension 
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial Publications : Book of the Month

The Green Thumb Garden Handbook
Doc and Katy Abraham.  1999 (1992).  Lyons Press.  528pp, softcover
A great reference for beginning gardeners, this handbook has so many tips the experienced gardener will also find something (if not much) of use here as well. It has been described as a "gardening library in a single book."  It is densely packed with culture, practical tips, lists of plants and more common sense on all aspects of gardening including such as vegetables, fruits, perennials to houseplants.  It has recently been greatly updated and revised.  The authors are easily readable, with a half century of experience delivering gardening information through various media to home gardeners..

Although no color photos, there are many illustrations of various cultural and gardening practices.  As an example of a chapter, the one on perennials has a couple pages on tips for culture and design.  A couple pages follow on propagation, then a listing of some favorite and key perennials.  For each plant is given a brief description and where it might be used, or particular notes; then "green thumb care", propagation, and troubles-- all briefly description, just the most important points.  There are many tables listing perennials for various habitats like seashores, or time of bloom.  At the end of this chapter, as all, are "green thumb tips"-- a good summary especially for novice gardeners.  Examples for perennials include "It's better by far to have a few showy perennials than to raise a lot of short-blooming types which require a lot of care."

The authors are well known through some of their other books, their syndicated garden column "The Green Thumb",  numerous television appearances, and their almost 50 continuous years of their radio show.  Although they garden in upstate New York, their advice is directed to a wide geographic audience.

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