on 11 June 1998
My copy of Barbara Damrosch's "Garden Primer" is splattered with mud and rain and has seeds stuck in the binding. This is not a coffee table book. This is a read it, use it book. There are no pretty photographs; there are no photographs. Just great road-tested advice on soil, tools, flowers, vegetables, shrubs, etc. No one subject is covered in depth, however, it covers every subject well and gets right to most important information. Like the "Joy of Cooking" in the kitchen, this is your all-purpose, when-do-I-plant- the-broccoli, how-do-I-spray-the-roses, where-do-I-put-the-fig-tree, kind of book. Would make an excellent housewarming gift for first time homeowners.
on 12 December 1998
My copy of "The Garden Primer" is worn, tattered, and never on the shelf with the rest of my gardening books. I refer to Barbara's sage advice for everything. It's has allowed me to try new plants, techniques, and garden designs - all without feeling I don't know what I'm doing. It's like having a master gardener watching over you.
Be forewarned though - she writes most (if not all) of her gardening experience from a Connecticut/zone 5 background. Those in the desert regions of Arizona may find most her advice useless.
Buy it - you'll never need another gardening book again.
on 22 May 1996
I find this book (for I keep it close at hand) a very readable
source of basics as well as practical advice. It answers
questions for the beginning gardener that may seem obvious to
someone who has learned gardening at the side of a master
gardener. In fact, it is a bit like learning gardening at
the elbow of the gardener as she lovingly and expertly tends
her plants: from mulching, to staking, to figuring out whether
to compost or not.
on 1 November 2012
This is a thick but neat book, clear and entertaining to read. Over 600 pages of commonsense advice about all aspects of gardening, interspersed with personal anecdotes about the author's own gardening preferences. It is beautifully illustrated with pencil drawings. It is an American publication, which means that some of the information is only relevant to the New World.