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Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces Paperback – Illustrated, 7 Apr 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Edible Perennial Gardening: Growing Successful Polycultures in Small Spaces
  • +
  • How to Grow Perennial Vegetables: Low-maintenance, Low-impact Vegetable Gardening
  • +
  • Permaculture Design: A step by step guide
Total price: £39.39
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Permanent Publications (7 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856231496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856231497
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 315,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The best books on food growing are those written with a 'warts and all', practical perspective. Edible Perennial Gardening is an important book to help us to understand this vital topic. This wonderful guide is a bible. --Michael Kelly, journalist, broadcaster, author and founder of GIY (Grow it Yourself)

Anni Kelsey has a knowledge of perennial vegetables second to none. Now all that knowledge has overflowed from her garden into this rich and rewarding book. Perennial vegetables are one field of gardening that is still relatively unknown and Anni makes a significant impact on the body of knowledge we have about them. Follow her into her garden abundance awaits you! --Patrick Whitefield, permaculture teacher, designer and author of The Earth Care Manual

I love Anni's book. She's taken traditionally big space ideas and approaches and brought them alive on a domestic scale, where most gardeners operate. The bigger picture of redesigning our food system with perennials at its heart underlies, yet it never gets in the way of inspiring and enabling the reader with case studies, examples, advice and experience. A must-have for forward thinking gardeners. --Mark Diacono, experimental gardener, journalist and author of The New Kitchen Garden

About the Author

Anni Kelsey graduated with a first class degree in geography frm Aberystwyth University in 1990. She has worked as a research officer for a council's Economic Development Department and on various Urban Regeneration projects. She is passonate about pelmaculture, forest gardening and the Transition Movement.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspiring.
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This is a beautiful book and very well presented. However, it is quite thin, and not all of the content is that useful. For example, the author talks in a number of places about things she'd like to try in future, or things she doesn't know, or re-summarises basic information available in a lot of more comprehensive books elsewhere. This would be fine if she knew a lot in other areas, but I've really struggled to find any area where the author appears to be an actual expert. The area where she might have the strongest claim would be the section on perennial brassicas (her favourite plant families seem to be brassicas and the alliums).

For this reason, I'd say that this book fails as a reference manual as the author doesn't seem to have enough experience or knowledge. Does it have any other redeeming features? I have seen it sold as a kind of personal story / testament to perennial gardening / permaculture, but I don't really buy this either. As a kind of personal story it also fails as there isn't enough personality or person detail.

It's a nice looking book, but it's at best a mildly enjoyable read for a few hours. If you've already read anything about perennial veg, don't expect to change the way you garden at all as a consequence of reading this mini-book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't often write a negative review, and maybe it's just my fault for buying the wrong book. I have a small urban space with most of my plants in containers, and I was hoping this book would help me organise how I plant things and do companion planting, etc.

I found the book has lots of very brief descriptions of plants, without going into much detail, and reads more like the authors own personal diary of her own garden. I am quite well read in permaculture and "dig" the methods and thinking behind it, but this book really didn't offer anything of practical value. I could have got far more from a couple of hours browsing on the internet!

I'm going to be selling this book (after writing such a bad review) because every time I think of how much I spent on the book I just feel upset about it!
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book which uses big forest garden and permaculture gardening ideas and incorporates them into ideas for any sort of garden. Some of the vegetables are even grown in pots and can be grown in very small areas. I love the way you can garden with nature and encourage insects too. Anni Kelsy has done all the hard work for us - all the research, testing out different plants and the way they like to grow. I think that those who don't have traditional vegetable patches or raised beds will be delighted to find they can grow vegetables amongst their flowers and other plants. Beans entwined up a tree - just brilliant! I am amazed at how gardening in this way gives you such a beautiful garden and at the same time such a productive one. The look of the book is also lovely with clear and beautiful illustrations.
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Format: Paperback
For the permaculture-minded domestic scale gardener with a small garden, this is a perfect little book. We can’t all do forest gardening, but this book takes those principles and applies them to plant families that are appropriate for a small garden. The author has tested the plants and techniques in her own garden, and shares what she has learned in a friendly style, with plenty of useful information. It inspired me to start experimenting with perennial and self-seeding edible plants, and also to try ‘perennialising’ vegetables that are usually grown as annuals. She has loads of examples of plants that she has tried in a UK garden, so plenty to choose from. Her ‘polyculture’, ‘hands off’ style of gardening is beautiful and inspiring, and not too big and ‘showy’ so I feel that I could actually manage something similar myself in my own garden. Overall, this is a carefully researched, informative and inspiring book in a friendly and accessible style which makes it easy to read through. It has become an invaluable companion for me in my efforts to grow my own food sustainably whilst still having the neighbours complement me on how well my garden looks.
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