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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 23 March 2013
This is the first gardening book I have sat and read from cover to cover. Some previous reviewers said that they had found the American references got in the way of a good book... I do not find that this is the case as things that do not apply are far and few between. The only thing that is hampered by the American thing are the plant lists, but even these are not a problem as the reader is given so many other choices, and as Mr Hemenway points out you can pick and choose.
Thank you Toby Hemenway for producing such an accessible, thorough and affordable book on permaculture. If you can afford only one book on gardening of any-sort, buy this one.
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on 5 May 2011
I have Permaculture One and "the big black book" Permaculture a designers manual.
Not coming from a gardening/agricultural background I got a little frustrated with Bill Molisons books as I thought they would be more hands on. Dont get me wrong, the previously mentioned books are amazing and now that i have a little more practise and knowledge in this area I couldnt do without them. Bill Mollisons books are very good but give you the information and the principles and then your on your own. This is fine for someone that already knows a little about this subject but not so great for a total beginner.

So, Gaia's Garden should be the first stop for someone that wants to get into permaculture. It gives a great explanation of what permaculture is and its principals in one chapter, before passing on to how to put the principles into practise. You get great examples of all the principles with great images and anecdotes. It gives you lots of guidance and has a great reference section for further reading.

I wish i had bought this book first as it would have avoided me a little frustration.

I would add "The Self sufficient life and how to live it" to this book if you have no gardening experience. Gaias garden will give you the Permaculture principles and the self sufficient life will show you how to take care of the plants, animals etc.

Hope this helps.
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on 17 October 2011
This is a good introduction to permaculture - with two reservations. Firstly, it's an American book and the varieties, climate and lifestyle that are covered are often very different from those we are used to in the UK. Secondly, I found it quite tedious to read at times as it's difficult to just pick out the practical advice from the wealth of detail, scientific data and so forth which, whilst making this a very comprehensive book, is not always pertinent to the practical gardener.

So, all in all, an excellent introduction to the priciples of permaculture, but to put them into effect you will probably need to already be an experienced gardener to work out what will and will not work in your UK plot and adapt the varieties and the techniques accordingly.
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on 18 December 2013
It is quite a lengthy read which is refreshing in some respects as so many gardening books are just crammed full of photographs with minimal real content. My gripes with this book are partly to do with an American audience in mind as American examples are used throughout the book. From what I've read so far Permaculture in the UK climate is a slightly different game to more temperate climates. The second gripe is that the author just takes ages to get to the point, and often the text is very repetitive. It could quite easily be condensed and provide the same level of technical detail.
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on 22 July 2011
I bought this book as an experienced Permaculturalist, and wasn't disappointed. I found it to be an ideal bridge from conventional gardening, to using Permaculture on a small scale.It is written in a way that makes it easy to understand, the pictures make my non permacultural family say that they want a garden like that,and there is enough about Permaculture design, and Principles, to tempt people to take it further.
If you want to find out more about Permaculture, this is a good book to start with. If you want to ease others into a permaculture lifestyle, this book is an ideal gift, and has worked for my family.
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on 29 January 2014
My Gaia's Garden book arrive both promptly and in excellent condition. I'm already half way through it. I would definetly recommend this book for anyone interested in Permaculture, It's easy to read and understand. Not technically confusing like some gardening books, the illustrations are excellent and the diagrams and charts are easy to read and understand. I'm giving this book top marks.
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on 9 April 2012
I was a little put off by the title of this book. It didn't sound like the title of a serious reference book on permaculture. How wrong I was. This book is a wonderful guide. The writing is clear and thoughtful. The pictures and diagrams are inspiring and it has ideas and solutions for all kinds of climates. I can not recommend this highly enough. I'm buying a copy for my father, and have already had two of my friends borrow it. They're buying their own copies so that they can have it around for quick referencing. I believe it is books like this one that will convince people to re-think the way that they garden.
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on 9 May 2016
This was great - coming to the subject with no knowledge, I can now bore my friends and am a convert. Gives a good overview of the philosophy, as well as an intro to the science, and at the same time offers practical projects, several of which I have tried. Hugelkultur - who knew? Slightly America focussed eg tips on how to prevent water evaporation from the soil less appropriate for Northern England where the sun rarely shows itself, but really well researched and put together
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on 19 February 2013
This book is the perfect entry point for someone interested in permaculture and specifically with applying permaculutre techniques to a home size garden.
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on 7 December 2012
I bought this book as a gift for my daughter, and she was delighted with it, and has found it very useful.
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