Book Review

Kitchen Gardens -- Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guides

by Cathy Wilkinson Barash

Houghton Mifflin Co. 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003. 122 pages. Paperback. 7-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches, color photographs. $12.95.
(Price/availability info may have changed since original publication of review.)

Reviewed by Robert R. Chambers (03/1999)

This is an attractive book on vegetable gardens for the beginner. It alludes to historical kitchen gardens, tells how to get started doing one, discusses the design of the garden and gives various tips on how to choose the plants and increase productivity. It then describes a baker's dozen of kitchen gardens. With the exception of one garden in Florida and another in Minnesota, the gardens are in the northeast, mostly in New York.

There are color pictures on most pages, and the book is artistically presented. It is strong on designing a good-looking garden that yields handsome products. It also has numerous tables that indicate a range of possibilities and help to orient a beginner.

On the other hand the book does not give much information on particular vegetables, and does not discuss various varieties and their pros and cons. It has some errors such as listing of scallions and shallots as legumes. It reflects a fairly narrow range of conditions and has evidently been written primarily for people in New York and nearby states.

The book is quite readable and expresses useful viewpoints, but it is not a reference book and is not loaded with factual material. It does have an index.


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