Sunday, November 01, 2009
a FANTASTIC book: Designing the New Kitchen Garden by J Bartley
I'm really enjoying reading this book. Every word. Its wonderful.
Who would have thought a book on designing the New Kitchen Garden would start way back with medieval gardens? And that garden history would be so fascinating? The drawings of courtyard gardens are detailed and beautiful. Jennifer Bartley is a wonderfully creative and inspiring writer.
I'm enjoying the lists of plants grown in different types of gardens. Medicinals and herbals from monastery plots. Always ready for new (and old!) ideas for next year's garden, I'm imagining an officinalis section with borage, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm and rosemary.
I love the lessons Bartley brings - "that our garden would be a source of pleasure and healing to those that visit us." And the gardener of course. The possibility of balancing spirit, soul and body by nurturing an oasis that provides beauty, a haven of restfulness and fresh authentic food. Of the garden as a "workshop". Of the potager not as a plot hidden in the corner of the backyard, but as a central feature, an all-season landscape. Herbs, vegetable and flowers even in the front yard of the most exclusive neighborhood.
Bartley's photos are beautiful: rhubarb grown to blanch in tall willow baskets with nasturtiums trailing over the edges. Old espaliered fruit trees next to young rows of greens. Companions, structures, plans and lists. I may read this five or six times. It is a rich and full book for gardening at many levels. Outlined guidelines, garden principles, plants list and diagrams. A true inspiration for the new potager.
Designing the New Kitchen Garden: An American Potager Handbook by Jennifer Bartley
Thanks to Timber Books for sending me a free copy of this book for review.