Forest Gardening: Cultivating an Edible Landscape, 2nd Edition

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Chelsea Green Publishing, Sep 1, 1996 - Gardening - 259 pages

An English classic revised and expanded for North America

Forest Gardening is a way of working alongside nature--an approach that results in great productivity with minimal maintenance, and a method for transforming even a small cottage garden into a diverse and inviting habitat for songbirds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Based on the model of a natural woodland, a forest garden incorporates a wide variety of useful plants, including fruit and nut trees, perennial herbs, and vegetables.

Hart's book beautifully describes his decades of experience gardening in the Shropshire countryside, yet the principles of "backyard permaculture" he explores can be applied equally well in other locales across the planet, from tropical to temperate zones. Practical features of the book include:

  • Design guidelines for creating your own perennial food-producing garden
  • Lists of recommended plants and varieties, keyed to different climates
  • An explanation of how plants in different levels or "stories" --from ground covers to full-sized trees--coexist and interact in a healthy and productive landscape.

Robert Hart blends history, philosophy, anthropology, and seasonal gardening wisdom in a lucid sequence of essays, which together comprise a remarkable testament to the pleasures of "hands-off" as well as hands-on gardening. Forest Gardening is truly a book for our times, offering a fresh sensibility that will encourage and inspire ecological gardeners throughout the world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tgraettinger - LibraryThing

Mostly skimmed this book since many of the details were only appropriate for UK readers (people living and growing plants in that geography), but some of the thought process and motivation was helpful. Read full review

Forest gardening: cultivating an edible landscape

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

What exactly is a forest garden? British author and gardener Hart describes it as a miniature imitation of a natural forest, complete with a fruit and nut tree "canopy" and lower tiers of climbers ... Read full review

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References to this book

About the author (1996)

Robert Hart (1913-2000) was a pioneer practitioner of agroforestry and permaculture. His books include Forest Gardening, The Inviolable Hills, Ecosociety, and the widely acclaimed Forest Farming (co-authored with James Sholto Douglas). He lived in Shropshire, England.

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