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Urban EdenBOOK REVIEWS

Urban Eden
Grow delicious fruit, vegetables
and herbs in a really small space

Adam and James Caplin
Distributed by Reed Publishing Ltd.
$NZ39.99

AUTHOR James Caplin, so the introduction says, lives a normal, stressed urban existence with too much to do and too little time to do it. He's not a gardening professional, but a family man whose 6m x 6m plot provides something for the table almost every day. This, then, is the nub of Urban Eden - how to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs successfully in really small spaces.

Caplin reassures those who assume that pollutants make city vege gardening a no-no. Lead from exhaust is generally not an issue, he concludes, and if there's still a worry about contaminants, containers and raised beds will do the trick. There are lots of tips on containers, the mainstay of small space gardening, in keeping with the book's eco-friendly style.

There are few limits on what the urban gardener can grow - fruit trees in containers, tomatoes in hanging baskets, kale, sage or borage in a border - there are plenty of suggestions here.

Confined space can mean your neighbour's eyesore is yours, too. The chapter on design deals with aesthetic bugbears. There's a chapter on urban wildlife - cats, like slugs and snails, know too few boundaries.

In case you need reminding of what to do with your urban garden's bounty, there are some great recipes to round off with and a useful appendix on good plants to cultivate, and how to grow them.

An informative, lively book for those who have had to down size their gardens or for those starting out on an urban gardening adventure.

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener


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