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We've all seen the vegetable garden overflowing with corn, tomatoes, and zucchini that looks good for a short time, but then quickly turns straggly and unattractive (usually right before friends show up for a backyard barbecue). If you want to grow food but you don't want your yard to look like a farm, what can you do? "The Beautiful Edible Garden" shares how to not only grow organic fruits and vegetables, but also make your garden a place of year-round beauty that is appealing, enjoyable, and fits your personal style. Written by a landscape design team that specializes in artfully blending edibles and ornamentals together, "The Beautiful Edible Garden "shows that it's possible for gardeners of all levels to reap the best of both worlds. Featuring a fresh approach to garden design, glorious photographs, and ideas for a range of spaces--from large yards to tiny patios--this guide is perfect for anyone who wants a gorgeous "and" productive garden.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-12-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Bennett and Bittner specialize in blending herbs and edibles with ornamentals in limited yard space with an eye toward sophisticated design. Aided by 200 color photos by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo, the authors, who live in California (and it shows in plant selection), offer guided steps and insights for putting together an edible garden that sings with beauty. A mushroom centerpiece, a fruit and nut orchard, and a plum wreath are among the book’s innovative offerings. The authors take readers through the process of planning, preparing, and planting with lucid and accessible instruction that includes the principles of landscape design. Even so, don’t be fooled by the step-by-step approach. The book is detailed and thorough, and requires thought to assimilate its valuable information. Best first to read it carefully, front to back. Then take it in hand, grab a shovel or spade, and get into the dirt, which, if directions are followed, is destined to become your canvas, your masterpiece, and your dinner. Agent: Andrea Barzvi, ICM. (Feb. 26)
Reviving your closets
“After a certain age women and their clothes just don’t get along anymore,” begins The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age. Many of us over the age of 40 find that our lives and bodies evolve quicker than the contents of our closets, but we don’t quite know what to do about it. This guide, by fashion editor and beauty expert Lois Joy Johnson, shares “hundreds of body-enhancing, closet-reviving, and money-saving tricks” aimed at changing the way we think about what we wear. Readers can approach it in three basic ways: to reinvigorate what’s already in the closet; to “look contemporary but not silly” and “dress for comfort without giving up fashion”; and to start over after a big life change (new job, divorce, weight change, etc.). Johnson is helped by supermodel Cheryl Tiegs (who wrote the foreword) and 18 “extraordinary women” in the arts, fashion and beauty industries, each of whom appears in outfits from her own closet to illustrate a particular principle or suggestion. For those of us on tight budgets, the style-for-less shopping guide (from Ann Taylor to Walmart) is especially helpful.
WEDDING DAY DIY
Vintage Wedding Style: More Than 25 Simple Projects and Endless Inspiration for Designing Your Big Day is for couples with an eye for “something old” and a vision of an unforgettably unique celebration. Author and wedding stylist Elizabeth Demos shows how easy and fun it can be to layer old and new by bringing antique and vintage pieces to any (or every) aspect of a wedding. She explores 12 broad themes—from a fabulous Gatsby revival to “Flea Market Charm”—shared from 12 actual weddings. Within each are DIY how-tos and scrumptious photos of projects with details large and small. Basically, almost anything goes, especially when used with suggested “editing skills,” and with tips that help couples “navigate common problems such as out-of-the-way locations, weather concerns, and budget.” Hundreds of “styling ideas” and photos vastly outnumber the designated DIY projects, and altogether they make up a real wish-book of wedding inspiration. Readers should expect sudden urges to visit thrift stores, yard sales and antique malls. The 25 projects are rated by difficulty and timing (as in, “when to start”), and include sweet touches like vintage map votive candles, muslin favor bags, faux forced flowering branches, jute-wrapped jars, giant letters (you’ll see . . .) and wood-block flower centerpieces.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
The Beautiful Edible Garden by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner combines aesthetic sensibility and literally down-to-earth pragmatism with insight and ingenuity. Who knew that a plot full of weeds and scrubby trees could so readily be transformed into a garden of earthly delights just a few steps away from the kitchen, and just a few more easy and thoughtful steps away from an arrangement for the dining room? Whether your yard is big or small, out back or in front, or limited to a few containers on a balcony, you can “pursue food production and beauty together” and “form meaningful spaces that have the power to both ground and uplift.” And here’s the kicker: With a bit of planning, all this useful beauty can flow from season to season the whole year ’round.