Growing your own vegetables and fruits has come back into favor in the last year thanks to the bad economy. Instead of focusing primarily on beauty in the landscape a lot of folks went in a new direction and began planting with the idea of growing food.  As the author notes in the introduction, one can plant fruit producing plants that also provide beauty in the landscape.

After the introduction, the book is essentially divided into two parts though that organization is never expressly stated by the author. The first half of the book is all about the technical details. The second half is all about the various plants. Of course, various plants are discussed and there are photographs of them in the first section, but the overriding material is regarding landscape design and placement of the plants as well as how to maintain them.

The first chapter covers “Landscape Design Basics.” As implied by the title, it is how to figure out how one yard looks better that another(and not just because everything is alive and thriving), how to figure out what you have, what you want, how to use different plants to achieve different goals, etc.

“Considerations In Planting” follows with topics on weather, your local soil, types of sunlight in your area, etc.

This leads directly into the chapter titled “Growing The Plants.” Spending money and effort on planting is doomed to failure if you don’t know what will grow best, how to care for your soil, prune and protect against pests of all types, among other topics.

Various plans for several different layouts are found in the next section titled “Home Landscape Plans.” Starting on page 61, you are led through “A Patio Fruitscape,” and “A Modular Backyard” and a very neat design for “A Children’s Garden” (which also appeals to adults as a retreat) and many others.

Starting on page 73 is the “Guide To Fruiting Landscape Plants.” The plants were selected for landscaping in temperate climates which the author interestingly defines as “… having distinct winter and summer seasons.” (P.73) After an overview table listing the name of the plant, what it usually produces in terms of quantity, zones it lives in according to USDA and AHS, landscape use, prominent ornamental qualities, ( types of bloom, leaf, color, etc.) among other categories, the book moves into very detailed descriptions of the plants. Along with much of the info listed in the chart being repeated here there are photographs of the plants and plenty of growing tips. Nearly forty plants are listed and include several varieties of cherries, currants, kiwi fruit, pear and others.  There are also suggestions for fruit trees in pots using various types of citrus, as well as fig, kumquat, and others.

A list of suppliers, reading resources, zone maps and eleven page index bring this very helpful book to a close.

Despite the photographed lusciousness of many of the plants in the book, which would indicate a heavy need of water, many plants such as the “Russian Olive” ( Pages 162-163) prefer it drier with low humidity. So, while not specific to Texas readers, this book does feature plants that will work here as well as various other places in this country. Be sure to read all the info for each plant so that you can make a good decision as to what fits best in your landscape.

Comprehensive and detailed, 191 page book provides a wealth of good advice in how to incorporate fruit bearing plants your landscape. While it might be trendy among some right now to do so, this book will show you what to do to keep fruit coming from your landscape long after the fad has passed.  

  

Landscaping With Fruit

Lee Reich

Storey Publishing

http://www.storey.com/

2009

ISBN# 978-1-60342-091-4

$19.95

191 Pages

  

Book provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.

   

Kevin R. Tipple © 2009

   

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