Book review: The Bee-Friendly Garden

I was excited to read this book because I have been doing a lot of reading about the disappearance of bees and how it affects our food supply.  The Bee-Friendly Garden started out well with an overview of what the problem was with bees and why we need to pay attention to the problem.

Most of the book consists of recommendations for what to plant to attract bees, especially native bees.  The only problem is that the layout isn’t very clear so you don’t really know which plants should be grown in which regions.  Sometimes the text explained that such-and-such plant would grow better in the Southwest or in sandy soil, etc.  It didn’t really give specifics, though.  Most other gardening books give you specifics such as temperature/climate to plant, tips on when to plant, recommendations for soil content, etc.

The most important ideas from the book are that native bees are better pollinators than honey bees so we should try to help attract native bees.  Native bees like native plants best.  The most helpful parts of the book were the links that were provided to a website so that you could contact the people in your specific area.  See http://www.fws.gov/invasives/what-you-can-do.html#native-plants for more information.  There is also a section in the back of the book that I found helpful.  it listed regions in the U.S. and bee-friendly plants for that region.

I liked that this book brought up an important topic, but I was disappointed in the book itself.  Most of the stuff that is presented (what type of plants attract bees) can be found on the internet.  There wasn’t much in the book about how to care for those plants or other gardening tips.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for Books

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Book review: The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

Don’t let the title fool you – even though it’s called “The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden,” I found this book to be full of useful information for any beginning gardener.  There were many tips for how to maximize vegetable yield in a smaller area (go vertical), but there was a section in the book about how to  make sure you have enough nutrients in the soil and how much of each vegetable to plant (for example, 1 artichoke per person but 12 asparagus plants per person).

I thought I would skim through this book to just read the sections that interested me, but I ended up reading the book from cover to cover.  It was so helpful and interesting!  I loved everything from the sample gardening plot plans to the different variations of plants to the “typical problem” section for each vegetable.  It does everything from teaching how to compost to providing tips for natural pest remedies.  I can’t say enough good things about this book.  Buy it if you are thinking about starting a vegetable garden!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.