The Bottom Line
Written for the beginner, "Gardening for Dummies" does a great job of covering the basics: zones, choosing plants, weeding, pruning... It also lives up to its subtitle, "A reference for the rest of us." The section on pesticides is one of the easiest to grasp in print. But novice gardeners will appreciate it most for it's ability to get them up and gardening in a short amount of time.
- Accessible writing. Doesn't assume and doesn't condescend
- Good sense of humor comes through
- Packed with useful information for novice and experienced gardeners
- Cross referenced to the other Dummy gardening books
- Would benefit from more and better diagrams
- Covers all the major areas of gardening: types of plants, soil, special problems, tools...
- Diagrams techniques discussed
- Puts a good amount of emphasis on organic and botanical practices
- Goes beyond the basics of categorizing plants and talks about creating gardens
- Gives lists for specific purposes: perennials for shade, cool season annuals and dwarf conifers
- Offers 10 quick projects, like creating a water garden in a tub
- Provides a handful of garden designs to build on
- Closes with a list of supplemental references (Suppliers, Mailing lists, Newsletters...)
Guide Review - Gardening for Dummies
The Dummies series is popular for good reason. As with the rest of the series, "Gardening for Dummies" is written by experts in the field, the editors of the National Gardening Association. If there's a gardening question, they've probably heard it and answered it. In "Gardening for Dummies" they've outlined the essentials for starting and maintaining a garden. Because of the array of information covered, there is not a lot of depth on any one subject. There are other Dummy books for that. But as a course in Gardening 101 or as a reference for things like what and when to feed bulbs or trees, it is one of the best thought out books on gardening in general.