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An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World’s Greatest Playwright


Yet Nature is made better by no mean But Nature makes that mean: so, over that
Art Which you say adds to Nature, is an Art That Nature makes.
You see, sweet maid, we marry A gentler scion to the wildest stock, And make conceive a bark of baser kind By bud of nobler race: this is an Art Which does mend Nature, change it rather, but 
The ART itself is NATURE.
—Winter’s Tale [Act IV, Scene 4]
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 2017 by Gerit Quealy 
 Foreword © 2017 by Helen Mirren

This graceful volume is the marriage of Shakespeare’s words about plants and
the plants themselves. It beautifully combines my love of Shakespeare and of
gardening. Seeing what each plant looks like, their faces if you will, is
fascinating, and incredibly helpful, especially with the more obscure ones.
My penchant for gardening came during my time with the Royal
Shakespeare Company in Stratford—the physicality of the material and the
material world of plants sort of converged. There I developed a passion for the
countryside—the gold and green of the landscape, the changing colours and
textures of the seasons, the scent of damp earth and pungent wildflowers.
It’s the experience of each that provides the thrill: getting your hands dirty,
diving down to the root of it all, finding the real joy of growth. “Joy’s soul lies in
the doing,” says Shakespeare’s Cressida, and it’s true.

Nature has become a passion and a tonic for me so finding a way to keep it
close is a priority [I even made a garden outside my trailer in Lithuania while
shooting Elizabeth I]. It satisfies what I call my appetite for solitude.
How delightful then that this elegant book contains all of Shakespeare’s
words about plants beside exquisite drawings of the plants themselves. You can
sit with it in solitude and have a direct experience of each plant. You can almost
touch or smell each one. Maybe it will make you want to do that—feel the spiky
thorns of the rose or the fuzzy heads of burdock. I hope so. I love the fact that
the olives I grow in my garden appear in six different plays, plus a sonnet [107]:
“Peace proclaims Olives of endless age.”
— Helen Mirren

He will work you any Flower to the life, as like it
as if it grew in the very place;
and being a delicate perfumer
he will give it you his perfect and natural Savour.
— from Sir Gyles Goosecappe, by George Chapman
Lawyers claim Shakespeare was a lawyer, doctors think he was medically
trained, actors assume he was a thespian, soldiers, sailors, and astronomers all
claim a kindred spirit. So it should be no surprise that knowledgeable gardeners
think the Bard’s extensive use of botanical references would qualify him as a
Master Gardener.
Playwright Ben Jonson, Shakespeare’s eulogist of sorts, said he was “not of
an Age, but for all Time.” He might have added, “for all professions.” Ben’s
1623 prognostication proved true enough—the immortal Bard’s work and wit
are probably more popular and pored over than those of any other writer
throughout history.
Just as Shakespeare’s words have fallen on fertile ground, so are they fertile
ground themselves for a bounty of botany. Professional horticulturalists,
gardening hobbyists, and nature lovers in general all share a fascination for the
vast array of flowers, fruits, grains, grasses, seeds and weeds, plants and trees,
herbs, spices, and vegetables sprouting in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets—
roughly 175 specific mentions, with even more general references and
commentary on planting, pruning, growing, grafting, weeding, seeding, folklore
galore, and tributes, naturally:
. . . tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing
Even the sinister side of plants—dangerous poisons, painful nettles and thorns,
or the threatening approach of Birnam Wood—holds thrall.
I will not be afraid of death and bane,
Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.
Casual mentions of plants are interlaced everywhere; the bane tucked in the
above quotation is a succinct rhyme but also no doubt a truncated version of
either Wolfsbane or Henbane, deadly poisons perfectly at home in the dark
world that is Macbeth.

Perhaps this fertile ground owes more to the reign of Elizabeth than to anything
else. Her ascension to the throne in 1558 marked a sort of steadying of the severe
pendulum swings put in motion by her father, Henry VIII, when he broke with
the church in Rome. That shock was still reverberating through the populace
when first the Evangelion Edward VI, then his Catholic sister, who became
known as Bloody Mary, succeeded in stretching the country to the extremes of
religious fervor. The highly educated, peaceable, and pleasure-loving Elizabeth
stayed that pendulum insomuch as she could. She seeded England with a passion
for learning; poetry fused with the classics flourished, and the new entertainment
of plays. Publishing went into overdrive, first with translations of popular
material from Europe, which included botany books, then with homegrown
versions in just about every genre. Which is why this era is known as the Early
Modern period, because it is essentially the community from which our current
society springs. In short, she created a culture in which investigation, discovery,
experimentation, and creativity blossomed. A sort of garden plan to foster a
Renaissance at any time.

Table of Contents





THE BOTANICALS: Plant Portraits, Alphabetically and QUOTES



Published in 2017 by
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EPub Edition April 2017 ISBN 9780062469908
Library of Congress Control Number 2016951429

A Seasonal Guide to Growing, Cooking and Using Culinary Herbs

Maureen Little

Produced for How To Books by Deer Park Productions, Tavistock, Devon
Designed and typeset by Mousemat Design Ltd
Printed and bound by Gráficas Cems, Villatuerta (Spain)
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 Text Copyright©   
 2012 Maureen Little 

------------------Hardiness zone-------------------
My experience as a gardener is restricted to the British Isles, so all the recommendations
I make and examples I give in this book are based on this.
Our climate has been categorised as falling generally within hardiness zone
8a or 8b, so if you are gardening outside the British Isles, adjustments must be made.

There is much pleasure to be had from growing your own herbs — they are
decorative; many, if not all, are aromatic; they attract beneficial insects; and
are relatively easy to grow. As if these were not reasons enough to cultivate
them, herbs have a variety of practical uses too - indeed, if herbs were
people, then in today’s parlance they would be ‘multi-taskers’! In this book,
however, we will be looking at culinary herbs. These are plants which,
through generations of use, we know are safe to eat, fresh, dried, or cooked.
Although my dad and mum had a market garden and plant nursery, my
first real taste of herbs came about because of my cookery teacher at school.
Bear in mind that this was at a time when, in our neck of the woods, even a
red pepper was exotic and the nearest you got to a Chinese meal was the
new-fangled ready-meal Vesta Chow Mein. Our cookery teacher. Miss
Smythe-with-an-e, was looked on as somewhat avant-garde, introducing us to
coq a u v in instead of chicken casserole, using cos lettuce instead of the limp
‘cabbage’ type, and - most radical of all - presenting us with a bunch of f in e s
herbes (the quintessential French combination of chervil, chives, parsley and
tarragon) and using them to make the most sublime omelette I have ever
tasted. Goodness only knows where she got those herbs from. She must have
grown them herself: at that time the only herbs you could buy were sorrylooking
specimens in jars that looked like scrunched up wheat cereal (you
know the kind — the one that even my husband can’t eat three of) lurking at
the back of the grocer’s dry goods shelf.
As a result of Miss Smythe-with-an-e’s influence, I pestered my dad to
allow me some space in his propagating house to grow some herbs - not
always successfully - but I learned enotigh, mostly through trial, error and
effort, to be able to grow some of the better-known herbs like parsley, sage.
rosemary and thyme (I feel a song coming on!). The rest, as they say, is
history. But whenever I taste an omelette with fines herbes I am instantly
transported back to the school teaching kitchen and Miss Smythe-with-an-e
and her sensible lace-up shoes, baby-pink twin-set and string of pearls, but
carrying with her an almost indiscernible, but nevertheless unmistakable,
aroma of Chanel No. 5. What with the fines herbes and Chanel perfume, us
girls often wondered if Miss Smyth-with-an-e’s mother was French: the more
romantic among us contemplated the possibility of - bon Dieu - a French
boyfriend! We never did find out, but I shall be eternally grateful to Miss S.
for that early introduction to fresh herbs.
This is a seasonal guide but not in the usual sense. Instead of adhering to the usual spring, summer, autumn and winter categories, I have arranged the year into two, key seasons: the dormant season and the growing season. Within each of the two-season classification I have introduced subcategories which I think will prove useful when looking at different jobs to do in the herb garden. These are the early, main, and late dormant periods (which roughly correspond to late autumn, winter, and early spring), and the early, main, and late growing periods (which essentially tally with late spring, summer and early autumn).
There are a number of reasons for dividing the year like this. First, even though we traditionally recognise spring, for example, as being the months of March, April and May, plants are governed by day length and temperature: how many times have we reached Easter only to find the daffodils long gone - or are still enjoying roses in November? Plants start and stop growing according to natural conditions, not an arbitrary date!
Second, the jobs we find ourselves doing in the herb garden are also dependent on what the plants are doing and the prevailing conditions: even though it might tell you on the seed packet to plant out your tender herb in late spring, there is no point doing this until the last frosts have gone. And if seed is ripe in July, don’t leave it until September to collect it.
Third, and perhaps most important for this guide, I have divided the culinary herbs that we are going to look at into two main groups - delicate ones and robust ones (which I first referred to in my ebook. How to Grow Your Own Herbs). Broadly speaking, delicate herbs are those that we can harvest and use during the growing season; this is when we lean towards fresher, lighter dishes and when we call for corresponding flavours from our herbs. Robust herbs are ones that we can har\est all year round, even in the dormant season. This is when more comforting, substantial recipes
requiring longer cooking are the order of the day, the staying power of our
robust herbs adding to their flavour. For anyone who has little or no
experience of using herbs in their cooking, I hope this distinction will prove
to be useful.
Last, even though herbs are available all year round in the supermarket,
this book is about encouraging you to grow and use your own. Unless you
have sophisticated equipment which provides ‘unnatural’ heat and light all
through the year — like the growers who supply supermarkets - you will be
governed by what nature dictates can be grown at any particular time. I
guarantee that you would be hard pushed to grow dill, for example, during
the dormant season. So you see how a two-season year is practicable when it
comes to both growing and using herbs.
I have divided the book into three parts, each one containing two
chapters. Part 1 is dedicated to various ‘herb’ techniques. Chapter 1 is
devoted to looking at my selected range of culinai'y herbs and how to grow
them. We also look at where to grow them and how to propagate them. In
Chapter 2 we discover when and how to harvest our selected herbs and
explore different ways of preserUng them.
We look at seasonal jobs in the herb garden in Part 2. Chapter 3 focuses
on the growing season. Here you will find what jobs need to be done in the
herb garden during the warmer, lighter months. Chapter 4 takes us through
the jobs for the dormant season.
In Part 3 the focus is on individual herbs. Chapter 5 covers my range of
delicate herbs, with individual entries, providing lots of information on how
to grow them, along with recipes for each herb. Chapter 6 contains entries
and recipes for the robust herbs.
I have tried to offer recipes that are neither complicated nor call for
ingredients that you can’t get from a market, grocer, or supermarket. And
because this book is about making the most of herbs, they take centre stage
or have a major supporting role in all the recipes. I hope you enjoy making
- and eating! - the dishes as much as I do.

------------------Latin and common names-------------------
When talking about plants it is customary to use their Latin names to avoid
confusion. On this occasion, however, I have deliberately stuck to the
generally accepted English common name of the herbs that we will be
looking at. You will find the Latin names in the list of herbs in Appendix 1,
however. The reason for using the common name is that when a recipe calls
for a herb (or any other vegetable or fruit for that matter), it is invariably
referred to by its common name: I can’t ever recall being asked to crush two
cloves of A llium s a tiv um (garlic) to add to my finely chopped Petroselinum
c rispum (parsley)! Where there is more than one common name in
widespread usage, I shall endeavour to give the alternatives, too.

Table of Contents
A cknowledgements
1. The Why, What, Where and How o f Growing Herbs
Why should I grow and use culinary herbs?
What culinary herbs should I grow?
Dividing herbs into groups
Where should I grow my herbs?
Growing herbs in a herb garden
Designs for Culinary Herb Gardens
The Traditional Herb Garden
The Contemporary Herb Garden
The Border Herb Garden
Growing herbs with other plants
Growing herbs in containers
How should I grow my herbs?
How can I keep my herbs growing well and looking good?
2. Harvesting and Preserving Your Herbs
When should I harvest my herbs?
How can I preserve my herbs to use later?
Flavoured vinegars, oils, butters, sugars and jellies
The Kitchen Herb Garden
3. The Growing Season
The early growing season
The height of the growing season
The late growing season
Fresh herbs that can be harvested in the growing season
4. The Dormant Season
The early dormant season
The depth of the dormant season
The late dormant season
Fresh herbs that can be harvested in the dormant season
5. Delicate Herbs
Fresh versus dried
Celery leaf
Lemon balm
Lemon grass
Lemon verbena
Summer savory
Sweet cicely
Sweet marjoram
Collections of delicate herbs
What delicate herbs go with what ingredient?
6. Robust Herbs
Fresh versus dried
Celery leaf
Winter savory
Collections of robust herbs
What robust herbs go with what ingredient?
And Finally
1. Latin Names of Chosen Herbs
2. Where and When to Sow Herb Seeds
3. What Type of Cutting is Suitable for Which Herb
Useful Addresses and Websites
Index of Recipes

Published by Spring Hill, an imprint of How To Books Ltd
Spring Hill House, Spring Hill Road
Begbroke, Oxford 0X5 IRX
United Kingdom
Tel: (01865) 375794
Fax: (01865) 379162

First published 2012

and fruits nuts berries grains and other crops


than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine

1. Vegetable gardening. 2. Organic gardening.
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 1974, 1979, 1982, 1991,
 1995, 2002, 2006, 2012 by 
 Ecology Action of the Midpeninsula

About the Author
JOHN JEAVONS is the leading method developer,
teacher, and consultant for the small-scale sustainable
agricultural method known as GROW BIOINTENSIVE
Sustainable Mini-farming. He has authored, co-authored,
or edited more than forty publications on this highyielding,
resource-conserving approach. His food-raising
methods are being practiced in 142 countries and
recommended by such organizations as UNICEF, Save the
Children, and the Peace Corps.
A political science graduate of Yale University,
Jeavons worked for the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) and Stanford
University before devoting the past 40 years to the
development of Biointensive techniques. He is the
recipient of the 1988 Boise Peace Quilt Award, the 1989
Gira􀀻e Award for public service, the 1989 Santa Fe
Living Treasure Award, and the Steward of Sustainable
Agriculture Award in 2000.
In 2006, Jeavons catalyzed the Pan-Latin America
GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming
Workshop in Costa Rica with participants from 21
countries. In 2007, he facilitated the Pan-Africa GROW
BIOINTENSIVE Workshop and Symposium in Kitale,
Kenya. In 2008, Jeavons co-taught a Pan-Africa GROW
BIONTENSIVE Workshop in South Africa with
BIONTENSIVE Workshop in South Africa with
participants from 7 countries. And in 2010, he taught at
a Pan-Latin America Conference and Workshop in
Mexico with participants from 21 countries. Today,
Jeavons travels constantly, advising students, teachers,
local producers, and representatives of private,
nonprofit, and governmental organizations.
The comprehensive and sustainable cropping system
developed by Jeavons enables people in all regions of
the world to grow a balanced diet on a small plot of
land. Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland
said of his work, “There are probably a billion people in
the world who are malnourished. The Jeavons approach
could enable that segment of the population to feed
itself adequately for the 􀁂rst time ever. That would be a
remarkable development in this world, and would do
more to solve the problems of poverty, misery and
hunger than anything else we’ve done.”

In the early days at Chez Panisse, forty years ago, we had
to scrounge for decent beans, pick lemons from
neighbors’ trees, and hunt far and wide for a variety of
produce of any quality whatsoever. But farming has
evolved in California. We now work with, at last count,
nearly 􀀢fty local, small-scale, family-run farms that grow
—organically and sustainably—the seasonal fruits and
vegetables that are the foundation of our cooking. In
large part, we have John Jeavons to thank for this.
I met John on the twentieth birthday of Chez Panisse
just as he was preparing for the twentieth anniversary of
Ecology Action. We both had a lot to celebrate. The
work that John had begun in a small garden at Stanford
had inspired small farms on nearly every continent; he
had already worked with the Peace Corps in Togo,
helped found an agricultural center in Kenya, taught in
Mexico, and supported programs in Russia and the
Philippines. His work has gone right on inspiring, and at
a pace that is fast enough to give us real hope that we
will be able to grow sustainable communities around the world.

John’s methods are nothing short of miraculous. He
John’s methods are nothing short of miraculous. He
has shown that almost any soil can be prepared for the
planting of food, and that astonishing quantities of highquality
produce can be grown on even the most
devastated land. He has worked tirelessly to bring selfsu
􀀱ciency to the poorest people in the poorest parts of
the world. As I write, he’s preparing to share his
methods with the 􀀢ve thousand small-scale farmers from
one hundred and thirty-one countries who are expected
at Terra Madre, the biannual gathering of farmers in
Turin, Italy, organized by the eco-gastronomes of Slow
Food International. I can think of no more appropriate
place for the dissemination of his ideas.
Vandana Shiva, the outspoken Indian food activist, has
said that farms are zones of peace on this planet. A
peaceful revolution in agriculture—what I like to call the
delicious revolution—has begun, and John is one of its
most brilliant leaders. How to Grow More Vegetables
may be one of the most important how-to guides ever written.

Table of Contents
Title Page
FOREWORD by Alice Waters
PREFACE Ecology Action and the Common
Ground Project
by the Ecology Action Staff
INTRODUCTION Building Soil, Building the
History and Philosophy of the GROW
BIOINTENSIVE Method • How to Use This Book
1 Deep Soil Creation and
Getting Started—Correct Tools • Laying Out Your
Beds • Types of Deep Soil Preparation • General
Double-Digging Procedure • Considerations for
Initial Dig with Very Poor Soils • Prepared Beds
2 Sustainability
Sustainable Soil Fertility • The Loss of Soil Nutrients
and Humus • Initially Adding Nutrients and Humus to
the Soil • 100% Sustainability Impossible • The
Need for Up to 99% Sustainability • Ecology
Action’s Pursuit of Sustainability • How to Design for
Your Soil’s Fertility
3 The Use of Compost and Soil
A “Natural” System • Compost Functions • The
Process • Soil and Other Materials in the Compost
Pile • Locating the Pile • Size and Timing • Building
the Pile • Watering the Pile • Compost Curing and
Application Rates • Composting Methods
Compared • Materials to Use Minimally or Not at All
• Benefits of Compost in the Soil • Building a
Compost Pile Step-By-Step • All Compost Is Not Equal
4 Fertilization
Soil Testing • Taking a Soil Sample • pH •
Recommended Sources of Nutrients • Adding
Fertilizers and Compost • More Sustainable
5 Open-Pollinated Seeds, Seed
Propagation, Close Spacing, and
Seed Saving
Seed Planting • Seedling Flats • Flat Soil • Some
Causes of Poor Germination • Pricking Out
Seedlings • Transplanting • Spotting • Planting by
the Phases of the Moon • Watering • Shadenetting •
Mini-Greenhouses • Key Water Factors • Weeding •
Planting in Season
6 Companion Planting
Health • Rotations • Nourishing the Soil • Physical
Complementarity • Weed, Insect, and Animal
7 An Interrelated Food-Raising
System: Creating and Caring for a
Balanced Natural Ecosystem with
Insect Life
Natural Predators • Other Initiatives
8 Master Charts and Planning
Letter Codes • Vegetable and Garden Crops •
Calorie, Grain, Protein Source, and Vegetable Oil
Crops • Compost, Carbon, Organic Matter, Fodder,
and Cover Crops • Energy, Fiber, Paper, and Other
Crops • Tree and Cane Crops • Flower Spacing
Chart • Herb Spacing Chart • Planning Sheet
9 Sample Garden Plans
APPENDIX 2 The Efficacy of the GROW
Increasing Sustainable Yields and
Building Soils
APPENDIX 3 Ecology Action Publications
APPENDIX 4 Organizations
APPENDIX 5 Memberships and Ordering

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Cover photograph (pumpkin) and spine photograph courtesy of Bountiful Gardens
Cover photograph (red chard) ©
Cover photograph (soil) ©
Cover photograph (red boots) ©
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