Reviewed By: R. John Garside
Author: Carson Arthur
First Published: 2019
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
eBook ISBN: 978-0-14-753062-2
When you know the author you expect certain themes and agendas and I was not disappointed in the least. In fact, I was not only informed about gardening as I thought I would be, but I was also highly entertained by Carson’s love of chickens and his adventures with bees. Now for many people this book will be quite an eye opener as many of us have some very concrete ideas not only about gardening, but also the various plants we like and don’t like, plants we plant and don’t plant, and manage our gardens as taught to us by our parents or significant other. Carson is very up front about gardening, if you do it my way, you will have not only fun doing it, but also you will reap a harvest of food that will make your neighbors very jealous. You are carefully walked down the “garden path” from the garden bed conception to the purchasing of seeds and plants right up to the ideal combinations of plants that will result in a very prolific garden. The book is very well written and has lots of pictures, charts and quick review pages so you always know what you have read and why it makes sense. Carson has certainly taken the guess work out of gardening for you and presents his findings in a very orderly and entertaining way, one that entices you to read on and maybe just take a chance on something new, be it a unique planting or possibly planting in an area you never considered before.
However, I must admit the funniest part of the whole book is the middle section on chickens. Reading the pages brought tears of laughter at times and having looked after a few chickens in my time I could relate completely with the wonderful experience they give you. They are not the dumb creatures that many people think they are, but highly organized and purposeful creatures, that not only serve up an egg or two but also learn to interact with you and your garden, and to everyone’s benefit!
So I highly recommend this book not only for its gardening expertise which will be useful to both new and experienced gardeners, but also for the Carson’s wit and humorous take on plants, chickens and bees.