Monday, May 1, 2017

Non-Fiction Monday: The Ultimate Guide to Gardening: grown you won indoor, vegetable, fairy and other great gardens

The Ultimate Guide to Gardening: grown you own indoor, vegetable, fairy and other great gardens by Lisa J Amstutz. 112 p. Craft it yourself series. Capstone Young Readers/ Capstone, April, 2017. 9781623706494. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher)

I was lucky to live in a two-family house with my maternal grandmother. She enjoyed gardening and baking and introduced me to both. I believe she planted the seeds of two of my most favorite activities because I continue to enjoy tending my own gardens and lawn as well as cooking and baking. What a great gift!

Children need to be outside and moving. They need to learn how the world works. They need to know the wonder of nature and how we are connected to it and each other. They also need to feel useful. All of this is the work of childhood. This colorful and inviting DIY manual is just the ticket to get yourself and the young people in your life off the couch and growing and caring for living things together.

There's a brief introduction to the basics followed by four chapters that groups the types of gardens into: Edible; Indoor; Creative and Enchanted gardening. Each chapter features 9 - 11 different planting projects, each one more appealing than the last. Really, you will have trouble choosing which one to try. If you want to get your child to eat their vegetables, consider growing them!

Each project gets a double-page spread featuring a clear, full-color photo of the finished garden and a list of items needed on the verso. The recto page lists step-by-step instructions, an additional photo and a text box featuring tips or extra information. Especially appealing are the projects that recycle or up-cycle items you might have around the house. Watering instructions are provided for some of the trickier plants. 

This is a fine addition to any school, public or home library. Art teachers and public librarians can build an activity around any of the projects. Parents will find endless uses. 

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