When I as looking for books about companion planting and potager gardens for Australian conditions, I was excited to discover that one such book had been written by Marcelle Nankervis. As an added bonus she lives on the Mornington Peninsula, which is not far from me, so I have high hopes of some of that information being really useful.
Buoyed by the discovery of this author, I went in search of other books that she may have written and discovered one called “Smart Gardening”.
It contains a general information about gardening at the beginning, and a section at the back which discusses what you should be doing in each month, depending on the type of climate you have (cool, temperate, sub-tropical, tropical). It’s nice that these sections correlate to the Southern hemisphere seasons.
Published in 2010 while a lot of Victoria was going through a drought it has quite a large (and at some points, almost preachy) focus on reducing water usage in the garden and embracing renewable energy. However, given that some of this information is also quite useful, it’s easy to overlook this for the most part (and not everyone may find it as irritating as I did).
My favourite parts of this general information section include a table which lists common vegetables by their water requirements for ease of planting and watering. A brilliant idea which I shall be endeavouring to carry out in my garden. It also contains a list of fruiting plants and what their most suitable climate are, and a list of heirloom names for a variety of vegetables. Heirloom varieties are not subject to patents which make it illegal to collect and re-sow your own seed.
What makes this book worth buying (for the Australian or New Zealand gardener) is the month-by-month schedule at the back. Divided into each of the climates it tells you what you should be direct sowing, sowing in trays, which seedlings to be planting and what is able to be harvested. It also deals with what types of garden maintenance should be undertaken during that month and pests to watch out for.
All-in-all, a very decent book at a very decent price. Its RRP is $14.99 and you can get it from QBD or Booktopia for around that price plus postage. You could also borrow it from the local library, but I think the handy reference section at the back makes it worth owning.
Are there any reference books you think are Must Haves?