Smith & Hawken: The Tool Book: A Compendium of Over 500 Tools for the Well-Tended Garden

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9780761121367: Smith & Hawken: The Tool Book: A Compendium of Over 500 Tools for the Well-Tended Garden

The Garden Writers Association of America declared it best book of the year for 1998. And The New York Times wrote: "Logan, who is one of our best garden writers, has produced not only a real book but a scrupulously researched, handsomely designed, and highly enjoyable one to book."The Took Book celebrates garden tools in all their pleasure, practicality, variety, beauty, ingenuity, simplicity, and purity. Thirteen chapters and over 70 striking full-color photographic spreads-obsessive and obsessively informative-present hundreds of tools organized by task: 22 shovels, 21 spades, 12 trowels, 16 hoes, 11 weeders, 19 hand pruners, 10 pruning saws. In addition to garden tool necessities, here are knives, axes, hooks, watering cans, rakes, riddles, brooms, wheel barrows, shears, and scoops, and much more. There are tools to start the garden from seed in the spring, tools to keep it growing and healthy all summer, and tools clean up in the fall. And, finally, tools to care for the tools.

In addition, the the book presents a detailed overview of the marriage of tool to type of work-how garden tools evolved, how to use each type of tool properly, and what to look for in a tool. It's the right tool for the right job. 37,000 copies in print.

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Review:

At first glance The Tool Book might look like a dry catalogue of various garden tools, but it's actually a fresh and inspiring history lesson. Author William Bryant Logan carefully intersperses his detailed descriptions of hoes, mattocks, tining forks, or pruning saws with short meditations on the tool's evolution. In a chapter entitled "Digging," he writes, "The growth of civilization paralleled the evolution of the spade and the shovel." Behind the book, there's a vision of humanity constantly forging new technology to more carefully and effortlessly shape the landscape.

Amateur gardeners will learn the vast differences between cheap and expensive tools. Clear explanations of the differences between "stamping" and "forging" metal tools, and how to tell the difference, will change your perspective the next time you go to make a purchase. You will also learn why some handles are short and others are long, and why corn husks with their pointed tips led to the invention of the trowel. To Logan's credit, he understands that gardeners arbitrarily love certain tools and hate others, and thus his descriptions are objective--his book more an orientation than a lesson in the "right" way to garden. Packed with photos, The Tool Book is an essential text for anyone facing the daunting task of creating and maintaining a garden. --Emily White

From the Back Cover:

If you love to knock yourself out digging beds, buy a better shovel. If you're looking for a no-nonsense alternative, buy this book! (Ketzel Levine, National Public Radio's Doyenne of Dirt)

"Thoroughly practical, easy-to-follow guide to good gardening Lee Reich make it sound simple, and if you follow his methods and philosophy, it is." (Dora Galitzki, Gardening Columnist, The New York Times, and Author of The Gardener's Essential Companion)

"Finally, a book filled with science-based information that insures success and frees us from busywork in the garden." (Dr. H. March Cathey, President Emeritus, American Horticultural Society)

Turning conventional wisdom on its head, Lee Reich shows how to garden for plants and good for people. Eschewing the traditional yearly digging up and working over of the soil, WEEDLESS GARDENING is an easy-to-follow, low-impact approach to planting and maintaining a flower garden, a vegetable garden, trees, and shrubs naturally. Say good-bye to backaches and week problems.

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Logan, William Bryant
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