New City Gardener: Natural Techniques and Necessary Skills for a Successful City Garden

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9781552093139: New City Gardener: Natural Techniques and Necessary Skills for a Successful City Garden

Successful gardeners are made, not born. For a beginning gardener with a small city space or an experienced gardener with a large suburban lot, The New City Gardener provides all the practical skills and information necessary to create a beautiful garden in an urban environment. Your climate and soil conditions will determine what plants can adapt to your site, but The New City Gardener shows you how to dig in to improve your soil and create a garden that will not only survive, but thrive without extensive cultivation.

As a horticulturist and landscape designer who has lived and gardened in New York, Rome and Toronto, Judith Adam's experience helps you:

  • design the garden's structure
  • plan for spring-to-autumn bloom
  • keep a lawn thick and vigorous, naturally
  • prune for natural growth
  • know when and how much to fertilize.

The New City Gardener is packed with solutions to urban growing problems such as:

  • how to use the narrow strip between your house and your neighbor's
  • how to integrate the front yard with the backyard
  • how to make and use hedges and berms.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Judith Adam's gardens have included a fire-escape vinery, hi-rise terrace, inner city patch, municipal allotment plot, suburban lot and many containers on a sunny deck. She lives in Toronto teaching horticulture to city growers and designing city landscapes.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface

My first garden was in New York City. Clay pots on the fire escape outside my fifth-floor window grew yellow crookneck squash and cucumber vines. These prodigious growers needed little encouragement and quickly climbed up to the seventh floor. It was quite an aerial act to harvest them, but a good way to meet my neighbors!

City gardening requires a resourceful approach, and The New City Gardener offers information and techniques to make plants flourish in tough city conditions. In the past decade much of my work as a horticulturist and gardening lecturer and teacher has been answering questions and teaching people about gardening in the city. Those questions guided me in writing this book, and I hope it will give friendly reassurance to new and experienced garden makers. It seems gardeners are always beginning anew, and that, I'm sure, is why they live forever.

When I design and install gardens for my clients I try to understand their personal vision of the outdoor space and how the garden will be used. Gardens are private places, and my role is to interpret the owner's ideas in the materials at hand: soil, plants, water and stone. These are the building materials common to every garden site; only the dreams are different.

Garden making is a practical pursuit, but one often enhanced by imagination and memory. My own garden is influenced by summers with my grandmother at Rosemont Cottage on Absecon Island, off the southern coast of New Jersey. She was a church minister's wife with scarce time for planting, but the garden there had a life of its own and wanted little care. It was a place of abundant growth, with fuzzy green peaches falling prematurely from crowded branches and brilliant blue hydrangeas feeding off the acidic soil. This was a garden of many vines, of honeysuckle, tomatoes and self-seeded squash roaming the paths, and the encircling canes of grapes left to their own devices. And of course there were roses, the sweet and heavy scent of 'New Dawn' and 'Fr¨hllngsgold' carried by ocean breezes into my bedroom at night. I took the garden quite for granted, and directed my interest to stalking feral cats who hid their kittens deep in the patches of mint and daylilles.

I hope this book will help you to recognize the character of soil and moisture in your own growing space, and the methods of giving plants what they need to grow in those conditions. Selecting plants that have the ability to thrive in dry or wet soils and light or shady Places puts you halfway toward successful gardening. The other half is skill and resourcefulness, and these come in their own time. The process of gardening is its own reward, and connects us all to the natural world. There is always something important to do in city life, but I'd rather be in the garden.

Judith Adam
December 1998

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Judith Adam, Tim Saunders (Photographer)
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