Trowel and Error: Over 700 Shortcuts, Tips and Remedies for the Gardener by Sharon Lovejoy

What a cute, easy to read and informative book.  It is filled with tidbits of truly helpful information on how to deal with all kinds of things in the garden.  The short chapters are perfect for my easily-distracted mind.  I really love the adorable watercolor illustrations too, perfect for my visual needs and my love of the whimsical.  Lovejoy covers both outdoor and indoor gardening, although a more Trowel substantial part of the book is devoted to outdoors.  I love her innovative “Tricks and Tips That Bend the Rules” and her homespun potions for keeping plants and soil healthy.  She also gives tips on how to deal with those parts of gardening that are troublesome “pesky pests” and “unwanted visitors” in the garden.  After you get rid of the unwanted visitors, you can learn how to entice wanted visitors to your yard, an “army of helpers.”  Possibly out of order, (but that doesn’t really matter because you don’t have to read this in a linear fashion) the final chapters on outdoor gardening talk about starting seeds, making your soil “grounds for growing,” and how to have an earth-friendly, healthy, weed-free lawn and garden.  There’s even a chapter on outdoor decor.  Truly making this a great resource are a useful index and appendices with lists of resources for supplies and things talked about in the book as well as related organizations and recommendations for further reading.  There’s quite a lot packed into this pint-sized little book.

(Heidi Schachtschneider, Information Services)

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