Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vertical Gardening: More Garden In Less Space (Gardening Basics for Beginners Series) [Kindle Edition]

Vertical Gardening: More Garden In Less Space (Gardening Basics for Beginners Series) [Kindle Edition]

Book Description
Publication Date: July 25, 2012
Vertical Gardening: More Garden In Less Space

Gardening Basics for Beginners Series

Vertical gardening is a viable gardening alternative for gardeners with small plots of land because plants are grown vertically off the ground, thereby conserving space. This well-organized booklet is a mini course; walking readers through the essential elements of vertical gardening so that a novice gardener can quickly get up to speed and tend to his or her vertical garden like a pro.

Greene’s nine chapters are focused and narrow in scope so that a starting point is provided for further investigation. In each of this booklet’s chapters, Greene starts off with a general concept and then provides a detailed breakdown of that concept in small snippets so that the material informs without overwhelming. Greene honestly discusses the benefits and limitations of vertical gardens in detail so that curious readers can wisely decide if a vertical garden is a good investment for their gardening space.

Greene dispenses creative ways to grow fruits and vegetables in small spaces and elaborates on how to train plants to climb on common structures to maximize gardening space in the smallest lots and gardens. If you have ever been curious about vertical gardening, this is a great guide for nailing the basics of harvesting crops and cultivating natural beauty in small spaces.

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Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting [Paperback]

Fresh Food from Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-Round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting [Paperback]

Book Description
Publication Date: November 5, 2008
Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens--all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics.

Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food.

With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more.

Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.

Editorial Reviews
Library Journal -

Many gardening books describe ample land and space as being a prerequisite for growing flowers, plants, and food. And the ever popular container gardening books, generally written for those with little land or space in which to garden, do not always cover the question of raising fresh food that way. Ruppenthal, a business professor and lifelong trial-and-error gardener, here fills a gap in gardening literature and helps readers discover techniques for sustainable food production--even on a small scale--by using every square inch of space that is available to them. His book walks gardeners through assessing their available space and its lighting, deciding what to grow in the spaces they have, and buying (or building) vegetable garden containers. Using his techniques, gardeners will learn to grow herbs, vegetables, fruit, grains, and mushrooms, as well as raise chickens and honeybees and produce fermented foods such as yogurt. It may be nearly impossible to live completely off the grid in an urban environment, but through practice, patience, and creativity, it is possible to establish such a productive urban garden that you can eat some homegrown, fresh food every day of the year. Highly recommended for public libraries, special and academic libraries with strong agricultural collections, and all those who are serious about producing food and creating a more sustainable lifestyle.

"This is one of the most important gardening books in years. Ruppenthal is ahead of the curve, promoting sustainability and even self-sufficiency in the burgeoning urban environment. His holistic approach to nutrition, conservation, recycling/repurposing, and composting will help redefine urban gardening. Fresh Food From Small Spaces is loaded with great ideas for urban gardeners. Ruppenthal gives great tips and background info to get beginners started. Yet, the diagrams, charts, and plant lists make it a satisfactory and intriguing reference even for experienced gardeners.

"Besides being a timely, progressive, intelligent reference, Fresh Food From Small Spaces is a great story and comfortable read. I enjoyed following Ruppenthal's personal struggles and ordeals. This is a fun, informative book.

"Ruppenthal has seen the future of city gardening and I like it! Fresh herbs on every windowsill. Pole beans on every balcony. Beehives with honey on every rooftop. And tasty shitakes in every garage."--William Moss, "Moss in the City" columnist at the National Gardening Association's

"Every generation there is a move back to growing food close to home for various reasons: victory gardens, back-to-the-land gardens and community gardens come to mind. Now, as oil prices permanently increase, we have 'post-petroleum gardens' and Fresh Food From Small Spaces is a timely guide for a highly productive home food system, full of new and proven sustainable ways to grow and process your favorite foods in the smallest of space."--Will Raap, Founder, Gardener's Supply Company

While the information in this book will benefit all those seeking to grow and prepare their own food at home, it is especially informative for people with only limited space. Ruppenthal covers every food I ever heard of and a whole bunch I never heard of, like water kimchi (!) that can be grown indoors or outdoors where there is not enough room for a regular garden. This is the perfect answer to the question many people are asking me: How can I take charge of my own life now that food prices are soaring when I hardly have space for a container-grown tomato or two? Reading Ruppenthal, I get a distinct feeling that one can grow enough food to survive on down in the cellar and out on the porch.. --Gene Logsdon, author of The Contrary Farmer and Living at Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream

"Fresh Food From Small Spaces is a passionate manifesto as well as a practical primer for urban food production. It presents clear information, innovative strategies, and enthusiastic encouragement that will motivate, inspire, and empower city dwellers seeking to grow food and build greater sustainability into their lives."--Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

"Fresh Food from Small Spaces is a helpful guide to the range of food production strategies for urban spaces. A great resource for urban dwellers, enabling even those in basement apartments to produce copious food through sprouting and mushroom production. I particularly appreciated Ruppenthal's first-hand experience in building low-cost self-watering planters."--Eric Toensmeier, author of Perennial Vegetables

"Unfortunately, many urban-dwellers avoid gardening due to a perceived lack of space. Ruppenthal explodes these barriers by showing us in cogent hands-on detail how to cultivate meaningful quantities of healthful food from the air, sun, water, and earth available to us in our own spaces, no matter how small."--Stephen & Rebekah Hren, authors of The Carbon-Free Home
About the Author
A licensed attorney and college professor, R. J. Ruppenthal has never given up on his gardening passion, even when his day jobs led him to a more urban life. He currently teaches at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California, and lives and gardens in the San Francisco Bay area. 

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Big Gardens in Small Spaces: Out-of-the-Box Advice for Boxed-in Gardeners [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Big Gardens in Small Spaces: Out-of-the-Box Advice for Boxed-in Gardeners [Bargain Price] [Hardcover]

Book Description
Publication Date: January 15, 2010
At last count, Martyn Cox had more than 250 different plants growing in his 600-square-foot garden in London. He knows from experience that you don’t need a lot of space to have an exuberant garden. Big Gardens in Small Spaces provides boundless inspiration and ingeniously practical solutions for taking advantage of every square inch of a small space -- including gardening in shady corners, on rooftops, around doorways, and in the cracks of pavement.

His ideas are stunningly simple to follow: squeeze as many plants as you can into your garden by any means possible; grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs; seek out rare, unusual and bizarre plants; don’t pay for something you can make or do yourself; learn from nature; welcome change, and most of all enjoy the garden. The happy results? Apparently unuseable spaces become home to myriad plants. Sempervivums and aeoniums nestle in wall crevices, hardy annuals bloom between slabs of pavement, and a grapevine climbs around the back door. Carefully chosen larger plants like bananas, bamboos, and trees find themselves entirely at home. Cox also recommends fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables.

There are many books on small gardens, but they tend to focus on design at the expense of the plants. Big Gardens in Small Spaces proves this doesn’t have to be the case: Follow the advice and a small garden full of healthy, happy plants will be yours.

Editorial Reviews
"This is a beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully written book that should be part of any gardener's reference collection. It includes practical information about effective gardening and permaculture."
(Gregory Johnson Small House Society )

"This is a rallying cry to the owners of small gardens, and it is impossible to pick it up without coming away with page upon page of scribbled ideas and plant names." (Gardens Illustrated )

"A list of resources and an index round out this easy-to-use, hands-on practical guide enthusiastically recommended for any gardener who is necessarily restricted in space."
(James A. Cox Midwest Book Review )
About the Author

Martyn Cox trained in horticulture at Writtle College, Essex, and has many years' practical gardening experience. He is the former features editor of BBC Gardeners' World Magazine, deputy editor of award-winning Gardenlife and was on the editorial teams at Amateur Gardening and Horticulture Week. Now freelance, he writes a weekly gardening column in The Mail on Sunday, and monthly for Saga Magazine, and Grow It. Martyn contributes regularly for many other titles, including The Guardian, Grand Designs, The English Garden, Sainsbury's Magazine and The Times Magazine. He is a member of the Garden Media Guild committee and was consultant editor to Sir Terence Conran on his book Outdoors. Martyn Cox is author of RHS Wildlife Garden (Dorling Kindersley 2009), 101 Ideas for Small Gardens (BBC Books 2009), Gardening with Kids (Ryland, Peters and Small 2008) and 101 Plants for Problem Places (BBC Books 2008). He was a contributor to RHS New Encyclopaedia of Gardening Techniques (Mitchell Beazley 2008). Martyn has a small, plant-packed garden in East London, which he shares with his partner and two young children.

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Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs [Paperback]

Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs [Paperback]

Book Description
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Small? Yes.

A concrete slab populated solely with plastic chairs and an abandoned grill? Not anymore. Chances are your balcony, porch, or patio could use a major makeover. Fern Richardson, charismatic creator of the Life on the Balcony blog, is here to walk you through the process of beautifying a small space--even when you have a similarly small budget.

This exciting guide layers practical gardening fundamentals with creative solutions that encourage thinking outside the pot. Maybe this means repurposing a shipping pallet to create a colorful vertical garden of nasturtiums and lobelia. Or simply seeing walls, rafters, railings, and everything in-between as fair game. It's in these containers--traditional or not--that you'll cultivate your own food, attract beneficial insects, grow flowering vine privacy screens, and so much more. You'll also learn how to tackle unique challenges, like windy conditions when gardening several stories above street level, and how to care for plants and troubleshoot with the best of them.

From design basics to essential plant picks, Small-Space Container Gardens proves you don't need a yard to have a garden. For anyone who wants more green in their life, it's time to get out there and start growing.

Editorial Reviews
"Filled with useful information, but written in a relaxed, chatty style, [Small-Space Container Gardens] is a great cover-to-cover read, while also working well as a reference guide if you're looking for specific tips, such as container plants that attract butterflies..." (Susan Morrison, author of Garden Up!)

"From selection of plants to illustrations of how to lay it all out, beginning and experienced gardeners alike will find plenty of inspiration." (Kylee Baumle, Horticulture Magazine)

"Popular blogger Fern Richardson at knows all about attaining some big style in small spaces. Yes, you can do it all - attract wildlife, grow food, become one with your inner-nature-lover and work with limited lighting on porches, balconies and other small areas. " (Cindy McNatt, The Orange County Register)

You don’t need a yard in the suburbs to surround yourself with homegrown beauty and produce. Richardson, writer of an award-winning blog about gardening in tiny spaces, offers a comprehensive approach to getting started on a balcony or wee patio. The book is organized by principles (color, weather, wildlife, pests, etc.), which is particularly helpful for those just starting container gardening. For them, the book is filled with resources: planting schemes, do-it-yourself projects, short appendixes. Those with more gardening experience may find the plants Richardson highlights limiting. The author’s attention to succulents is distinctive; those forgiving plants lend themselves to the container gardening environment. Gardeners living in less mild climates than Richardson’s Southern California should remember that whatever is too delicate to winter outside must be hauled indoors for the duration, taking up what might be precious limited space. That said, container gardening is flexible, and Richardson makes it verdant, affordable, and fun. (Publishers Weekly )

"If you have ever dreamed of having a garden but are constrained by price or space, this is the book for you!" (Patricia McGoldrick Calloway's Nursery )

“Ideas to help patio gardens look polished and planned.” (Nara Schoenberg Chicago Tribune )

“Covers just about everything you want to know about container gardening. I absolutely love [it]!” (Blue Planet Garden )

“Fern’s DIY style is made easy and fun with numerous tutorials and crafts throughout the book.” (North Coast )

“From selection of plants to illustrations of how to lay it all out, beginning and experienced gardeners alike will find plenty of inspiration.” (Kylee Baumle )

“Yes, you can do it all – attract wildlife, grow food, become one with your inner-nature-lover and work with limited lighting on porches, balconies and other small areas.” (Orange County Register )

“Offers a generous list of funky containers.” (San Francisco Chronicle )

"Shares a whole host of ideas for transforming even the tiniest of spaces into something special." (Apartment Therapy )

"Walks you through beautifying a small space, such as a balcony, porch, patio or small yard, even on a tight budget." (Horticulture )

"Packs a great deal of information in a small space." (Cleveland Plain Dealer )

“...shows us how to have an enviable garden without the acreage..." ( )

"You’ll find the keys to creating an uncluttered, lush outdoor space that’s not only beautiful, but budget-friendly." (VIV Magazine )

"One of the best new books on this topic." (The Vancouver Sun )

"A beautifully written and designed book." (Nature's Footprint )

"Whether you're planning a small container garden or want to beautify your backyard, this book is full of helpful tips for beginning gardeners." (Green Upgrader )

"Offers suggestions ranging from upcycling and plant repetitions to spray-painting mismatched containers." (Bill Holgan — MCT/ Tribune Papers )

"If you have ever dreamed of having a garden but are constrained by price or space, this is the book for you!" (PM27 Blog )

“It’s packed with gorgeous photographs—making it pleasant to browse through for quick inspiration. The author’s real-life take on small-space gardening makes reading the full text worthwhile." (Fort Worth Examiner )
About the Author
Fern Richardson is the creator of the container gardening blog Life on the Balcony. She is also a master gardener, amateur photographer, and container garden designer.

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The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces [Paperback]

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces [Paperback]

Book Description

March 1, 2001
In 1980, William H. Whyte published the findings from his revolutionary Street Life Project in The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Both the book and the accompanying film were instantly labeled classics, and launched a mini-revolution in the planning and study of public spaces. They have since become standard texts, and appear on syllabi and reading lists in urban planning, sociology, environmental design, and architecture departments around the world. Project for Public Spaces, which grew out of Holly’s Street Life Project and continues his work around the world, has acquired the reprint rights to Social Life, with the intent of making it available to the widest possible audience and ensuring that the Whyte family receive their fair share of Holly’s legacy.

 Editorial Reviews
About the Author
William H. Whyte was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1917. He joined the staff of Fortune in 1946, after graduating from Princeton University and serving in the Marine Corps. His book The Organization Man (1956), based on his articles about corporate culture and the suburban middle class, sold more than two million copies. Whyte then turned to the topics of sprawl and urban revitalization, and began a distinguished career as a sage of sane development and an advocate of cities. Along with numerous articles and studies, Whyte edited and co-wrote The Exploding Metropolis (1957), and authored Cluster Development (1964), The Last Landscape (1968), The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (1980), City: Rediscovering the Center (1988), and A Time of War: Remembering Guadalcanal, a Battle Without Maps (2000). He died in 1999.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Urban Garden Design

Living in a city presents a number of difficulties when you want to have a garden. Small spaces, concrete slabs and busy lifestyles all make gardening a challenge. However, having an urban garden is possible when you have a clear idea in mind about what you want and what you need to do.
Oftentimes, the biggest challenge in creating an urban garden is not any of the things mentioned above. More often than not, it's imagination that hinders city dwellers from making the most of their metropolitan spaces.
When planning an urban garden design, certain things need to be kept in mind. With such a small space to work on, you need to be careful with every little detail to make your garden come together. Here are some ideas that you can incorporate in your urban garden design:
1. Make a rough sketch of your garden. The best way to plan for your garden design is to see it on paper. This will help you visualize your garden and will also allow you to plan your space more effectively.
2. Create an optical illusion. To make small spaces appear larger, use mirrors in your urban garden design. Weather-resistant mirrors are perfect for outdoor use and can be positioned in a sunny area in the garden to reflect light to shadier areas.
3. Paint your garden happy. Light colored walls and fences open up garden space. They also make your plants stand out more.
4. Hide unpleasant views. Your neighbor's wall, busy street and other unpleasant views can be altered with the use of small trellis. A trellis can also double as a hanging or climbing post for some of your plants.
5. Research about your plants. Some plants thrive when mixed with other plants, while others need a space of their own. There are those that thrive in sunlight and there are some that prefer partial shade. Knowing how your plants behave will help them grow more favorably. This is particularly applicable to herbs and vegetables, but may likewise be relevant to other plants.
6. Plant strategically. You need to ensure that your plants get enough sunlight as required, so you need to plant strategically. But other than that, you need to know where exactly to place your plants to achieve cohesion in your garden. This also allows provision for putting other landscaping materials in your garden.
7. Use space saving planters. With such small garden space, you cannot place all your plants on the ground. Containers and raised beds help in stretching out your garden space and allow you to accommodate more plants in a tiny space. Use planters which you can hang or place on different areas in your garden.

Terrace Grill - Urban Spaces Demand a Different Approach to Grilling

Today's urban lifestyle often calls for a special kind of grill, one ideally suited to apartment, condo, or townhouse living. A terrace grill would need to have certain characteristics. First, it would need to be light and compact. Next, it would need to remain cool to the touch, no matter how hot it got inside, so you could place it on a tabletop. Finally, to be a true terrace grill, it would have to set up in a jiffy, cleanup quick, and pack up for storage in the blink of an eye. It would be a real bonus if this terrace grill consumed very little charcoal.
Let me introduce you to The Cobb Premium Portable Grill. It's got "terrace grill" written all over it... well, not literally, but you get the idea! Some have called the Cobb a kitchen-in-a bag. Others have named it a complete portable cooking system. Whatever you call it, the Cobb is sure to please demanding apartment, condo, and townhouse dwellers everywhere, especially those with limited space and a discerning palate.
The limited space is perfectly answer by the Cobb's small footprint... about a square foot to be exact. And, at a shade over eight pounds, it's light and easy to move around and store. The discerning palate is addressed by the Cobb's ability to perform all sorts of cooking duties with style - steaming, grilling, roasting, pan-frying, or even smoking! The Cobb also has a secret "flavor-well" that lets you add the liquid of your choice - wine, beer, water, whatever - to keep your food moist and impart whatever flavor you like! Go ahead... experiment!
Experimenting won't cost you much either, because the Cobb is miserly when it comes to using charcoal. This little beast will burn up to three hours on just a few charcoal briquettes - only eight to ten to be exact! How's that for efficient? No need to buy and store that big bag of briquettes... why not grab the small bag instead?
You can accessorize your Cobb any way you like, from the roasting rack to the griddle, from the frying dish/wok to the frying pan/skillet. This gives you tremendous flexibility while preparing meals your family and friends will praise loudly. Go ahead, let them!
When it comes time to clean up, the Cobb's aluminum and stainless steel construction mean ease and speed. Just toss it in the dishwasher, and go do something else. The mesh base stays cool while you cook, making the Cobb a true tabletop terrace grill, and allowing you to safely move it around, even while you're cooking.

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