The Creative Vegetable Gardener

Kelly Smith Trimble’s first title, Vegetable Gardening Wisdom, holds a face-out position on my bookshelves, ready for a quick consult. Her latest effort, The Creative Vegetable Gardener: 60 Ways to Cultivate Joy, Playfulness, and Beauty Along With a Bounty of Food, will give it some excellent company.

Humble in tone yet robust with expertise, this inspiring guide isn’t concerned so much with crop yields or pest control as it is with the sheer pleasure and wellness that gardening can bring. Trimble wants us to think outside the box—the quadrilateral raised bed, that is—and pursue spirals, hay bales, front yard settings and other methods for changing up our forays into cultivation. She encourages readers to garden for the mindfulness and surprise of it and counsels them to not get hung up on how many tomatoes they produce in a given year. And for most any common woe, she has a helpful suggestion. Lacking a full-sun backyard, as I am? Here’s a list of plants that will thrive under four hours of sun. Curious about permaculture or what the moon has to do with it all? Here’s your explainer.

Accessible for beginners but poised to shake up the thinking of the most seasoned dirt-gardener, Trimble’s new book covers lots of ground.

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