Monday, August 15, 2005

In My Library Bag: Lasagna Gardening

August heat is the perfect excuse to stay inside and start thinking about next year's garden!

I just finished Lasagna Gardening For Small Spaces by Patricia Lanza--exactly the boost I needed while my flowers wither.

If you're not familiar with Lanza's system of in situ composting, just call it the lazy girl's way of making beds: no digging, no tilling, no weeding.

I think you can find similar systems in other books, but Lanza's personal experience gives Lasagna Gardening both depth and inspiration. Former innkeeper, herb farmer, and garden shop/cafe owner--Lanza's built gardens in all kinds of spaces.

She covers everything from container planting (in her handmade hypertufa troughs) to the details of planning your vegetable and herb plots (freeze lemon balm leaves in ice cubes for decoration).

I particularly liked the trash-to-treasure ideas sprinkled throughout the book. For instance, Lanza uses an abandoned bar stool as a plant support for gladiolus--cleverly placing a terra cotta saucer over its missing seat for an instant bird bath.

I haven't read her first book, but both titles will be on my Christmas list this year.

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