cloth, 376 p., $29.95
A whimsical treatise on common plant problems, this book is loosely organized into sections on flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs, general culture and various potions for dealing with plant problems. The author’s theme is providing solutions through the use of common (and not so common) household products.
Many of author Jerry Baker’s solutions to gardening challenges are based on common sense: for example, he advises gardeners to purchase starter-size plants, rather than grow plants from seed for those annuals that take greater length of time from germination to flowering. Other recommendations in the Giant Book of Garden Solutions: 1,954 Natural Remedies to Handle your Toughest Garden Problems are gathered from old-time remedies, which are not based on scientific research. Although these are interesting historically, the caveat at the beginning of the book, explaining that the author carries no responsibility for the information contained therein, leads the reader to beware of home remedies that have not been tested through scientific trials.
Baker writes in an entertaining style, using alliteration extensively. The graphic design of the publication is disturbing, however, because of constant changes in layout and type. Many may find this tiring after a time.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden