cloth, 160 p., $24.95
This book, so the jacket states, is “the book no parent, or child, can do without.” It does, indeed, offer many ideas for constructing gardens for children, some of them quite simple and others, very elaborate. Some of the gardens are obviously designed and cared for by families with a lot of money to spend on their gardens and their children. Some of the simpler ideas are the most intriguing, such as a catmint cat basket or grass stools. The ambitious family could create the daffodil maze, which requires 150 bulbs per yard of maze (hardly a project for the average family garden).
From a practical standpoint, Clare Matthews stresses safety in the garden and lists various hazards beginning with the obvious one of water, and continues on to list a number of toxic plants. She also gives very simple, beautifully photographed instructions on the basics of planting seeds. I believe this book could be useful for simple garden and party ideas for the average parent — and if you have lots of time, go for the 1,000-bulb maze.
— Joan Richards, library volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden