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The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener

Tammi Hartung
Storey Publishing
Publication Date: 

paper, 143 pp., $16.95.

Tammi Hartung encourages her readers to rethink their attitudes toward insects, birds, and other creatures in gardening. Holly Ward Bimba's illustrations add a lighthearted and colorful side to the text. In this book, subtitled "How to grow food in harmony with nature," no one is afraid of a raccoon, rabbit, ant, worm, or bumblebee.

The author introduces interesting ideas on nearly every page, like mixing perennials and herbs together. Mint attracts ladybugs (ladybugs hunt aphids on your broccoli), and repel flea beetles as well as deer. This book encourages a diplomatic approach toward plants and animals, encouraging relationships that will have long-term benefits for you as well as the planet. An appendix at the end of the book provides quick solutions to problems, ranging from ants to skunks to wireworms. There are several pages of sources for supplies and seeds, plus a list of recommended works for further information.

This entertaining book will help you think more holistically about your garden and its ecological relationships to other plants and animals in your neighborhood. 

—Adele Kleine, volunteer and garden writer, Chicago Botanic Garden