The dirt: Gardening in miniature, plant problem diagnosis

  • Updated: January 28, 2014 - 2:23 PM

Miniature gardens

New gardeners are often counseled to start small. Janit Calvo helps gardeners start really, really small.

Calvo is the author of “Gardening in Miniature: Create Your Own Tiny Living World” (Timber Press, $19.95). It’s a guide to creating tiny gardens, in containers or in the ground.

To Calvo, miniature gardening is a magical experience that evokes the joy of childhood play. It’s a cross between gardening and craft, an opportunity to set a scene you create in your imagination.

The book covers all the aspects of miniature gardening, from choosing containers, materials and plants to composing the garden and caring for it. Calvo includes how-tos for creating garden features, instructions for creating several miniature gardens and plenty of ideas for accessories.

Plant problem diagnosis

It’s easy to tell when something goes wrong in the garden. It’s not always easy to tell why.

“Garden Rescue: First Aid for Plants and Flowers” (DK Publishing, $17.95) can help.

Author Jo Whittingham gives readers the knowledge they need to diagnose some common diseases and insect damage. She helps them understand what’s normal for a plant, explains some harmless oddities and provides guidance for getting the best results from a garden. When problems do arise, she walks readers through flow charts designed to help them pinpoint the cause and gives them advice on dealing with the issue.

The book covers vegetables, fruits, tree, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and lawns.

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