The first edition of Gaia’s Garden sparked the imagination of America’s home gardeners, introducing permaculture’s central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.
Published: Chelsea Green Publishing on May 19, 2009
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    Hemenway, a permaculture expert and associate editor of The Permaculture Activist, explains how gardens can function as ecosystems, describes the basic parts of an ecological garden (soil, water, plants, and animals), and shows how to create backyard ecosystems through guilds. Guilds, the author tells us, are groups of plants that function as an ecosystem to provide products for humans, create cover and food for wildlife, nourish the soil, conserve water, and repel pests. A simple example of a guild is the "three sisters" (corn, beans, and squash); corn stalks provide a trellis for beans, the beans supply nitrogen to the soil, and the squash leaves inhibit weeds and conserve water. While Hemenway's ideas are intriguing, creating guilds specific to an area involves extensive research, which involves either observing plant communities in the wild or using books or university contacts. In addition, the author doesn't sufficiently explain how to incorporate the many sun-loving vegetables and flowers into guilds, which are often shade-oriented. Recommended only for botanical and academic libraries. Sue O'Brienread more
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
    I was told repeatedly that if I could only own one permaculture book, this should be it. Inheriting my copy from a permy friend who upgraded to the next edition, I have to agree with those who said it. This is THE home scale permaculture 101. If you have any interest in learning about- or trying out- permaculture in your backyard, get this book. I tried borrowing it from the library, but they kept making me give it back. ;P I'm thrilled to have my own copy to refer to again and again, both on long winter days of planning and in those moments with dirt under my nails and a question I need an answer to Right Now. a bit of everything, and everything you need to find more, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If there were more stars, I'd give them all to it.read more
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
    This is the "perfect" gardening book. The author's premise is that gardens should be an extension of nature, and serve nature, not just some "beds" genetically created to cover space. There are templates given for different types of gardens with species specific reccomendations.read more
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
    Imagine creating a beautiful landscape that provides food, sanctuary for animals and practically takes care of itself. In the book "Gaia's Garden," Toby Hemenway promises that all of these things are possible. Permaculture aims to use nature's rhythms by understanding and using the relationships between different types of plants and ecosystems. In particular, he focuses on building healthy soil and the myriad of benefits it provides.This well-written books is a great introduction to the topic and is packed full of information. Hemenway covers different types of plants, how to harvest and conserve rainwater, beneficial insects and animals and other topics. The books is only a few hundred pages, and other sources are referenced for more detailed information. Even gardeners looking for a more standard approach will find useful information.read more
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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    Hemenway, a permaculture expert and associate editor of The Permaculture Activist, explains how gardens can function as ecosystems, describes the basic parts of an ecological garden (soil, water, plants, and animals), and shows how to create backyard ecosystems through guilds. Guilds, the author tells us, are groups of plants that function as an ecosystem to provide products for humans, create cover and food for wildlife, nourish the soil, conserve water, and repel pests. A simple example of a guild is the "three sisters" (corn, beans, and squash); corn stalks provide a trellis for beans, the beans supply nitrogen to the soil, and the squash leaves inhibit weeds and conserve water. While Hemenway's ideas are intriguing, creating guilds specific to an area involves extensive research, which involves either observing plant communities in the wild or using books or university contacts. In addition, the author doesn't sufficiently explain how to incorporate the many sun-loving vegetables and flowers into guilds, which are often shade-oriented. Recommended only for botanical and academic libraries. Sue O'Brien
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
    I was told repeatedly that if I could only own one permaculture book, this should be it. Inheriting my copy from a permy friend who upgraded to the next edition, I have to agree with those who said it. This is THE home scale permaculture 101. If you have any interest in learning about- or trying out- permaculture in your backyard, get this book. I tried borrowing it from the library, but they kept making me give it back. ;P I'm thrilled to have my own copy to refer to again and again, both on long winter days of planning and in those moments with dirt under my nails and a question I need an answer to Right Now. a bit of everything, and everything you need to find more, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If there were more stars, I'd give them all to it.
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
    This is the "perfect" gardening book. The author's premise is that gardens should be an extension of nature, and serve nature, not just some "beds" genetically created to cover space. There are templates given for different types of gardens with species specific reccomendations.
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
    Imagine creating a beautiful landscape that provides food, sanctuary for animals and practically takes care of itself. In the book "Gaia's Garden," Toby Hemenway promises that all of these things are possible. Permaculture aims to use nature's rhythms by understanding and using the relationships between different types of plants and ecosystems. In particular, he focuses on building healthy soil and the myriad of benefits it provides.This well-written books is a great introduction to the topic and is packed full of information. Hemenway covers different types of plants, how to harvest and conserve rainwater, beneficial insects and animals and other topics. The books is only a few hundred pages, and other sources are referenced for more detailed information. Even gardeners looking for a more standard approach will find useful information.
    Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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