Book Review: Eat Your Yard!

Eat Your Yard!
Edible trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, and flowers for your landscape
by Nan K. Chase

160 pages
Gibbs Smith, 2010
List price: $19.99

There have been many volumes of books published in the last couple of years on edible gardening. In spite of heightened interest in growing your own food, I wasn’t sure the gardening world could use yet another one when I was handed Eat Your Yard! nearly a year ago. I put off reading it.

A few weeks ago, I picked it up and it wasn’t long before I found it to be different from the others I had read. I really like this book. It doesn’t focus on the garden proper, nor the usual fare consisting of tomatoes, beans, and lettuce. Nan Chase looks at the bigger picture and suggests using fruit trees and shrubs in addition to herbs and edible flowers in landscaping.

Edible foundation plantings serve three purposes: they provide a framework for other supporting plants, they’re attractive, and they feed you! They feed wildlife too, which brings life to your garden beyond its inherent beauty, although it might be a race to see who gets the harvest first. It’s the perfect marriage of form and function.

Added bonus: Recipes!

Nan K. Chase writes about architecture and landscape design from her home in western North Carolina. She is the co-author of Bark House Style and author of Asheville: A History.  Her work has also appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, Fine Gardening, Architectural Record, and Southern Living. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a contributing editor of WNC Magazine.

Read more garden book reviews.

Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.

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