This hefty reference manual is absolutely packed with specific information on everything from bee-keeping to window gardening. More like a standard textbook than most gardening books of today, Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening has been around since 1959, and in its 1,000-plus pages manages to address everything from the nitrogen content of common items (feathers, eggshells, etc.) to choosing the most appropriate foundation planting for a formal entrance. The only illustrations are plain black and white, and fancy color photography is nonexistent. This lack is balanced by the healthy dose of charts and analytical lists shown throughout. Don't be scared by the seemingly technical presentation--this is a clearly written book that's easy to follow even for the novice gardener.
The answer to any possible gardening question is sure to be found here for both backyard green thumbs and those interested in heavy, possibly profitable, production of organic vegetables and herbs. Arranged alphabetically, you'll find multipage explanations of organic fertilizers next to a one-paragraph description of fenugreek. Most plants have multiple listings, as the authors tried to include many slang names of common flowers and grasses--no Latin necessary with this plant guide. Not meant to be a glossy coffee-table book, this encyclopedia is exactly what a reference book should be--serious, friendly, helpful, and thorough. --Jill Lightner