Gaia’s Garden

by Daisy

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It is no exaggeration to say that the way I will garden from now on has been revolutionized after reading this book.

It’s the sort of book that has me torn between reading the next chapter and rushing outside to make changes based on the chapter I just read.

Because of this book, I’ve already:

This book has done more to energize and motivate me on the subject of gardening and sustainability than anything I can ever remember.

You permaculture converts are probably wondering why I’m so late to the party, and the answer is I don’t really have an answer for you.  In terms of this book in particular, I’ve seen it around, noticed it, but possibly never picked it up because of the title.  Not being that hip to ancient Greek goddesses, I guess I thought Mr. (or Ms.) Gaia was some sort of gardening guru I was supposed to follow.  But no, Gaia is the name of the Greek goddess of primordial Earth.

The book doesn’t go into Greek goddesses, it isn’t even mentioned.  This is a nuts and bolts, seriously informative, boot to the backside book that will get you excited about gardening again.

If you are just starting a garden, if you are planning any changes to your garden, if you want to understand the flora and fauna of your homeplace on a deeper and more practical level: Run, don’t walk. READ THIS BOOK NOW!

I thought I knew humus.  I didn’t know humus.

There is so much I didn’t know about soil, about trees, about insects and plant interrelationships . . . I want to start over from the beginning and read this all over again because I want to cement its lessons on my brain.

This is a perfect primer on permaculture.  I’m so sorry I let the title keep me away from it for this long.

We’re going to give away a couple of copies on Wednesday to two fortunate readers.

Have you read Gaia’s Garden?  Do you do permaculture?  Do tell.

I am on the bandwagon.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Minyard November 7, 2011 at 6:21 am

I’ve been moving to permaculture in my garden for some time now. But this is the first time I’ve heard that this is THE book to help me make this happen. Thanks for this post!

Alice November 7, 2011 at 7:56 am

We love permaculture and are using its principals in many areas of the garden / orchard now. We have watched many videos and have a few books on the topic, but I have always avoided getting this book because of the title, as you did. Thank you so much for this review! I think we are going to have to add this one to our library now. 🙂

TracyDK November 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

I saw the book, but I wasn’t sure how newbie friendly it would be. I’m slowly starting to add plants around the house, though I’ll be completely honest, I’m lost on how and where to start.

Ronnie November 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

I have been adding plants to the inside of my house but am looking at starting on the outside in the spring. This looks like just what I need.

Jennie November 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

I haven’t heard of this book before, but it looks like a great one. And my library has it in stock. Score!

herbi aka heather November 7, 2011 at 10:05 am

This is something Ive been interested in for a long time. I think I’ve wanted something like this to justify my not over weeding and oversanitizing to my neighbors with a perfect pert garden. I think his overcleansing and stripping his garden of its essence in order to dominate the soil for human needs is just the wrong way to go. I havent read the permaculture stuff yet but its huge on my to do list. In the meantime, I will marvel and my indiginous displays and how they coexist with my seasonal insertions-

Debbie November 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

Wow – Your description of this book alone made me want to order it. The way we incorporate our gardens into our lives is becoming so much more a method to feed our bodies, minds, spirits and souls. As Fall winds down here in the North and we have prepared for the Winter’s period of rest, books like this keep us eager for Spring and the time we can put these lessons into use. Thank you for a great website.

Fargo Guy November 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I knew about the book. Think I’d love to do the things it recommends. Can you tell if these recommendations would work up north. Our Zone 3 – 5+ month harsh winters kill lots of “permanent” plantings. Just FYI there is a podcast I’ve listened to on occasion that spends lots of time discussing permaculture ideas AND implementations the rest of the info can range into survivalism politics and firearms, so if that isn’t your cup of tea just find the permaculture related shows. If I remember correctly they are worth it.

Tami November 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Added this to my wish list on Amazon! Thanks for sharing!

Tomato Lady November 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Fargo Guy–Many of the permaculture principles apply to annual plantings as well as perennial ones, such as soil building, catching and conserving water (a chapter title, even), plus animals, bugs, and all that good stuff. The permaculture concept of observing what works in the natural world would also be helpful when determining what will work under extreme conditions. I think permaculture is universal.
Thanks for the podcast recommendation. I’ll check it out.

Rebecca November 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’m all ears now! This looks like something that would work for me. Can’t wait to check it out at the library.
I love your website and have learned so much from you.

Thank you!

Vege November 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I have never even heard of permaculture but after looking at the links on your list inspired by this book, I am very interested. That’s why I continue to read your blog, I am always learning something new! Thanks 🙂

Lara November 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Sounds like a lovely book!

I started a permaculture garden in 2003, with a mini-mandala, and bantams in a chook tractor. I started with Linda Woodrow’s “Permaculture Home Garden”, which is a brilliant book to start off with, but I have some serious challenges on our current site (the whole backyard is concreted over, high aluminum fences, sloping block, flood prone, etc), so I am looking for some more inspiration to get me over the “hump”. Sounds like this could be the book!

Truffula November 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I’ve been giving our library system’s copy of Gaia’s Garden a workout – thank goodness for convenient online renewals! 🙂 I’d be very happy to provide a loving home for a copy of my own. This book is thought-provoking and practical.

Joan Davis November 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

I have been looking at Gaia’s website. Great stuff!

Thom November 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm

This has piqued my curiosity. For a city dweller, I have a large amount of space in my backyard which is not currently used. I am very curious.

Kyan November 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I’ve been wanting this book for quite a while now! I’m glad my excitement has merit. =]

Emily November 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I’ve never heard of permaculture. Thank you for sharing. Now I have something else to add to my Christmas wishlist.

Blythe November 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

DEFINITELY an excellent primer on the basic concepts of permaculture, how you can work together with nature, and specific ideas on how to create your own permaculture garden under your individual conditions. My gardening, too, has been completely revolutionized by this book. Monoculture – rows of the same thing – is so entrenched in our gardening mindset – kind of a cast off from commercial practices. But once you start playing with polyculture concepts – mixing things up – and looking at the garden in terms of multiple functions and layers, a whole new adventure opens up! Today I planted plants for windbreaks, an assortment of shrubs for wildlife food, tubers and vines, insect attractants, early-flowering trees to attract honeybees, all of which will also provide food for our family. I have never been more excited about gardening!

bodynsoil November 9, 2011 at 7:43 am

I WANT to read this book after reading your review of it. Even with my background in organics, homesteading and everything I always look forward to a fresh perspective and want to know more about the spiral herb garden detail as well.

I tried a different technique for my garden this past summer and it was a huge failure, so disappointing. I think 2012 will be the year my organic garden (built on an ancient sand beach) to rise up from the ashes and once again reclaim it’s spot in the sun.. 🙂

Jeri Lynn November 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

I just saw this book on the newsstand in a shop yesterday — and was reminded I have yet to read it. So it’s on my mental to-do list… There are a few significant areas in our garden that are being re-thought this winter — definitely a good time to set things up differently.

Molly Hyde-Caroom November 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I just read a review about this book and looked at in on Amazon. I loved it so I put it in my cart but didn’t buy it yet! I think I will take a shot at your giveaway first, it looks like a wonderful book and I can’t wait to read it. It doesn’t matter whether I win it or buy it!
Thanks for the opportunity and the review.

Jennifer November 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

As soon as I saw this post I ran to the library to check this book out. This is exactly the book that I have been looking for! The principles in it are what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how. I can’t wait to transform my property, I am already thinking about all the grass we can get rid of.

Carolyn Holland November 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I’m another person who’s been coveting this book — simply inspirational.

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