Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Jordens täppor (Garden patches of the Earth) Lena Israelsson, review
In this post I'm going to review an swedish gardening book that, as far as I know, is available only in swedish. I'm doing so because I think the concept of the book - researching gardening traditions around the world - is worth picking up by more authors. And if anyone in the publishing business finds this book interesting enough to translate it for the english speaking world so much the better.
I always enjoy the works of Lena Israelsson since they are beautiful, pedagogical and inspiring. Work descriptions that are easy to follow and the lovely pictures provides me with a some new ideas every time I pick up a book of hers. In "Jordens täppor" (Garden patches of the Earth) she is travelling around the world, discovering different gardening traditions. She visits the countries to be expected, like Great Britain and France, as well as a choice of more surprising ones, like Russia and Tanzania. And yes; she do take a look at Sweden too.
What I do miss in this book is better explanations on what to do with the plants once you've grown them. Every plant do have some cooking advice, but they are short. Many of them are grown in places where cooking traditions are different and to some extent unfamiliar to the average reader. Otherwise you may end up with a plant growing like crazy and the sinking feeling of
"What on earth am I to do with this?"
May I wish for a combined gardening/cooking book the next time Lena Israelsson sits down in front of her computer?
Like I said in the beginning the book is full of lovely pictures as well as easy to follow work descriptions. A lot of the plants she describes is possible to grow indoors, my wish list grew with twenty seven items in one go. For the indoor gardener a method for growing in containers is provided in the chapter about Turkey. She has picked plants that are possible to grow in a swedish climate (which isn't easy to translate into, for example, north american climate zones, but think Canada and northernmost US) and I'm really tempted to hire an allotment garden just to test some of them. Well done, considering I have a life long aversion against weeding things out of our Upplandish sticky clay.
Lena Israelsson (C) 2002
Nine pots out of ten!
(This book is a bit old and may be hard to find in the book shops. Try SVAF or the libraries.)