The permaculture garden, by Graham Bell

Borrowed from Edinburgh Central Library, this book is clearly a reference book as there’s so much in it. From large scale projects for a row of terraced houses to a chapter full of ideas that can be completed in a day, it has an informal style and a can-do attitude. The book also has 24 tables of plants suitable for a variety of uses; my only criticism is that the tables don’t get a mention in the index or table of contents.

The inspiring illustrations by Sarah Bunker are clear and complement the text well. She describes permaculture techniques and imagines community living (in the vein of Clifford Harper). It appears that she’s author of Diggers and Dreamers, listed on lowimpact.org. (TODO: explore this site)

Two themes running through the book are edge and height. Taken from forest gardening, the book advocates making structures in the garden to maximise the use of these two components. Another theme is making do with what’s there and reducing inputs — permaculture.

The book is published by Chelsea Green Publishing, who see publishing as a tool for effecting cultural change and want to stop the destruction of the natural world by challenging the beliefs and practices that are enabling this destruction and by providing inspirational and practical alternatives that promote sustainable living.

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