Tender loving manipulative suggestive gardening

We bought a house with a garden. A nice one where the soil has been prepared down about eight or ten inches. It had weeds and had been neglected a while. A few live items.
Enter us. I have gardened in Louisiana for about ten years, so know a little about it. Well, SWMBO bulldozes in and just starts ripping and tearing. Digging ditches. Arranging things on the slope with the idea that the sprinklers will flow by gravity from high to low. Digs up the good dirt down to the rocky level, where she plants new plants. Piles up the good loamy dirt in large mounds that I immediately flattened some and planted the melons on.
I let her go. When all was done, she asks hows that, expecting heaps of praise. I explain that all that was needed was to till it all up, rake out the weeds, make rows laterally so they are not sloped, and plant the plants on the top of the mounds, not in the gullies where they can get fungus and rot. I do recall mentioning this the first ten or fifteen minutes into the ordeal, but she says I didn't. I know I did, and I know I would never plant things so a good rain would wash everything away.
What's a good book for me to go buy her and casually place next to the toilet or wine cabinet or someplace she's sure to see it? Something REALLY simple that goes over some of these most basic things, so she can read it somewhere. If she reads it or hears it on Oprah, it's the rule for the month in our house, even though I may have said the same thing for ten years.
Help in tender loving firmhanded manipulation appreciated.
Steve
--
"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere
critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly,
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Just received "Gaia's Garden" A guide to Home-Scale Permaculture today.
By Toby Hemenway
ISBN 1-890132-52-7
Sure I know some of this stuff but with perhaps a 5 % retention rate it does not hurt to read anew. P 112 has a small list of perennial food plants.
Bill
Albert said soon as you know you stop thinking about possibilities.
.....
Small ethic joke follows.
Why have the Chinese with all their amazing ancient major scientific advances not have a science of biology?
Seems that they would start a study of a plant or animal and wonder what it would taste like.
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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Heh heh...kinda reminds me of Beijing Fast Food.
Charlie, wondering now about cicadas......
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<lol> I got that e-mail too... It's finally getting hot enough here to set off the cicada chorus during mid-day.
--
Peace! Om

"Human nature seems to be to control other people
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And honestly, I found most of the food quite appealing. There were a couple that carry too much cultural baggage, but they were visually appealing. Andrew Zimmer I ain't, closer to Tony Bourdain. ;-)

Are you serious? It is still effing too cool here. Zirrie bugs don't often startup here until late july and don't midday sing until Aug, usually.
My sons told me that if I were to fry them and eat them myself, they will be forced to follow suit. same for a couple other bugs.
Yes, we are kinda nuts, as viewed from the "normal" cultural perspective. ;-)
BTW, fried buzzworm is good eatin'. Been there, done that several times. ;-) My long gone uncle in Wash. state turned me on to that.
Care Charlie
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I'd not say most of it, but some of it looked tasty. Frankly I think deep fried star fish would be a bit "crunchy" and I'll pass on ALL the insects except for waterbugs (crawfish and that ilk). I've even had urchin roe, fresh raw on the beach when we lived in California.

I heard them start up about 2 days ago. We are well into the 90's here right now most days.

I'll pass. <g>

Whatever floats your palette babe! :-)
--
Peace! Om

"Human nature seems to be to control other people
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Yeah, well.......I be tellin' ya'...to this hillbilly, bugs be soundin' better'n possum, fer sure! ;-)
Not to worry, I'll not be advocating for anything worse than carp and gar.

What can I say? :-)
Charlie
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Have I got the book for you!!
Clueless in the Garden: A Guide for the Horticulturally Helpless ISBN: 1552634094 Yvonne Cunningham
I gave this book to my son when he moved into his first house. He practically needed an arrow on a plant saying "this end up". Worked pretty good too, he's now to the point of trying to slip some of my 'more advanced' garden books out the door when he visits and his garden (landscaping to veggies) is looking darned good too. I spent an evening reading through this book before I wrapped it up for him. I was really impressed with very clear, concise instructions and explanations and common sense advise. Plus she writes with a witty sense of humor so it's fun to read. You might want to read the reviews on Amazon.com if you need more convincing.
You could always make a 'faux cover' for the book before you put it out for SWMBO to trip over........"Oprah's Guide To Gardening". Or break out PhotoShop and your color printer and make a big sticker to slap on the cover that says "Number 1 on Oprah's 2008 Must Read Book List" She'll jump on it like a chicken does a grub worm. ;)
Val
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$44 to $100 on amazon.com
It must be good.
Steve
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snip
Do you or anyone in the ng have an extra copy? I can't seem to find one for less than $40, and I'm sorry, but I won't pay that much for a 200 page paperback book unless it is a rarity. And then, I'm not sure. I Googled for a while, and most were out, or overpriced. IIRC, it came out in 2003.
Steve
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I paid around $50.00 plus in 2004 for my son's book and I really think it was well worth it. He uses it all the time for reference and trouble shooting. This book holds it's content value even beyond the initial novice stage. It isn't a one time read through. I got the book at Flora & Fauna in Seattle. When the owner handed me the book with his recommendation my reaction was a polite smile while thinking...."No way in hell am I paying that....and certainly not for a used book!" After thumbing through it I decided to bite the bullet. After getting it home and really examining it I was OK with the price......after I saw how much my son got out of the book and still does I'm glad I got it for him. It was a good investment IMO. YMMV
That book is being reprinted with a different title for Canadian distribution. I have no idea the particulars or if the price will be less.
I will put out feelers to my used book stores and also my garden meet up groups. I'll let you know if I hear any news.
Val
wrote

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My very favorite book for brand new, clueless gardeners in training: Rodale's Chemical Free Lawn and Garden. Really good chapters at the beginning on soil, water, diseases, prevention, how plant selection can make or break a garden. Following chapters on common plants, selection, care and feeding thereof. Clearly written, and a good foundation for any gardener.
Because the methods espoused are organic, there's not a whole lot in there that can hurt anyone or anything. If you care to go off towards gardening on the LISA model (low input sustainable agriculture) or permaculture or high-management, heavy chemical gardening, you've still got a good set of basics from this book.
And you can get a used copy cheaper than dirt. Get several and spread 'em around. :-)
<http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?tn=rodale+chem ical+free+yard+and+garden&xD&y> or http://preview.tinyurl.com/6pbnmh Kay Lancaster
Kay Lancaster snipped-for-privacy@fern.com

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Would that be Rodale's Chemical-Free Yard & Garden: The Ultimate Authority on Successful Organic Gardening (Paperback) by Anna Carr (Editor), Fern Marshall Bradley (Editor), 5 star rating out of five, and
26 used & new available from $1.98?
Good to see you back with us. Your council is always worth of attention. Some may think this is sarcasm, but we know it is not. Good to have your presence with us.
--

Billy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&ref=patrick.net

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