Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review: Landscaping with Fruit

Quick book review: Landscaping with Fruit by Lee Reich.

I have been a fan of Lee Reich for a number of years.  He has written a few books on uncommon fruits that I have really enjoyed, and I hope to do a review of a few of them soon.  In my opinion, this book fills a great little niche in Permaculture Design.  The basic premise for this book is that we can create beautiful landscapes with useful plants.  Oftentimes, Permaculture Systems have a very unkempt appearance.  I think this is due to the idea that Permaculture is supposed to model natural systems, and Permaculturists do that very well... to the point of things looking very "messy". 

I don't believe Permaculture Systems have to look like overgrown fields.  They can look overgrown, and they work great, but they can also be beautiful places to work and walk and just be. 

The first part of this book (about the first quarter of this 175 page book) goes through landscape planning and design.  Consideration of size, shape, color, texture, and layout are discussed.  The rest of the book deals with 42 plants that are edible and beautiful.  The book reviews common fruits like apples, apricots, cherries, and pears to less common home plants like mulberries, kiwifruit, and currants, to very uncommon fruiting plants like jujube, quince, seaberry, goumi, raisin tree, and pawpaws. 

The negatives for this book are few.  My biggest issue is that the book only covers 42 plants.  There are so many more that could have been added in my opinion.  However, the plants that are included are very well covered.

This could be a coffee table book with its great photos.  It has excellent information.  If you have an interest in increasing the beauty of your property with useful, fruiting plants, then I would consider this book.

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