John Walker is an award-winning gardening and environmental writer with over 40 years' experience in horticulture, teaching and garden media. He trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he was awarded the Kew Diploma in Horticulture. He was features/deputy editor of Garden Answers magazine, and contributing editor of Kitchen Garden magazine. His long-running `Digging Deeper' column, exploring the connections between gardening and our environment, first appeared in Organic Gardening magazine in 2006. John also writes about greener gardening for national newspapers and magazines in the UK including The Telegraph and the Royal Horticultural Society's journal The Garden. He wrote Weeds: An Earth-Friendly Guide to their Identification, Use and Control, and The Bed & Border Planner, and contributed to the Garden Organic Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. John has made an earth-friendly eco garden in his home in north Wales. He has won the British Garden Media Guild Environmental Award three times. He can be found at www.earthfriendlygardener.net.
You will find this book contains lots of practical gardening tips to suit all types of set-up. So whether you're growing in pots on the patio or have a fully-fledged garden, there is something for everyone. There are typically two pages on each subject, including how to make compost, grow potatoes or tackle tough weeds, spread out over eight chapters. The book doesn't feel overwhelming at all and the style makes it easy to use as a quick reference guide. The book has a useful section on how to encourage bio-diversity in your garden. This is done by several different methods, such as introducing certain types of plants that will attract useful insects, as well building insect hotels or ponds. There's also an interesting chapter on sustainable landscaping - for example, how features like paths and fences have an effect the environment. This book tells you why and how you can be more sustainable. There are full colour photos throughout, making up a good mixture of background shots and practical instructional guides. Overall, this is a really reader-friendly book that you will enjoy.--Steven House The Vegetarian, Vegetarian Society members magazine, summer/autumn 2020 Botanical teacher Walker (Weeds: An Organic, Earth-friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control) devotes this encouraging work to laying out an approach to gardening that takes into account one's own yard space and the surrounding ecosystem as a whole--what he calls the web of life. Walker addresses different reasons for setting up a garden--food cultivation, landscape design, or flower planting, among others--and different stages of the process of creating and maintaining a garden, including tool selection, sowing seeds, and fighting pests without using pesticide. Walker further covers proper soil preparation, using compost, harvesting rainwater, and maximizing sun exposure, all with sustainability in mind. He discusses how to make one's garden into an inviting space for wildlife (though not if one is aiming primarily to raise food, in which case he includes fences in the garden plan). Allowing a section of lawn to grow wild, he notes, will encourage butterflies to visit, while shrubs and trees can provide birds with roosting and nesting spots. Throughout, Walker uses diagrams, color photos, and step-by-step instructions to illustrate his points. His well-stocked primer will ensure that, with persistence and patience, even the average backyard putterer can create an environmentally sustainable garden.--Publishers Weekly May 2020 This is a book perfect for now on so many levels. Eco gardening is something that personally I believe we should all take seriously and implement as much as we can. I am by no means a perfect eco gardener and would make no claims to be so, but I try and know I could do so much better. John talks us through the principles of eco gardening carefully and accessibly. He explains why it matters and shows us the difference between a less and a more eco-friendly garden. There are lots of step by step pictures, which is a format in a book I always appreciate. Things that we might think we know such as how to water effectively, are explained carefully so that we better understand what we are aiming to achieve. There are sections on seed sowing and weed control, about letting the grass grow and how to understand and develop sustainable landscaping. At the end of the book there is a helpful calendar on what to do when. What I like about this calendar is that it is not sectioned by month but by which part of the season you are in. Gardens do not understand months of the year, but they do understand seasons and this makes this calendar one of the best. I learned a lot from this book: I found some of my habits were eco friendly and I did not know it, I also found that some of my habits could be easily improved and I liked that I did not feel preached at as I read.--Alison Levey The Blackberry Garden, May 2020