Having grown up on a farm where her family grew their own vegetables, Marcelle Nankervis developed a natural passion for horticulture. She went on to obtain a formal degree in horticulture and then worked for numerous gardening television programs and magazines including Burkes Backyard, Better Homes & Gardens and Your Garden. Her most recent venture has been writing her second book, Smart Gardening.
Clare Kennedy reviewed Smart Gardening for State of Green:
This is a basic reference tool for anyone establishing their first garden, coupled with tips on saving money and the environment.
But don’t expect a glossy coffee table book; this is an unashamed guide for those who want to get their hands dirty. The first part covers the basics of gardening and how to get started. It includes advice about soil preparation, what to plant when, companion planting, mulching, pest control, and tips on maximising shade, keeping the house cool, how to use grey water and using water effectively.
The second part of the book is an annual garden guide. It is designed so you can cross-reference the month and climate zone for information on what to sow, plant and harvest. At the back of the book is a glossary of pests and diseases with useful tips on how to deal with them – many of the remedies are sourced direct from your pantry!
There are no photographs in this book which may be a limitation for gardeners who want to identify a particular plant, shrub, tree or vegetable; instead, small graphic illustrations, tables and tips are used to break up the text.
The preface gives the reader a sense of the author’s passion for gardening and saving the environment. However, the reference to illness and depression being on the rise, and “children being diagnosed with ADHD more often” feels like a distraction from this book’s real focus.
Whilst not the most visually appealing book due to its lack of photographs, it is packed with practical, constructive tips for the environmentally-conscious gardener.
Smart Gardening is available from October 5, 2010 at all good bookstores and online at Exisle Publishing. You can also visit Marcelle’s blog for more gardening tips and tricks!.