Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway


Subtitle: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

Published: 2000

Genre: nonfiction gardening

Length: 194 pages of text, 222 pages with appendices and index

Interest: It’s that time of year to consider what to do in the garden next year. I’ve been intrigued by the idea of permaculture and thought this would be a nice introduction to the concept.

Summary: The author sets out the principles of an ecological garden that has many more connections to the different elements than your typical backyard and garden. He discusses some principles of building soil and the efficient use of water. One important element of permaculture is choosing plants for multiple uses. It’s also important to consider insects, birds, and animals in the garden. The final section discusses how to put all the elements together into the most productive garden, stacking plants into many zones, uses, and layers.

Final thoughts: A very informative book that I actually took notes on. I don’t think I’m ever going to turn my yard into a food forest (although if I could get the property right next to our house it would be perfect), but there are practical elements I can incorporate into my gardens. I really want to try an apple tree guild because I’m tired of trying to mow under the branches.

Title comes from: The title he wanted was already used, but he thought this would be descriptive enough that people would know what the book was about.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 2/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and a G in the Alphabet Soup Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or the subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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