Linda Chalker-Scott, university researcher and educator, not to mention editor of Master Gardener magazine, has compiled
the best of her famous "Horticultural Myths" columns into a book, The Informed Gardener. The back cover asks:
- Are native plants the best choice for sustainable landscaping?
organic products better or safer than synthetic ones?
- What is the best
way to control weeds—fabric or mulch?
- Are compost teas effective in controlling diseases?
- How can you differentiate good advice from bad advice?
Gee, could she get any MORE relevant to our hottest topics here at the Rant? And you may remember we’ve already dissected her "Myth of Xeriscaping" here. But with this juicy collection, where’s a reviewer to start?
First, what a gorgeous cover! My nongardening friends are even picking it up.
And I certainly agree with this quote on the back cover:
"What a godsend to have so many competing claims about gardening examined from a scientific viewpoint and explained in an easy-to read-format." Susan Harris, www.Sustainable-Gardening.com and www.GardenRant.com.
Look, Ma, I’m blurbing! Bloggers and webmasters take note – those www’s are right up there with the credentials of a print blurber (Ginny Stibolt, author of Sustainable Gardening for Florida) and a famous radio blurber (Ketzel Levine of NPR’s "Talking Plants"). Ginny and Ketzel describe the book as "a must-have for every gardener" and "no-hype, nothing-to-sell-but-the-truth," and I say damn right! But what we’re all saying is that the good Dr. Chalker-Scott has slogged through hundreds of peer-reviewed academic articles for us gardeners, figured it out, then boiled it all down to really simple language, including a "Bottom Line" for every topic. THANK YOU.
We all remember learning about the scientific method back in high school, right? Apparently it’s still recommended! Peer review? Same deal. So I guess we can all stop arguing with each other about the hot topics of eco-gardening and agree to rely on her science-based conclusions.
Like hell. Most of us can learn a lot from this book and become sustainable gardeners, save money we might have spent on unnecessary products, and "feel better mentally, physically, and spiritually," as the author says. But people who base their opinions on ideology or fear won’t be convinced by her common-sense reasoning anyway, so the ranting will never stop, I’m afraid. Oh wait – that’s a good thing for my favorite team blog.