Special to The Union

Book Review: Give the gift of foothill gardening with "The Seasoned Gardener"

Your good friend is a dedicated gardener and you’re looking for “Something special” for a Christmas gift?

Trust me, Carolyn Singer’s latest book, subtitled: “Five decades of sustainable & practical garden wisdom” ($29.95, Garden Wisdom Press) will be much appreciated now and for years to come.

Back when I was writing garden columns for The Sacramento Bee, and later The Union, Carolyn’s Foothill Cottage Gardens nursery was a trusted fountainhead of gardening knowledge for me.

Once, having hit a “dry spell” for material, I arrived at her garden with tape recorder in hand.

“Speak,” I said.

“About what?” she laughed.

“Anything you like,” I answered, and advice on a seasonal topic poured forth.

Here she does the same thing in print, on a month-by-month basis, touching on topics like too much heat in August causing bitter vegetables, ideas for late bloomers in September, extended fall planting in October and how to “Keep on gardening” in November.

Foothill gardeners shouldn’t be without it.

Granted, it’s too much to swallow all at once. I’d suggest reading the 352-page book on a monthly basis for inspiration and time-tested methods of getting the most enjoyment from your garden.

Like a gardener’s diary, each section begins with a rundown on typical activities for that month.

The emphasis on organic gardening is an underlying theme throughout the book.

Among other achievements, Carolyn is a lifetime UC Master Gardener.

And the bonus is that it’s written like a newsy and fun letter from a dear friend.

Carolyn is not above laughing at some of her own blunders over the years, telling readers how to avoid these mistakes.

Liberally sprinkled throughout the book are tips on dealing with our beautiful foothill freeloaders: Deer.

If you haven’t seen her books on “Deer in My Garden” you should. There’s another tip for a great Yuletide present!

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The Union Updated Dec 14, 2012 04:04PM Published Dec 20, 2012 07:42AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.