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Herb Gardening for Canada    by Laura Peters order for
Herb Gardening for Canada
by Laura Peters
Order:  USA  Can
Lone Pine, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Over the past few years, I've had the opportunity to review quite a number of gardening books published by Lone Pine and can honestly say I've never been disappointed. The Alberta based publisher offers practical, handy-sized, reasonably priced books filled with a wealth of information. The authors, experts in their fields, begin with informative introductions and then quickly move on to their core subjects. Over the course of 200 or so pages, each guide presents a wealth of information that educates novice and expert gardeners alike. Hundreds of colour photos round out an enlightening and extremely pleasing reading experience.

Herb Gardening for Canada is no exception. In her introduction, Laura Peters explains that herbs have long had culinary, cosmetic and craft uses, and goes on to say that 'thousands of plants have medicinal properties that have been integral to human survival since time immemorial'. She does caution however, that the health claims for some herbs are 'unproven and based solely on theory or tradition' and that we should 'treat all medicinal herbs with caution and respect at all times'. She differentiates between annuals and perennials and acquaints readers with species that are best grown under the often-challenging Canadian climactic conditions. Each herb is featured in a full colour photo, both in close-up and in its natural garden setting, as well as the actual part of the plant that's recommended for use. Natural history, growing tips, varieties, harvesting instructions, nutritional value, and pest control are discussed, as well as potential hazards, or toxic reactions that could occur.

Modern herb gardening includes many more varieties than just the standard parsley, rosemary and thyme. Anise, arugula, chervil, elderberry, fenugreek, heliotrope, hyssop, stevia, tansy are just a few of the herbs discussed in this book. Whether you're just beginning to explore the culinary and cosmetic benefits of herbs or are already an old hand, you'll turn to Herb Gardening for Canada often for tips and instruction or to take a quick browse through the book's wealth of beautiful photos.

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