The first edition of Gaiais Garden sparked the imagination of Americais home gardeners, introducing permacultureis central message: Working with Nature, not against her, results in more beautiful, abundant, and forgiving gardens. This extensively revised and expanded second edition broadens the reach and depth of the permaculture approach for urban and suburban growers.
Many people mistakenly think that ecological gardeningowhich involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plantsocan take place only on a large, multiacre scale. As Hemenway demonstrates, itis fun and easy to create a ibackyard ecosystemi by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
Building and maintaining soil fertility and structure
Catching and conserving water in the landscape
Providing habitat for beneficial insects, birds, and animals
Growing an edible iforesti that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
This revised and updated edition also features a new chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have very limited growing space. Whatever size yard or garden you have to work with, you can apply basic permaculture principles to make it more diverse, more natural, more productive, and more beautiful. Best of all, once itis established, an ecological garden will reduce or eliminate most of the backbreaking work thatis needed to maintain the typical lawn and garden.
Toby Hemenway was the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, as well as The Permaculture City. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories at Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He taught permaculture and consulted and lectured on ecological design throughout the country, and his writing appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home, and Kitchen Gardener. Toby passed away in 2016. Visit his web site at www.patternliteracy.com