My paternal grandparents maintained extensive gardens during my entire childhood and I frequently helped by weeding the roses or picking strawberries - a pastime I loved so much that apparently my grandmother would buy strawberries to put in the patch for me to "pick" (something I only discovered at the age of 30 when my maternal grandmother told me). Sadly, I've retained little knowledge throughout the subsequent years. That's why I chose The Rooftop Growing Guide to review.
The Rooftop Growing Guide is, frankly, what it sounds like: a thorough, cover-all-bases guide to growing plants on roofs, particularly in urban areas. I was hoping it would be more of a general guide to small-area gardening, but a lot of the information centers on what to do about shade from neighboring buildings at different times of day, roof weight loads for the "growing medium" (we novices call that dirt), how to irrigate a roof, and other situations that don't have much bearing in a suburban South Carolina backyard.
It does feature some useful information, such as the growing time for common crops (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, and herbs) and what kind of heat and sunlight they prefer. And if you were undertaking the task of starting a garden on a 10-story rooftop in, say, Manhattan, then this book would easily be your bible of sorts. Interspersed with the instructions, charts, and diagrams are stories of rooftop gardens around the country, how they operate, and what their produce is used for. The beginning also includes a brief history of rooftop gardens, which goes back as far as ancient Italy.
But if you're a housewife in Greer looking how to start a small 5' x 5'ish garden plot in your backyard, there might be better tomes.
The Verdict // I probably won't use this as much as I'd hoped to, but I really can't fault the book for the fact we don't live in New York City (or any city). It's a well-written, informational, picture-strewn, coffee-table-worthy book that many, many people will undoubtedly find useful. 4/5 stars.
The Disclaimer // I received this book for free to review from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.