Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grow a Little Fruit Tree

Beautifully illustrated, and designed with remarkable attention to aesthetics, this is a  delightful combination of information and art. Moreover, the concept behind the book is so simple and seductive: grow a little fruit tree. Grow fruit. Grow it small. Keep it manageable.  That's the sort of thing that makes a reader think- yes, I can do that.

Dealing with the necessary steps involved in growing a small fruit tree, as well as the reasons why one would want to- after all, over producing isn't really going to do you any good, is it? Small trees take up less space, and are easier to both care for and harvest. Filled with charts, diagrams, and decades of experience and anecdotes that will help any gardener remember that an 8' tree really does in deed get larger than one can reach on one's own, if left to it's own devices, Grow a Little Fruit Tree is the perfect guide to growing fruit at home.

I plan to add this to my permanent collection of books on espalier techniques, as it has long been my intent to turn my unused patch of yard the other side of the garage into a small fruit tree orchard. Grow a Little Fruit Tree makes me feel like I have the information I need to do it successfully. The detailed pruning instructions and pictures alone make this a wonderful addition to any gardening library, but like I said, I'm partial to a book that discusses espalier technique.

Beyond being informative, Ann Ralph's writing technique is both accessible and entertaining. Her tone is conversational and a real love of growing fruit trees comes across in the ink. Of course, it all boils down to whether or not I learned something. As I said, I've been looking at growing little fruit trees for quite a while, so it's a subject I've been studying for a while now, and yes. I learned pollination techniques I hadn't yet found in other books on fruit trees, and more about pruning than I knew when I opened it up.  It was well worth the read.

I was overjoyed to have the opportunity to review an e-ARC of this title through NetGalley.

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