Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

The Bee-Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity

Available February 9, 2016 from Ten Speed Press. Paper back, 224 pages.

#1 New Release on Amazon

For every gardener who cares about the planet, this guide to designing a bee garden helps you create a stunningly colorful, vibrant, healthy habitat that attracts both honeybees and native bees.

My review: A bit too detailed on bees and kinda boring on blooming plants; I found the first two-thirds of the book like a cloudy day. Chapter 5, Designing Your Bee Garden, was when the sun came out. It had the most interesting reading of the book. I would have liked it if the earlier information was somehow presented differently. I especially liked the little section in Chapter 6 called Citizen Science which lists 5 different research projects for everyday people to participate in. Regional plant lists are located in the back of the book. Full color photographs were wonderful.

The Blogging for Books program provided this complimentary copy for review purposes. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.



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The WheelEasy™ LE is a compact and economical collapsible yard cart. It’s the ideal product for yard work ranging from collecting weeds to spreading bark, moving gravel or rocks or even pruning. Seriously … this tool will make the work easier.



I received the WheelEasy™LE from Allsop Home & Garden to try at my new yard in North Carolina. It has been helpful in removing rocks and hauling mulch and plants. This wheelbarrow style cart is designed for light yard work handling up to 150 pounds. The body is made of canvas so no mixing concrete here guys! It maneuvers easily and it’s not as cumbersome as a traditional wheelbarrow. Unlike the traditional wheelbarrow, the WheelEasy™LE lowers all the way to the ground for easy loading. It’s easy to use and takes up less space in the garage. 


On the downside, the thing that I found that could use improvement would be the angle of the handles. In order to keep stuff in, I have to bend slightly and that’s not the best thing for a back. I am 5’5″ and I can’t use the WheelEasy™LE with a straight back because the cart would be raised too high and the contents would fall out. The larger WheelEasy™ has a longer frame span and I would judge that would make standing upright easier. The front tire has gone flat several times and the canvas already has a few rips.

I received the WheelEasy™LE from Allsop Home & Garden to help facilitate the writing of an honest review. A positive review is not guaranteed, and all opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.

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Each month I’ll be sharing a Storey Publishing book with you.

Visit their website and see the huge selection of interesting and informational books. Check out their blog, too.

June delights us with long days and fantastic fresh produce. Tomato lovers will treasure Tomato: A Fresh-from-the-vine Cookbook. It offers 150 recipes- many contributed by celebrity chefs- and is an all around fun tomato guide. 

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Tomato: A Fresh-from-the-Vine Cookbook

Lawrence Davis-Hollander

Nothing tastes better than ripe, juicy, sun-warmed, summer-fresh tomatoes! Discover new ways to enjoy them with this delicious collection of 150 tempting recipes for appetizers, preserves, soups, salads, entrees, and even desserts. Includes contributions from celebrity chefs Alice Waters, Deborah Madison, Daniel Boulud, Rick Bayless, Melissa Kelly, and many others, and eight pages of mouthwatering full-color photography by Sabra Krock.


My likes and dislikes for the book:

The forward of this book describes it as being about “real tomatoes”; tomatoes that “have names that conjure an image and start a story”. It is geared for the tomato lover who knows the many names that are referenced. While I understand the difference in types of tomatoes, sadly I don’t recognize any varieties by name.

But I enjoy fresh tomatoes during the summer and love the idea of a cookbook that incorporates them into everyday cooking.  Many of the recipes in the book were not of interest; however, I did come away with a few that I’m sure to try such as Fast Tomato Sauce, Metro Bis Salad Dressing, Cream of Tomato Soup, and Tomato Pasta Salad.

There are a few pictures of the recipes, eight to be exact, and not nearly enough for my cookbook expectations. In addition to the 150 recipes, the book has extras like tomato lore, chef profiles, gardening tips, and home canning tips.

My thanks to Storey Publishing for allowing me to review this book. This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.

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publishing practical information that encourages personal independence in harmony with the environment

I’m thrilled to be reviewing some of the great how-to books from Storey Publishing. Visit their website and see the huge selection of interesting and informative books. Check out their blog, too.

Each month I’ll be sharing a Storey Publishing book with you.

In the garden and in the kitchen, liven up your summer with herbs! The Beginner’s Guide to Edible Herbs details 26 specific herbs for the novice herb grower. [that’s me!]

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The Beginner’s Guide to Edible Herbs

26 Herbs Everyone Should Grow and Enjoy

Charles W.G. Smith

Nothing tastes better than herbs fresh from the garden. Discover how easy and rewarding it is to grow your own! Simple instructions, tempting recipes, and beautiful full-color photographs by Saxon Holt will inspire you to grow, harvest, preserve, and cook with 26 of the most popular kitchen herbs, including basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, garlic, lavender, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and tarragon. A great gift for any herb lover.

The table of contents attractively lists the 26  herbs by photo identification. Each herb chapter starts with the herb description and then a catchy title that highlights an important aspect of the herb. A few pages are devoted to that herb discussing how to grow it and harvest it with tips, recipes and most important uses. The end of the book offers a handy reference chart for the 26 herbs.

This is a kitchen reference keeper. The 140 pages of information and photos inspired me to plant a small herb container garden. I am growing basil, pineapple sage, cilantro and stevia. (the first three herbs are in the book) Having my own herbs on hand will be a treat this summer and a savings when you consider the cost for fresh herbs in the food store.

My thanks to Storey Publishing for allowing me to review this book. This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received.

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Lots of tall colors

The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. ~Author Unknown

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