Book Review, gardening

Z’s Book Club: Groundbreaking Gardens by Niki Jabbour

My adventures carried me into gardening this year and now I have more starts than I have space (Seriously, if you want some summer squash, call me). I tried to garden as a child and always failed. This year’s success is a pleasant and welcome surprise and has led me to start planning a bigger, better garden for next year. I sold my entire library when I lost my home last year, including my dusty old gardening books. A search for inspiration led me to my local library, where I found this little ditty called Groundbreaking Food Gardens by Niki Jabbour, who is a gardening inspiration all by herself. She must have called all her friends in the industry and asked them to design an amazing garden for this book.

You could not ask for better advisors than those whose plans are featured in this book. There are 73 different plans, all from professional gardeners. These include award winning landscape designer Jessi Bloom, Roger Doiron (founder of Kitchen Gardens International), and Paul Zammit (Director of Horticulture at Toronto Botanical Garden). I mean it is just really cool to see the ideas of people who make their living growing things. Plans span from urban rooftop ideas to country garden plans complete with natural pest control strategies.

Particularly relevant to me were plans that included chickens. Jessi Bloom’s “Eggs and Everything” plan is brilliant. It provides versatility in free ranging and the blurb has a few great ideas for composting and making the most of your chickens’ amazing gardening abilities. The illustrations are clear and easily understood and each blurb contains golden nuggets of tried and true advice from some of the best in the business. I am in love!


Jessi Bloom’s “Eggs and Everything” design


Many plans also include composting options. From a natural comfrey tea tower that becomes the Keurig of compost tea, to a more traditional waste management program, there is something for everyone in this book. Whether you are a newbie like me or an old thumb looking for some inspiration from today’s great gardeners, Groundbreaking Gardens is worth a look. You will definitely learn something new and garner inspiration no matter what space you are working with, whether you are gardening for beauty, food, or both. This book is just fantastic and so is Niki Jabbour. She is an award winning author herself. Her book The Year Round Vegetable Gardener is a must read. She can also be found on twitter @NikiJabbour. I highly recommend her twitter if you have fallen in love with gardening. She is very supportive and inclusive of her fellow gardeners and her page is a wealth of information and inspiration.

Emma Cooper’s ingenius comfrey tea composting tower

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