I’ve been writing a book on edibles so I’ve been trying not to read anybody else’s while I’m working on mine. However, I was walking through Barnes & Noble, where I saw The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs, by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner. Some books just touch your soul. This one was a combination of good sound advice on growing vegetables and ornamentals along with gorgeous photos.
Leslie and Stefani are co-founders of Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening where they combine elements of good garden design with edible and ornamental plants. I think any vegetable garden is a beautiful thing, but there is that moment when everything starts to look ratty. By crafting a garden with good bones, you can alleviate this problem at least part of the time. They work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, how I wish they lived in Oklahoma. I would ask for their help in a couple of my tricky garden spots.
At the Garden Bloggers Fling in San Francisco, I was lucky enough to be seated next to these beautiful and accomplished women. Throughout the dinner, I didn’t realize they were authors let alone authors of this book. I pulled it out of my swag bag and exclaimed how good it was. Another person at the table started laughing and said, “You’re sitting next to the authors.”
It was so loud in the venue I never got a chance to talk to them until later. What fun they were! I’m excited to share that one lucky reader will receive a copy of The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs because the publisher has agreed to let me give one away. Here’s how we’ll do this. First, comment below about your own garden or the one of your dreams. The winner will be chosen at random. In order to get more chances to win, after you comment, share this post on Twitter, Facebook or another social media channel. Each time you share, copy the url and post another comment. You can share this anywhere you’d like. I get nothing for this contest except good will from the authors, two women I really like. Also, I bought a book myself, the ebook actually, and I, like everyone at Fling, received a copy. The contest ends on Wednesday, July 31, at Midnight. The more often you share and enter, the more chances you have to win my darlings. You’ll love this book.
UPDATE: We have a winner! It’s Sara S. who commenter number 2 according the Random.org number generator. I’ve emailed Sara, and I hope she enjoys her new book.
My Husband takes care of the vegetables while I do flowers and berries.
Love your blog and gardens. I need to grow more veggies and could use a helpful book 🙂
My neighbor thinks my little veggie patch is ugly so I clearly need this book! I would love to create such a darling little vegetable patch that she would beg me to come see it!
One of the reasons i’m so hesitant to expand the veggie beds is because they inevitably look so bedraggled over time. I also desperately need fencing in my garden spaces, but have yet to figure out something that is both affordable and either pleasing to the eye, or unobtrusive at the very least! This book may offer some solutions for me. 🙂
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We don’t have a lot of room, so we mostly grow tomatoes and peppers. I wish we had tons of room to grow watermelon, pumpkins and all kinds of things!
Obviously I need this book! My neighbor doesn’t like my little veggie patch so I need to buckle down and make it irresistibly attractive! Best wishes on your book, Dee! Can’t wait to see it!
Marie at the Lazy W
My **DREAM** garden has something going on every month of the year. I feed my family from it and donate to the church or food pantries from it and sell food, herbs, and flowers from it at the local market. I have lights strung across it so we can eat al Fresco anytime. My animals are welcome to visit (they are now, really) and the bugs are so polite they never bother anyone. Somehow, classical piano and acoustic guitar music are piped in invisibly at all times.
I think Marie from The Lazy W just described heaven! Oh and enough gentle rain falling that water hoses are never needed.
I always plant veggies in amongst the perennials and would love to have them look more beautiful. This year they are all in pots though, even carrots. Good thing with the crazy weather we have been having, either drought or flood, nothing in between.
Donna@Gardens Eye View
Dee it sounds like a great book and how lucky to meet the authors…good luck with your book and I look forward to reading it.
wow -what a great book- I have a very small yard- with many pocket gardens- my latest dream is to build a rock wall along the sloping garage foundation & put in 3-4 fruit trees….
I have just put in a new garden and this book looks like what I had in mind when I built it. Veggies, herbs, and flowers galore!
This summer, I’ve really turned my attention to the vegetable raised beds in my front yard as that is where the light is best. The entire yard is fill with very little topsoil (I cringe when I think of the farmfields that used to occupy this area because a lot of good soil was removed to build these houses in my neighborhood without regard to future use) so my only choice was to go up rather than dig down. I’d love to create a beautiful yet functional space out there. I have a strong feeling that if I don’t win the book from you that I’ll be ordering it.
What I’d really love, is to have a large, sunny backyard area that I could totally convert into an edible garden. Parts would probably just be regular vegetable patches, but I’d also really love landscaping with edible flowers and herbs mixed into flower beds. Other flowers would be edibles as well, but for birds, bees and butterflies! The book looks wonderful though, and would be great for my upcoming Edible Landscape class I’ll be taking spring semester! 🙂
I always plant a vegetable garden every year and it would be nice if it looked special instead of just rows (and weeds). Something to make me smile every time I looked at it. I grew up gardening with my mom and grandma, they are both gone and it would help me remember those times.
I’m not on facebook or any of those others so this is my only entry.
Thanks for the chance to win, and thanks for telling me about this neat book!
cjay (at) iavalley (dot) edu
Very nice! I’ll look forward to reading your book, Dee.
I have a few ornamental beds and a few edible beds. I would love to learn how to combine them into one.
Thanks for your great blog and this generous giveaway!
There is nothing that I would like better than a beautiful edible garden. We planted a few vegetables last year and several more this year. Glad to know that its available as an ebook. That makes it easy to take to work to read on my lunch hour.
We haven’t had the rain that you have but my tomatoes did make and are done for now. It is hard gardening organically here in the piney woods of east Texas with the sugar sand, critters, heat and sometimes rain. The only tip I have is amend, amend, amend. . . while folks here are raking and bagging their leaves I shred and till them into my soil.
It is very hard. I grow in the hills of Oklahoma, and I feel your pain.~~Dee
I have a large ornamental garden, but this year I’m working on converting the side and front lawns into an edible garden. This book sounds like it would be very helpful to me!
I have flower gardens and edible gardens. Withall the wonderful rains herein Logan County
everything has flourished.
Love your web site and would love to win the book.
We are planning to put a vegetable garden in our backyard this fall. It is tricky to find a spot with enough sun that isn’t smack dab in the middle–which my husband vigorously objects to. When does your book come out?
Hi Barbie, it’s scheduled to come out sometime in February. Thanks for asking.~~Dee
I would love it if I had the energy to get out in the typical Oklahoma summer heat to make a garden like that. Maybe some day when I’m not working during the cooler part of the year I will do it.
Oh to dream the I could make my garden look as beautiful as their photos!! I’ve started with a blank canvass and I have soooooo far to go!! This looks like a lovely book; thanks for the opportunity to possibly own it!
I have always wanted a walled “secret garden” since childhood with a gypsy wagon inside for respite.
I’m at an exciting place with my garden right now — the design phase 🙂 We’ve just moved to a new house with a new yard with many possibilities. And the best part? The soil is great. The weather is good. And it’s sheltered enough that I think I should be able to do just about anything I want. Hurrah.
Sounds like a great book, and what fun to meet the authors in person! I’ve never done much mixing of edibles with flowers, other than the usual ornamental kale in containers in the fall. But I’m growing some rainbow chard in the veggie garden this year and have been thinking I should plant some seeds in bare spots in the flower gardens–such a bright accent! I also don’t have a good place for growing herbs, so they’re in pots mixed in with the usual containers of flowers.
What a great idea! I’ve seen people’s veggie gardens in the front of their houses or along the sides, but this takes the concept to an artistic level and utilizes the splendid and unusual beauty of many edibles. My dad was a creative gardener (the first person I’d ever known who had a “compost heap” out in the pasture) who often thought outside of the box, but I like this idea a lot and can’t wait to experiment in our own garden. This puts a whole new spin on gardening catalogs in the middle of winter and the photo on your blog makes me excited to start thinking outside of the garden plot.
My edible landscape includes a kitchen door herb garden,and containers with red okra for the vertical. I have a large segregated vegetable garden, fruit and berry tree and a very large landscape with an emphasis on xeric (in Missouri we have regular periods of drought),
Why how lovely Jeanie! I’d like to see photos of that. If you want you’re welcome to post them here.~~Dee
My veggie garden is doing well this year, as are the volunteer tomato plants that somehow sprung up with my roses in the flower beds
Ok so my dream garden is one that I will grow old in. Not a rented apartment back yard…where I have been hiding away from my neighbors because I have so many things growing in the back yard they must think I am a NUT. I just love flowers and once I am PLANTED in a place of my own. I will have paths and secret rooms,brick, block, arbors, trellis’, picking my food, fresh herbs.(sigh). I see it all in my head. Lots of sweat and work ahead. Someday. ..(insert far off dreamy stare here). This book looks to be great inspiration for my dream. Thanks for the heads up on it. 🙂
I am experimenting with a container herb garden with pretty good success. Rosemary is my go-to herb for cooking, wreath making, and just all round wonderful scent and mine are shrub size after a few years. But lavender has been a challenge until this year and finally I have one that looks like it may be a new-best friend. It is one of two varieties that I decided to experiment with; the other crashed early. I’m not giving up; I’ll try some additional ones. But I also have to mention (with motherly pride) my little orchard of pear, apple, Asian pear, native persimmon, Asian persimmon, plum, plumcot & juju trees. We don’t spray so our fruit may not be pretty but it is so much fun picking. Of course we have to fight the wildlife for every piece of fruit, Picked two plumcots one day with promise to come back for more the next but “bandits” came during the night and had a party 🙂 We live in the middle of OKC mind you!!!
I love being able to snip some thyme or rosemary from my garden when I cook. This book will give me more ideas on how to incorporate edibles into my landscape.
My dream garden is one without weeds! I love gardening and love the bounty from it! Your blog is great! I would love to win this book!
OK, Dee I like to enter such contests but this one I’d really love to win. If I had been able to keep my GE job and have the cash, I always wanted a large fenced in square area with arbors and gates on both sides. The inside would have be mapped into four quadrants with the interior edges lined in 1′ boxwood to create paths. In the center, there would be a water feature of pouring antique watering cans to cool at least inside the mind of the hardworking gardeners. Think I’ve thought about this one before, my dear friend. And throw in an espaliered ‘Kieffer’ pear to boot, please
I remember the first and only vegetable garden my parents planted. I was about eleven or twelve. It was a sorry affair you had to wade through the weeds to get to the little bit of veg it produced. They quickly lost interest. I work very hard to keep my kitchen garden looking pretty. Always on the lookout for new ideas!
In my perennial beds are many plants. This is the first year in several that I have had the opportunity to work in clearing out all the vines, saplings and weeds that have grown among those plants.
It is good to be able to see progress in bringing order back to these beds. It is amazing how your flowers will take care of themselves for a time and bloom to give you hope.
I aspire to grow edible landscaping and would be so sooooo delighted to win this book! Shared on fb!
Your write-up is very enticing. I have a large back yard that runs into a park. I would hope to gain inspiration with it.
Of all our reviews, yours is my favorite! Thank you, Dee for your heartfelt support and enthusiam for growing beautiful edibles! We can not wait to get our hands on your book — until then, San Francisco is not that far way — we’d love to talk edibles anytime!
This looks like a wonderful book. I’ve let people know on FB and Twitter. Good luck to all.