ABCs of West Coast Gardening


272 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-55017-253-0
DDC 635'.09795






Reviewed by Beryl Hamilton

Beryl Hamilton is a freelance writer in Thunder Bay who specializes in
home gardening.


Mary Palmer brings six decades’ worth of gardening know-how and a
passionate interest in the West Coast region to this book. She has
proved, from vast and varied experience, that West Coast gardening can
be bountiful, productive, glorious, and satisfying. Her guide contains
five chapters—“Getting Started,” “Vegetables, Herbs and
Fruits,” “Flowers and Such,” “Trees and Shrubs,” “In the
House and Around the Yard”—and features an extremely helpful and
very detailed planning calendar that provides tips on garden
preparation, cultivation, and maintenance throughout the year.

The guide is compact, and the text is well organized in color-coded
sections. Palmer offers a commonsense approach to gardening that
includes the necessary technical information without bogging the reader
down in dry minutiae. Beginners will find the book accessible, while
more experienced gardeners will not be disappointed by the author’s
detailed instructions. Tracking down specific facts on-the-fly is easily
accomplished, and the book will prove to be a valuable reference in the
long term. The large and lavish photographs are inspiring, and make
identification a snap. The challenges facing West Coast gardeners,
particularly inclement weather and voracious wildlife, are handled with
a wonderfully optimistic—and convincing—bent. Delightfully humorous
personal anecdotes, combined with a lifetime of firsthand gardening
knowledge, bring Palmer’s advice to life. In short, this is a useful,
attractively illustrated, and very readable guide.


Palmer, Mary., “ABCs of West Coast Gardening,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,