Gaia's Garden

Gaia's Garden

4.38 (3,592 ratings by Goodreads)
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Permaculture is a verbal marriage of apermanenta and aagriculture.a Australian Bill Mollison pioneered its development. Key features include:
use of compatible perennials;
non-invasive planting techniques;
emphasis on biodiversity;
specifically adaptable to local climate, landscape, and soil conditions;
highly productive output of edibles.
Now, picture your backyard as one incredibly lush garden, filled with edible flowers, bursting with fruit and berries, and carpeted with scented herbs and tangy salad greens. The visual impact is of Monetas palette, a wash of color, texture, and hue. But this is no still life. The flowers nurture endangered pollinators. Bright-featured songbirds feed on abundant berries and gather twigs for their nests.
The plants themselves are grouped in natural communities, where each species plays a role in building soil, deterring pests, storing nutrients, and luring beneficial insects. And finally, you--good ola homo sapiens--are an integral part of the scene. Your garden tools are resting against a nearby tree, and have a slight patina of rust, because this garden requires so little maintenance. You recline into a hammock to admire your work. You have created a garden paradise.
This is no dream, but rather an ecological garden, which takes the principles of permaculture and applies them on a home-scale. There is nothing technical, intrusive, secretive, or expensive about this form of gardening. All that is required is some botanical knowledge (which is in this book) and a mindset that defines a backyard paradise as something other than a carpet of grass fed by MiracleGro.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 209.55 x 260.35 x 6.35mm | 566.99g
  • White River Junction, United States
  • English
  • Illustrated
  • Illustrated
  • 40 b&w illustrations
  • 1890132527
  • 9781890132521
  • 829,611

Review quote

"There is so much wisdom in "Gaia's Garden" that I would need a dozen columns to do it justice. ...a bold, wonderful, nature-embracing and completely sensible vision of the future."Justin Siskin, "Los Angeles Daily News"
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About Toby Hemenway

Toby Hemenway is the author of the first major North American book on permaculture, Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, and an adjunct assistant professor at Portland State University. He wrote the foreword for Heather C. Flores' Food Not Lawns. After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories including Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes, and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was associate editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. His current project is developing urban sustainability resources in Portland, Oregon, where he now lives. He teaches permaculture and consults and lectures on ecological design throughout the country. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Whole Earth Review, Natural Home, and Kitchen Gardener. He is available for workshops, lectures, and consulting in ecological design. Visit his web site at http://
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Rating details

3,592 ratings
4.38 out of 5 stars
5 55% (1,972)
4 32% (1,144)
3 10% (371)
2 2% (79)
1 1% (26)
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