CrrriticShut Up And Dig

An irresistible DIY book

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I am the last person who should be writing about DIY projects. As far as the house is concerned, we have to have contractors for everything, including minor fixture installations and any painting. We build nothing. We fix nothing. What cleaning is needed gets done every two weeks by a very inexpensive service. These days, I am even leaving about half of the meal planning to Blue Apron. They are much more creative than I could be.

In the garden, the guy who installed our pond fixes whatever goes wrong with it (which isn’t much; he did a good job). Neither of our backs is up to any heavy lifting, so occasionally someone else fixes or changes the hardscaping as well, when needed. I am always thrilled to hear about minor garden projects that aren’t really needed. Fall cleanup? Why bother; there will be much less of it to do if I wait until spring, and the birds like it to remain. Compost tea? Big waste of time, say the Garden Professors. A little deadheading, a little weeding, a little topdressing with compost and mulch. That’s about it. Watering is as automatic as we can get it. I’d like to water less, but we have a lot of pots, which is where most of my work comes in. That and bulb forcing, my special interest. Susan’s flags look wonderful, but the work involved fills me with horror.

But even the laziest homeowner/gardener can’t resist this adorable new book. It consists entirely of fun, funky, and often educational DIY projects, laid out step-by-step, with photographs. Written by Matt Pember and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon, The Little Veggie Patch Co. DIY Garden Projects (Rizzoli, 2016) has a long name, because The Little Veggie Patch Co. is a company Pember founded in 2007 in Australia that installs and maintains vegetable gardens for urban dwellers. There are also two other books from the company, each co-written with another writer. The projects in this book all deal, more or less, with building structures, usually from salvaged materials, with various functions: edible green walls, planters, raised beds, funky furniture, playhouses, bughouses, and much more. Many are either for kids or can be done by kids, with varying degrees of supervision.

Most of the projects are not hard at all; the way the steps are laid out kind of reminds me of my Blue Apron instructions, except way cuter. If you like small projects, have kids, or just want to enjoy a fun, well-designed, garden book, think of this. It would also be a great gift.

The above wall planter image appeared on Insideout.

Posted by

Elizabeth Licata
on April 5, 2016 at 8:33 am, in the category Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Everybody’s a Critic.

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