Creating and maintaining a beautiful garden that is safe and natural is becoming increasingly popular as we begin to understand the benefits of adopting an organic way of life. This volume is an indispensable guide to using organic methods to create flourishing ornamental and wildlife gardens. There is also a vital section on kitchen gardening that reflects our growing interest in eating and producing fresh, healthy and chemical-free vegetables, herbs and fruit.
Christine and Michael Lavelle give clear advice on creating and caring for a natural garden, showing how to adopt an organic approach to each garden task, whether this is soil preparation, weeding and weed control, watering and feeding, or pruning and propagation. There is also helpful practical information on dealing organically with pests and diseases in both the garden and the greenhouse.
The book looks in turn at different aspects of organic gardening, from creating spectacular lawns and decorative beds and borders in the ornamental garden, through attracting a host of beneficial creatures to the wildlife garden, to growing a wealth of crops in the kitchen garden. An easy-to-use directory of vegetables, herbs and fruit provides clear, at-a-glance information on growing a wide range of healthy produce, with advice on sowing, planting, harvesting and storing.
With its wealth of inspirational and practical photographs, useful step-by-step information and well-informed text, this is a comprehensive guide for both first-time and experienced gardeners, whether you wish to start an organic garden from scratch or use organic methods in an existing garden.
"This splendid book will help you go organic in every part of your garden."
- Alan Gear, Chief Executive, HDRA - the Organic Association"
Michael Lavelle is a committed environmentalist and a firm believer that nature provides the best model for any garden design. A keen observer of nature since his early childhood in Lancashire, he believes that this natural model combined with a commonsense approach to horticulture is the key to organic success. Michael studied horticulture at Askham Bryan College in York and environmental management at Wye College in Kent. He worked as a professional landscaper before starting a career as a horticultural lecturer in the early 1990s. Michael has designed and constructed several educational exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show, achieving prestigious gold medals in 1999, 2003 and 2005, and winning a silver medal for his specialist wildlife garden in 2007. He currently works as a senior lecturer in landscape management at Writtle College in Chelmsford.
Christine Lavelle is a lecturer in horticulture and ecology at Writtle College, Chelmsford, in England. She trained at the National Trust for Scotland's Threave School of Practical Gardening and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Christine has worked in many different areas of horticulture and was assistant head gardener at Levens Hall topiary gardens in Kendal and hardy ornamentals team leader at Askham Bryan College in York. She is currently carrying out research projects to encourage beneficial insects within ornamental gardens.