By: John Walker
144 pages, Col photos
&i;Weeds&o; is the definitive organic guide to identifying, tackling and eradicating these persistent pests and ensuring that they don't reappear. Includes a complete photographic directory of weeds.
Weeds can be useful indicators of soil type, be beneficial to insects and wildlife, warm and aerate the soil and feed other garden plants in the form of liquid fertiliser. But most people believe they are unwanted intruders, reaching for sprays and potions without further thought. This in-depth look at weeds offers an "earth-friendly" approach to dealing with them, from utilising them to destroying them. Author John Walker, an avid wildlife lover, takes the reader on a chatty, informative tour of the world of "weeds", from the thugs such as Japanese knotweed to the deceptively pretty alchemilla. Highlighting each weed's good and bad points, he leaves it to the individual to decide what to do - keep the nettle patch as a "bug bank", turn it into liquid fertiliser, digging it out or even turning it into nettle soup. Alongside each weed profile is a colour photograph to aid identification and a colour code to indicate its perniciousness. Both botanical and common names are listed which in itself makes fascinating reading: eggs and bacon (Lotus corniculatus), devil daisy (Tanacetum parthenium), and John-go-to-bed-at-noon (Anagallis arvenis). A long overdue, infinitely useful guide which should find a home on every gardener's bookshelf. - Lucy Watson
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