Yes, I’m still on my rant (and no, I didn’t change the name of the blog). But I’m a book reviewer for our local horticultural society. And it’s getting darn difficult to find interesting and new books to review. I told my editor over a year ago, “You know, it’s all chickens and edibles” and not much has changed except now you can add bees to the mix and maybe a little urban homesteading and canning except that’s not really my audience.
I’ve gone far enough out on my limb to review a book about wine (wine, for goodness sake, in a horticultural society publication. It’s not Fine Cooking, after all!) And I’ve done several “grow it then eat it” type books but believe it or not, edible gardening isn’t huge here in Connecticut. Must have something to do with the fact that climate change, for us, does not mean warming. Thankfully we do have a robust farmers market system here or I’d wonder if the whole state was going to die of scurvy or rickets or some disease that was eradicated long ago.
I’ve been encouraged by my lecturing and the fact that one group has actually asked me to do a talk on herbs. Perhaps that’s the new “edible” gardening. It’s certainly smaller and easier to incorporate into one’s existing landscape.
But honestly–of the 25 pages of new books coming out in the next 11 months on Amazon, 3 are on herbs (another has just come out recently). 5 are on fairy gardening. Several more are on roses. Two more on terrariums (don’t get me wrong–I love terrariums. I even went to a workshop on making them recently. But really, having already reviewed the first book on terrariums, and lived through this craze in the 70s, I’m done with this).
There are the requisite couple on bees, a few on chickens, I can’t tell you how many are on specific genera (including yet another on hydrangeas, the most misunderstood plant on the planet, so perhaps it does need another book) and there are dozens and dozens on edibles or homesteading or growing edibles in pots–you get the gist.
One caught my eye in particular–something about Queen Elizabeth in the Garden. Probably interesting from a historical point of view. I love the Tudor time period anyway. I’m not sure my readers would.
And there are way too many on succulents, another up and coming topic. If you haven’t jumped on the succulent bandwagon yet, don’t bother. It’s probably passed you by. I’m sure it’s great for all those parts of the country that are suffering with persistent drought. Here in cool and humid northeast, succulents are just another invitation to kill plants! I will not be writing about those books, thanks so much. Again, it’s not for my audience.
My audience does love hydrangeas and roses though so maybe I can salvage something. Hardly new topics–but of course not chickens, edibles or bees either.