Cover Image: Fearless Gardening

Fearless Gardening

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Fearless Gardening was filled with hope and inspiration for novice and experienced gardeners alike. You will feel encouraged to take reasonable gardening and planting risks. It extols the virtues of “try again” and the perspective of gardening is very much a learning process.. I enjoyed the format of the book with  inspirational essays thematically interspersed amongst illustrations,plans, and tips. Gardners of all levels will feel inspired after viewing this book.
Was this review helpful?
I've followed Loree's garden from a far for several years so it was exciting to get her perspective on gardening through a book instead of online. This is very much a drool-worthy and plant collector's dream of a book and in another life my garden would look like so much in here! There are some very valuable tidbits of advice she throws out to readers that may make some folks bristle but if you aren't breaking some gardening rules, are you even gardening?
Was this review helpful?
Fearless Gardening by Loree Bohl was an inspiring read. 

While it is not a book I would run out and buy, it would be worth checking out from a local library for some inspiration on your current or future garden. 

I loved the reminders that even experienced gardeners still kill plants and that there is no wrong way or one way to create your garden space. While these concepts are easy, I find we often forget about them. 

I did not find it to be an exciting read overall. 

I received an eARC from Timber Press through NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.
Was this review helpful?
I thought this would be more instructional but turned out more coffee table book. It does have some humor and instruction but I found myself turning the pages to see the gardens rather than read the text. The pictures are stunning!
Was this review helpful?
Loved what I read and found it inspirational and informative.
I loved this book and I think it can help everyone to improve their gardening and to try new things.
An excellent and well written book, highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
Fearless Gardening is a really useful and somewhat profound book on gardening philosophy and design by Loree Bohl. Due out 5th Jan 2021 from Workman Publishing on their Timber Press imprint, it's 256 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

All gardeners are familiar with the feelings of "but I can't (plant that there, grow that in this climate, plant those together, use this plant in this soil, etc)". The author presents a number of expository essays arranged thematically that, more or less, "yes you can and yes you should" (and here's how to do it). The technical/theory parts of the book are interwoven with profiles of unconventional gardeners gardening to the beats of their own drummers. The stories are inspiring and filled me with a desire to get into my garden and start digging (not really an option in late December). 

There are a number of useful appendices included: plant lists, resources for further reading, gardens to visit (with private gardens delineated with a "P"), suppliers lists (aimed at North American readers), and a cross-referenced index.

The photography throughout is superlative - clear and easy to understand. This is an inspiring book with humor, wit, style, and useful relevant technical expertise. It would make a superlative gift, library acquisition, or for a garden club or school library.

Five stars. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
Date reviewed/posted: December 5, 2020
Publication date: January 5, 2021

When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is once again closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #secondwave is upon us,  superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

“Fearless Gardening encourages you—exhorts you—to boldly go forth and claim your garden as a space of joy and creativity.” —Jennifer Jewell, creator and host of public radio’s Cultivating Place

Embrace your inner rebel and create the garden you want—even if it breaks the rules. Loree Bohl, the voice behind the popular blog the danger garden, shows how it’s done in Fearless Gardening, with zone-busting ideas and success stories. Bohl’s own gorgeous home garden inspires, with agaves that shrug off ice storms, palms that thrive in the rain and planting risks that are beautifully rewarded.

I am a horrible gardener: our balcony looks like a riotous kitchen garden gone bad. Bohl’s advice is helpful and understandable to gardeners of all levels: this book and a little common sense will get you on the right path to a gorgeous garden.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️ 🌶️🌶️
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. It hit me on exactly the right day. 

Honestly, flipping through it - I wasn’t that excited. As the author hails from the Pacific Northwest, I was expecting lush, thick landscape. What I found was lots of desert-styled plants. I’ve lived in Seattle and I’ve lived in  Tucson. I prefer the Seattle landscape. 

However, I was committed to giving this book an honest look. And I’m so glad I did! Bohl delivers pure inspiration. She encourages the reader to try, and try again. Explore. Challenge conventional wisdom. Do what makes you happy. I just loved at every turn, Bohl was encouraging me to do my own thing - garden rules be damned. 

I also loved how the book included dozens of other gardens, and the philosophies of those owners. Each garden visit was just enough spark your curiosity and provide some encouraging advice. Not too much detail, and not too little. 

I highly  recommend this book for all gardeners. With a January publication date, it will be the perfect winter read to inspire your spring gardening efforts!
Was this review helpful?
This is such a different gardening book and such fun to read. The author has a gardening blog called danger garden that was coined from her own garden that was not just different but full of spiky plants and rule breaking in her Pacific Coast garden. The book talks about all the "garden rules" and why you should break them all. Along the way she profiles two of her garden heroes that promptly became mine, and she features oodles of photographs of her own unique garden and others that similarly break the rules to wonderful effects.

I definitely will be putting using some of her ideas next year in my garden. Near the end she profiles lots of plants that look exotic and tropical but are fairly cold hardy. Unfortunately, they are typically hardy to around zone 7, not to zone 4 like my Minnesota garden. The rest of the book gave me ideas to use and garden eye candy enough, though. A delightful read.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Was this review helpful?
The concept of “fearless gardening” encourages gardeners to defy convention and grow the plants they love.  Author Loree Bohl has done just that in her Portland, Oregon garden where she grows an impressive collection of “spiky plants” like agaves and yuccas. Climate-wise, Portland may not seem like an ideal location for these types of plants but as she proves in the book, where there's a will, there is a way. 

Influenced by Ruth Bancroft and Ganna Walska – who both created influential gardens in California, Bohl began to study how the plants she craved grew in the Pacific Northwest region and observed how adventurous gardeners in the area were using them.  

Bohl advises readers that in order to pursue their desires, some long-established gardening rules have to be ignored. Ten commandments of gardening are totally debunked here and it all makes perfect sense. For example, the notion of planting in threes and making pathways that are wide enough for two people to walk side by side, are ridiculous when you have a small garden and want to grow as many plants as you can. However, as she explains, there should be a method to this audaciousness and good design should not be ignored.

A strong design sense is evident in Bohl's garden and she shows how a pleasing garden can be achieved by using repetition plants, creating vignettes, using texture and working with containers and vertical spaces when your real estate is limited. “Cramscaping” (using as many plants as you can without any bare ground showing) is a concept she highly recommends. 

Learning what plants grow in your garden, experimenting with those that are considered marginal in your area, taking gardening zones with a grain of salt and working with micro-climates are just some of the concepts in this wonderfully inspiring book. Chapters are alternated with garden profiles of gardens, both corporate and individual, which illustrate gardeners who are stepping outside the box.
Was this review helpful?
Love the quotes and valuable advice in this book! I mean, who can argue with something like the only restriction in your garden is your bank account, or that you’re not a fool if you make mistakes, but you’re a fool if you don’t learn from them. Absolutely love this book! It’s true that everyone and everything around us is trying to put us in a box. We are told what to do and what not to do - but not this book! 

I live so far up north and pretty much everything dies during winter, but not everything. It’s just about trying, failing, and learning. I know no one was born with perfect gardening skills, but sometimes it feels like it. Believe me, I’m not one of them... The advice in this book is not only good for gardening, but also life in general. Trying, failing, learning. Trying again, failing again, learning again. 

If we do only what we’ve been told to do, there would be no progress or new things. Just do it! Try it! Don’t be afraid! This is what I learned from this book. Also, awesome pictures that makes pretty much everyone jealous. Jealous in a good way - now readers have to try for themselves and see what they can create!
Was this review helpful?