Rob Scott, Neil Blake, Jeannie Campbell, Doug Evans, Nicholas Williams, Mark J. McDonnell: Indigenous Plants of the Sandbelt (Paperback, en-Latn-AU language, 2002, Earthcare St Kilda) 5 stars

Indigenous Plants of the Sandbelt is a gardening book which will increase your understanding of …

a grounded grounding

5 stars

Guess what sits top of the list Gardening in Naarm’s Sandbelt, where I wrote what seems review enough I figured I’d expand slightly on it with an actual one.

Grounded in the very geology of the place, this is a slim but rich introduction to a representative selection of local plant species, and assisting them in forming communities.

It is useful as! The authors strike a fine balance, which the clear presentation makes look so easy: being welcoming to beginners, reaching deep for the hardcore, and always keeping things convenient. It’s a surprise not to have met more books of this formula, as such guides could obviously be immensely beneficial in all kinds of places.

The text isn’t perfect. My biggest gripes are wordings that would confine Aboriginal practices to the past, and quite so readily condoning resort to rank pesticide.

I might have liked slightly more attention on incorporating indigenous plants in the kitchen garden, but that may make for a different book. The curation as is is not in need of upsetting. It is well suited to a good range of contexts.

Still an invaluable resource two decades on — indeed, only growing in urgency every month — this title is commonly held by public library services around the region, although remains worryingly out of print and pixel.

A revised edition would be so welcome! Meanwhile, I’d encourage anyone with so much as an egg carton in the area to reserve, show to friends, and cherish those remaining copies.