Companion Planting in Australia

By Brenda Little

Reviewed by Jenny Hanna

Most plants are the happiest when grown in the company of others or sad when in the company of bad neighbours. This little book is about that. Brenda Little’s texts are mostly from a collection of passed-me-down stories and observations from her grandfather who didn’t leave any bare soil un-planted.

It might be a smaller book compared to other gardening books out there but it is a handy reference from A to Z. Each of the featured 156 items – well arranged in alphabetical order for quick reference – is described in an informative and charming manner. She talks about Allelopathy where she asks the reader to think about halitosis and body odour issues between neighbouring plants; fennel is a must if you have dogs as it deters fleas; nasturtiums and zucchini should be good neighbours even if they are both rampant and so on. There are 56 beautifully drawn coloured illustrations to identify some items. The last few pages contain bonus charts of Good Companions and Bad Companions.

I enjoyed the book from page one. I refer to the book now whenever I put something new in the gardens. Any gardener who loves the companion method and diversity will find this book beneficial. The book won’t guarantee that the companion planting tricks and hints you’ll receive will make your garden trouble free but for the small cost of $20, there are many reasons to have this notebook reference on your bookshelf as a “go to” for trying things out.

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