DETECTIVE would love her own vegetable garden from which to pluck carrots or beans, or even a wafer-thin bunch of coriander. Alas, her gardening skills are as dubious as her cooking, and her efforts have come to naught. Who knew tomato plants needed water and sunlight?
Nevertheless, she is excited to have received an early copy of The Little Veggie Patch Co: How to Grow Food in Small Spaces (Plum/Pan Macmillan, $45; on sale August 30), which shows the home cook how to set up a kitchen garden. Authors Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember run a business installing edible gardens — from polystyrene boxes on balconies to fruit crates in the backyard — and provide a blow-by-blow account of how to build one, deal with pests (possums, the ‘‘smiling assassins of the vegetable garden’’, apparently can’t stand chilli and garlic) and diseases, and what to grow where.