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Winner of the 2008 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Innovative Cookbook

“The 30 ‘Magic Square’ garden plots offer plenty of ideas, from a simple salad garden with a variety of lettuces, to gardens for soup, stir fry, root crops and more.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“So many gardening books feature plants' mile-long Latin names and confusing charts. Not this one. Its easy-to-follow instructions, diagrams, and photos inspire desire to grow good-for-the-body fresh produce from little yard space. A bonus: some delicious serving suggestions. One Magic Square tells you everything you need to get started and profiles each plant.”

The Virginian-Pilot

“Australian gardener Houbein has a personal and intimate understanding of food security, having survived famine during the Nazi occupation in Holland. She warns of the dangers of globalized, corporate agribusiness and ‘aims to put you in control of the production of at least part of the food you need’ . . . The book provides basic gardening information and a wide variety of square-yard vegetable garden plans . . . [and is] as much a compilation of Houbein's gardening life as a straightforward step-by-step how-to manual. Like an eccentric but wise great aunt, at turns whimsically practical . . . Houbein offers much valuable advice.”

Publishers Weekly

“Lolo Houbein's magic garden squares are creative, international, and a fun way to learn the magic of growing your own food.”

—Tanya Denckla, author of The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food

“This timely guide will assist first-time and experienced gardeners in taking control of their own food supply at a time of . . . increasing fuel and food prices. Food gardening is the most intelligent adult endeavor on earth—Lolo Houbein shows you how to do it, and why you should.”

EcoVoice (Australia)

“These are hard times we are living in: food and [fuel] prices are going through the roof, but . . . One Magic Square shows there is a way that we can regain control of our wallets . . . It's never been more important to embrace sustainability—and not just for our [own] futures either. This book is an ideal starting point.”

—Memorable TV, The Entertainment Website

“With a lifetime of experience [in the garden] . . . and as a gifted writer, this is a book full of advice, gardening and cookery hints, and [Houbein's] own abundant satisfaction in the growing process. It is the book to give to anyone, gardeners or hopeless wannabes [alike].”

—Sally Hammond, Australian food and travel writer

“The writing is humorous, straightforward, and persuasive about the desirability of growing your own food for health and pleasure, and to help sustain the planet by reducing food miles . . . If you don't own a book about growing food, this is the one to buy. Indeed, I'd recommend it to experienced gardeners too, for its wealth of fresh ideas.”

South Australia Life

“This delightful and timely book is the author's solution to rising food prices. [Houbein] is passionate about her subject . . . and has produced a book full of wit and wisdom with gems of information . . . [One Magic Square] will arrive in the market at exactly the right time and will appeal to both gardeners and non-gardeners, encouraging them to take the first step to growing their own nutritious, organic food.”


“For those of us who are keen to have some control over the quality of our food, [this book] could be the best investment yet. It's certainly encouraged me to take another look at gardening in these extraordinarily difficult times.”

PSNews Book Review

“[One Magic Square] is causing a buzz, and quite rightly. [This book] is an engaging and motivational guide to growing your own food. Unlike most other gardening books, this one is very easy to follow (Lolo tells you exactly what to do) and contains a series of brilliant one-square-yard plot designs to suit every taste.”

Sumptuous magazine

“No sod is left unturned in providing clear, comprehensive information on what to plant, how to plant it, when to plant it, and how to keep the bugs and nasties away.”

The Sunday Examiner Magazine

“A call to action for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.”

The Advertizer Review

“Her suggestion of turning virtually any space into a vegetable plot is embarrassingly simple, her style of writing is appealing and the instructions she gives are easy to follow.”

The Advocate

One Magic Square . . . comes at a point in our own history when farmers are walking off tired, dry land, fuel and food prices are rising and we are becoming more conscious of the miles our food must travel to arrive on our plates. This might make you frown, but this book is optimistic, encouraging and positively enabling . . . You'll find healthy dollops of garden-to-table philosophy, a wealth of well-indexed gardening experience generously shared, occasional recipes shared and at least one square yard of self-sufficiency in your life.”

The Trading Post

“Just as with humans, some plants retard each other's development while others flourish in each other's company. Companion planting and intercropping is a science born from millenia of observation by food growers. The oldest known example is from Mexico where some eight millennia ago the Aztecs grew corn, beans, and pumpkin or squash together.”

—from Part II: Growing and Enjoying Your Magic Square