Homegrown dry beans? Chinese vegetables in the backyard? ""Tender baby beets"" on a chill February day? Nancy Bubel once again (The Seed-Starter's Handbook, Vegetables Money Can't Buy) takes a different tack on gardening, with practical and appetizing prospects. The beets, for instance, come under the rubric of ""Raising Vegetables in the Closet""--or any dark, unused corner, under ordinary household fluorescents. ""Growing Wildflowers from Seed"" is doubly rewarding: for the fun of collecting the seeds and the satisfaction of sparing the plants. ""A Traditional Medicinal Garden"" needn't be an intricate knot: a small, informal kitchen plot may be a source of ""savory seasonings, insect-repellent aromatics, and even helpful healing tonics."" In each case Bubel provides tips on varieties, equipment and procedures, likely pitfalls, and prospective uses: one of the most beguiling sections is on herb teas. She has some likely projects for children (a crop of popcorn, a butterbean tent) and a consoling regimen for ""The Transplanted Gardener,"" with steps to take before and after you move. Fresh and thoughtful and responsibly informative.