The Patient Gardener

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Sometimes a book comes along that is just a bit different to the everyday coffee table book on gardens and plants  and The Gardener’s Companion to Medicinal Plants is such a book. It is strange but there is something in the book not having a glossy slip cover that makes it feel more grown up, more serious, containing information of substance.  At the same time the delightful botanical illustrations hint that there… Read More

She Sheds by Erika Kotite is not my normal choice of garden related reading but I was curious so agreed to write a review for Cool Springs Press.  Erika’s book explores the idea of ‘She Sheds’ which are essentially outdoor buildings used by women to have a place of their own for a whole variety of reasons – arts and crafts, reading, yoga, small businesses.  As you can guess from the front… Read More

Very occasionally I receive a book to review and the timing of its arrival seems to be very serendipitous. This is true of The Art of Gardening, a Timberpress publication which focuses on the approach to gardening at Chanticleer, a garden in Pennsylvania, USA. The book is written by the staff of the garden, with the bulk written by Bill Thomas, head gardener but supported by substantial contributions from the rest of the… Read More

The title of Paradise Gardens is a little misleading if like me you assumed it was another coffee table book that would be full of large glossy pictures of gardens with some text alongside.  Instead this book has a completely different feel.  Although its appearance is of your typical occupant of the coffee table glamour pack when you open it you realise that you are expected to actually engage with the text… Read More

I often have whimsical thoughts that I will make some ornamental delight from autumn leaves or festoon the house with winter foliage and berries for Christmas.   But do I ever create these crafty masterpieces? Well No! Of course not!  There is never enough time and even if I was to collect  winter berries and leaves I am then left wondering how to turn them into the image of a Christmas arrangement that… Read More

I have a backlog of books to review and although book reviews was almost the least popular subject for posts in the poll I carried out earlier this week I do feel duty bound to work through them so apologies for possibly a lot of book reviews in the coming weeks. I thought it was timely to start with The Plant Lover’s Guide to Asters by Paul Picton and Helen Picton.  I… Read More

I was asked to review The Woodcutter’s Story by its author Mark Walker.  Mark is a horticulturist and garden designer who has created show gardens at Malvern, Cardiff, and Hampton Court horticultural shows.  The book has been published in aid of Cancer Research UK.  Mark wants to raise funds for the charity and indeed the show gardens he has built over the years have all been to raise awareness of the various… Read More

  I have to admit that I didn’t greet the new The Plant Lover’s Guide to Tulips by Richard Wilford, published by Timberpress in association with Kew, with the same incandescent excitement as I did the one on epimediums but then I am a bit of an epimedium nut.  To be fair tulips have had a hard time in my back garden thanks to the tulip crazed badger that visits in the… Read More

  I was asked to review Anne Wareham’s latest book – ‘Outwitting Squirrels, and other garden pests and nuisances’. The book’s strap line intrigued me “101 cunning stratagems to reduce dramatically the egregious effects of garden pests and honest advice concerning your changes of success“. Knowing Anne I knew she would not hold back with her views and although I may not agree with her at least they would be well argued…. Read More

I adore Epimediums.  If there was a plant that I might collect it would be these so when I was asked by Timberpress if I would like to review Sally Gregson’s new book The Plant Lover’s Guide to Epimediums I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I met Sally some years ago when I spent a day at her home learning about plant propagation so I knew she was a good plantswoman but… Read More