DO YOU HAVE TOO MANY GARDENING BOOKS? I DO
A SUGGESTION FOR YOU - FIVE USEFUL BOOKS
1. A guide to shrubs and trees (like size, appearance, preferences, hardiness)
2. Similar information about flowers, perennials and annuals
3. How to prune - shrubs and trees
4. Planning a vegetable plot, including info on rotation
5. A book of writings from your favourite gardening writer
6. A book about propagation (well, that's six, you will have noted).
I better come clean here. I admit I have far too many gardening books. I just had a look at them, and realized I have not read most of them, just flicked through, when I needed information.
Of course, they are reference books, in the main, so you really only need to consult them now and then.
Though some remind me of people, for instance ones belonging to parents, uncles.
THE SIX TOP BOOKS I OWN AND RATE HIGHLY:
1. My notebooks - I have some old ones which I keep, plus the latest one. For notes, of course.
2. Planning the Organic Vegetable Garden by Dick Kitto
3. Pruning by Christopher Brickell
4. The Propagators Handbook by Peter Thompson
5. The Adventurous Gardener by Christopher Lloyd
6. Perennials and their Garden Habitat by Hansen and Stahl
I don't know why I keep all my old notebooks - I suppose I am just a hoarder of stuff. Then when I want them, I can't find them! The current one has visited with me to the Trials Field at the RHS gardens, Wisley in Surrey.
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY WISLEY GARDEN
My favourite writer was Christopher Lloyd, creator of the lovely gardens at Great Dixter in Sussex.
We went there one day and saw the delightful Christopher from a distance, walking with his beloved sausage dog.
I felt I knew him so well, from reading his columns in Country Life Magazine, but felt it would be rude to force myself upon him, in his own environment, so I did not speak to him.
Great Dixter Gardens and house
Christopher Lloyd's columns in Country Life Magazine appeared for many years.
I couldn't read them regularly because the magazine is very expensive, beyond my budget. It was produced weekly.
For a couple of years I had a part-time job at the Royal Society, at Carlton House Terrace near The Mall, and there I had access to the beautiful library there.
I used to read Country Life in my lunch hour, with great pleasure.
Unfortunately other sources of Country Life were difficult to find, my local library did not subscribe.
There are many books published by Chrisopher Lloyd, and he is so amusing and witty to read. A real treasure.
The Organic Vegetable Garden book I bought in America, in New York's Bronx Botanical Garden bookshop. I was surprised to find it is a British book but edited for the American market.
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
Anyway, it is very complex and gives unusual information about rotation using 'fertile strips' for vegetables. I try and grow my veg in 'fertile strips' though my strips are not fertile!
The more usual way of growing veg, more fashionable, is to use enclosed plots, about 4 foot wide, they are all the rage on my allotment.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE GARDENING BOOKS?