Quite a few people have been asking me about my reference to Percy Thrower, and that fact that I use his book ‘In Your Garden’ as my sowing and planting bible. So I though I would make a post dedicated to Percy. The book is old! It was first printed in 1959 but I think the impression I have was printed in 1960. Nothing like some up-to-date, cutting edge gardening data eh?
The reason I like it so much is that it breaks up the year into months and then into weeks. Most books will tell you what to sow in what month according to where you live. But this one tells you what to plant this week. It’s brilliant! Of course, he is a little part of childhood too, being the Blue Peter gardener on TV in the 80s.
So for example, here’s an extract from January (fourth week).
“As soon as the Brussels Sprouts have been gathered, the stalks should be cleared from the ground unless there is a shortage of Purple Sprouting Broccoli or Kale in which case a few Brussels Sprouts may be left to produce young shoots for gathering later on.
Herbs such as Sage and Thyme can be replanted and large clumps can be pulled apart into small pieces with roots attached. The bushes can be cut down to within 9 inches of the ground and plenty of young shoots will grow up from the base…”
But, being a gardener in the 60s he also recommends spraying your crops with all kinds of nasties, poisoning the mice that eat your Pea seeds and dusting Turnips with DDT to kill flea beetle! Ho-hum you can’t have everything can you?
What I especially like are the black and white photos that have been hand finished in pencil. Why, I’m not quite sure but someone has taken a lot of time making these photos into a kind of eerie half reality that I just love.
The sad thing is I think it’s out of print. The only books I can find on Amazon are second hand or from collectors. I’m not sure you can buy it new anymore.
So that’s my gardening bible. I read other books, of course, but I always go back to see what Percy’s up to this week. It’s like an addiction I have.
What’s your gardening bible?