From time to time I get sent some great books. And if I like them then I normally talk about them here. I’ve been a bit tardy and let them pile up so I’ll do a batch review instead.
I’ll start on the left. The first book is Grow Vegetables, by Alan Buckingham. It’s a great comprehensive guide and whopping great thick hardback too. I think it would probably suffice as the only book you’d ever need when growing vegetables, it has so much data in it.
The next one along is Big Gardens in Small Spaces, by Martyn Cox. A seasoned garden writer, Martyn talks about hardships and solutions that he’s come across while gardening in his own tiny space.
Next up is actually my favourite of this little clutch. It’s The Essential Guide to Back Garden Self-Sufficiency by Carleen Madigan. Why do I like it? Because it told me some stuff that I just didn’t know. Like how to dry corn kernels just right for popcorn, how to malt your own barley, build a smoker for smoking fish and meat and how to start a beehive. All of these things I would love to do but haven’t as yet. The back of the book is mainly about caring for animals – chickens, pigs etc. But over two thirds of it are devoted to growing, eating, bottling and preserving produce. Timber Press also do a nice line in Beverley Nichols.
Then we’re back with Alan Buckingham and his Grow Fruit. Another beautifully illustrated hardback in the classic Dorling Kingsley style. A must if you have lots of your own fruit.
And lastly Allotment Month by Month, again by Alan is just as you’d expect; a book that tells you what to do on the allotment month by month but so much more besides. It’s illustrations, photos and step by step tutorials really make it a very useful guide. It shows you the right (and wrong) way to plant Strawberries, what different types of soil look like, how to hand-pollinate fruit trees and how to grow Peas in guttering.
All of these books are really great. I love the visuals and the comprehensive writing in all of them.
I think Alan’s books are excellent too. I borrowed ‘Allotment Month by Month’ from the libray and I bought ‘Grow Vegetables’ – I aim to buy ‘Grow Fruit’ sometime soon.
These are good books but I also love: GRow your own veggies from Carol Klein.
It helped me a lot with my first & further veggies!
Although I am only working on a small garden, I really liked “The Half-hour Allotment” by Lia Leendertz.
There’s loads of great books in the library and you can renew online these days that saves on the fines for late returns!
For me it has to be Mr Middleton’s Dig on for Victory and Digging for Victory. First published during WW2 they are still relevant today and obtainable in most good bookshops. When l read them its like having an old wise friend passing on his gardening advice to me. Wonderful.
One of my favourites has to be my copy of Margaret Brownlow’s Herbs and the Fragrant Garden. It’s an old copy – printed in 1957. It’s a real snapshot, in design, of that era and still so practical and relevant.
I really love The Allotment Book by Andi Clevely. I’ve also enjoyed New Urban Farmer by Celia Brooks Brown, though more for inspiration than as a bible of gardening. But my very favourite, for being extremely comprehensive, well-illustrated and readable – John Seymour’s The Self-Sufficient Gardener.
Thanks for the recommendation, and thanks to Trevor for mentioning those two Victory Garden books – I share the same last name with the author, though I must admit I have no idea who he is. Might see if I can get copies for my Dad though – I think he’d get a kick out of it, since we’re both really in to organic gardening.