Friday, 11 March 2011


There's something lovely about gardening books. In the cold winter months when the plot is on standby they're something to thumb through while dreaming of the growing year ahead, then once spring is finally here they suddenly become practical reference manuals referred to regularly for plant information and growing tips.

My long standing go-to book has been Carol Kleins 'Grow Your Own Veg', I love the way it's organised by vegetable family with loads of well laid out info on growing each kind of veg. It's been my bible over the last few years and I can't see that really changing much in the future.

However, this year, despite having owned it for ages, I've also suddenly gained a new appreciation for Andi Clevely's ‘The Allotment Book’. I still think the pages on specific veg lack detail and feel a tad cramped and hard to read when compared to Carol Kleins book, but what he does have that's great is a really useful section detailing all the things you should be doing, sowing, planting out, harvesting etc at each point in the year. As well as being a good reminder of things that need doing it's proving to be a good way of scratching that 'what can I sow now' itch and prompting ideas for veg I'd not thought of growing.

What about you guys, what gardening books couldn't you survive without?


Janet/Plantaliscious said...

You've just named two of my go-to books as an allotment virgin, and I agree with your assessment of them. The third that I am finding really useful is Lia Leendertz's "Half Hour Allotment Book" - geared very much on how to manage an allotment effectively in limited time. Really practical advice - I love it, but so far it is pretty much all theoretical. Am really wanting to get on and sow my parsnips, then I'll think I've begun!

Kate said...

Joy Larkham's "Oriental Vegetables" and Nigel Slater's "Tender 1" are my favourites.... also an old book I have, written by a Chinese man, about ancient Chinese methods of growing food. All the best and good luck.