Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Good Gardener

What freebie reviewed today? The Good Gardener by Simon Akeroyd, a National Trust gardening advice manual.

How did I get it? A competition win.

It's taken me a week to plough through this, £25 worth of handy gardening advice. So handy, in fact, that Mrs Blogger is keen to keep it on the shelves rather than give it away as a prize - sorry!

The review below is taken from my Goodreads page. There's a lovely playlist at the bottom too, all songs from my collection inspired by gardens.

<The Good Gardener: A Hands-on Guide from National Trust ExpertsThe Good Gardener: A Hands-on Guide from National Trust Experts by Simon Akeroyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The National Trust know how to garden. I don't think I've ever been to one of their properties and been disappointed with the garden. Given that they aim to encourage visitors by maintaining beautiful gardens and have a self-endowed responsibility to preserve species and techniques then they know what they are doing.
This book is an excellent introduction to gardening. It covers all aspects of the garden, from designing the garden to identifying the type of soil; from choosing different plants for different seasons to advising on fruits and vegetables, herbs and grasses, trees and shrubs. It's hard to think of anything that isn't covered in its 284 glossy pages. Sowing seeds and propagation are covered as is choosing tools and encouraging wildlife into the garden - the Trust are notably green in their methods and materials.
Need to know how to dry out beans? Tick.
Moving a tree? Tick.
Grow your own herbs? Tick
Want bats in your garden? Tick.

Dotted within the pages are small gems from the Trust's gardeners - historical looks at gardening and insights into places that have embraced older methods of gardening. All of this is gloriously illustrated with photos from the Trust's gardens.

I'm a reluctant gardener but this book is simple and basic enough for people like me to get a bit of inspiration. Expert gardeners or someone looking for very specific information on one technique or type of plant won't get all they need, but almost every house with a garden small or large would benefit from having this introduction on their shelves.

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