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Gardening Books – Take 2

By 4th April 2018No Comments

A photo of a stack of gardening books

Inspired by Jessie’s post in January, I thought I would share with you my favourite gardening books.  They are a little bit different from Jessie’s choices – as you will soon see!

I’ve just re-read Katherine Swift’s lovely, lovely book, The Morville Hours.  It’s the story of how the author took on an ambitious gardening project and the trials and tribulations of transforming a neglected wilderness.  It’s an absorbing read that reveals as much about the author as her beloved garden.

Despite the weather the wild daffodil buds are showing their first pale glimmer of colour.  Their country name is the Lenten lily, because they bloom in the liturgical season of Lent…It is almost dawn now.  Listen. The birds are beginning to sing.  The first tentative notes piercing the darkness.’

A book I frequently dip into is, Treasury of Garden Writing, published by The Royal Horticultural Society.  It’s a beautifully illustrated hardback which is full of excepts from such diverse writers as Pliny the Younger to Gertrude Jekyll.

There is lately a Flower…a Toolip, which hath engrafted the love and affections of most people upon it; and what is this Toolip? a well complexion’d stink an ill favour wrapt up in pleasant colours…’

Most of us will be familiar with Rachel Carson’s, Silent SpringInterestinglyConor Mark Jameson, has updated this book with research and finding from 1962 up to the present day.  There are small pockets of hope but mainly he reinforces the message Carson set out in her original book.

‘Government announced that the marshes of north Kent at the mouth of the Thames were again being considered for a huge new airport development, despite this area by now having every conservation designation in the book.’

Another book I’d recommend from a favourite author of mine is, Penelope Lively’s, Life in the Garden. It was recently serialised on Radio 4.

If anyone wants to borrow the above books, just get in touch. I plan to leave them at the community garden for fellow enthusiasts.  After the chores are done, it’s nice to relax in the deck chair with a good read.  At the moment, I’m distracting myself from some spring sowing by browsing the David Austin, Handbook of Roses. Bliss!

A photo of a page of a Pages of Book of Roses


I grew up on a farm in the NE of Scotland so have always had a close affinity to land and growing my own food. As a family we ate only what was in season and preserved fruit and vegetables if there was a glut. I am still passionate about cutting air miles on the food I eat. I’m lucky to live close to the Tayport Community Garden and pop in regularly for advice and produce.

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