A good read and a potter

The most thumbed gardening book I own is Joy Larkcom’s Grow Your Own Vegetables. It is easily the best book I bought when I got my allotment and urgently needed great practical advice. And while I chat about that we can take a potter around the allotment and check up and see how things are growing.

It’s the book I turn to time and time again.

To remind myself of the dos and don’ts. To verify an insect or a disease. To check up on the practicalities of growing a certain vegetable.

A book to turn to when I have questions that need answering.

It’s plain and simple – a no frills approach to gardening.

Rainbow Chard

No big glossy photos or life-style statements, just a few simple hand drawings with easy to read directions.

And all the time you are reading it, you know she has grown the fruit and vegetables she’s writing about, she has tried the different techniques, she has built her soil up, she’s dealt with pests and diseases. Her words give you an understanding and a confidence.

Packed full of practical advice on how to set up a vegetable garden, to build and maintain a compost heap, pruning and propagation techniques, the tools you need and of course the how to sow, plant, care for and when to harvest.

So practical and yet so easy to read. I’m not blinded by science or bombarded with opinion. Gently but firmly is it written.

And now of course with blogging, if I want to understand something a bit better, or if a fellow blogger asks me a specific question I flick through the pages, many with highlighted passages others with sticky-notes attached. And there is the answer.

And then of course there is her fabulous book Oriental Vegetables, best we leave that for another day!

For more info on Joy Larkcom take a look at the Guardian and Waterstones, where I’ve discovered there is a new(ish) book out called Just Vegetating A Memoir…. credit card at the ready….

Do you have a favourite garden read?