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How to Garden

Hamlyn (distributed by Bookwise International)

"NOT another how-to-garden book," we hear you cry. Our sentiments, too, but then, after digging deeper, we relented. If the how-to genre was marked on clarity and persuasive layout, as well as breadth of information, How to Garden would come near top of the class.

It starts with - no prize for guessing - The Basics: What is a plant? Describing plants, choosing tools, and so on. The subject matter in the following 10 chapters is comprehensive, ranging from soil types to a season-by-season look at the garden.

Each chapter carries detailed "how-to" sidebars, which help to make the book a winner for the novice. Some take a "best of" or "top 10" line: best ferns, top-10 shrubs, and so on. It may be gardening by numbers, but many of the tips will help to avert the setbacks that discourage the new gardener.

The illustrations speak for themselves - there's no better way to compare a root-bound potted plant to one with a healthy root structure than to actually see the difference.

There's a "jargon-busting" glossary at the back, as well as an FAQ-style, trouble- shooting guide. Apart from the telltale question about moles, this British publication has a lot of mileage for the would-be Kiwi gardener. If you know someone who's about to plunge into gardening or if you need a back-to-basics refresher yourself, you won't do much better.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 144, 2004, Page 28
(reproduced in Horticulture in New Zealand:
Journal of the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture 2005, 8(1): 21)

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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