Hamlyn (distributed by
"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
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
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.
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