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The Commonsense GardenerBOOK REVIEWS

The Commonsense Gardener

Stefan Buczacki
Frances Lincoln
Distributed by Bookwise

IF you're British and a gardener, it would be hard to miss the name Stefan Buczacki. By the author's website estimate he's made 2000 radio and television appearances and written countless articles and more than 50 books. He's an academic as well as a populist, so well known in mycology that his name crops up in British exam papers.

His latest effort, The Commonsense Gardener, is an authoritative ramble revealing an approach to gardening formulated by the author's own experiences and his contact with thousands of British gardeners through three decades.

When subjects like organics and crop rotation are discussed, you know this is no second-hand account - Buczacki pins his viewpoint to practical experience backed up by a wealth of knowledge.

In this vein he tackles basics such as soil, fertilisers, pesticides and pruning. There's detailed discussion of his commonsense approach to tree and shrub gardening, kitchen and water gardening, gardening and ornamentals and wildlife gardening, ending with a chapter on design.

The pages of this hardback are visually uncluttered and its style is more like a conversation over the back fence. This easy way has a lot to be said for it, as readers may find the information sticks readily. Buczacki is sought after as a consultant in his own country - this book may be the next best thing for the Kiwi gardener.

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

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Last updated: March 1, 2021