This is another of Pavilion's good looking books. It's sub-titled 'an inspirational guide to allotments and community gardens' and features a wide range of spaces, from traditional style veg plots to ones based on permaculture principles or used to grow natural dyes or provide a creative spark for an artist. There's a skip garden (literally a garden in a builders skip), a roof garden and an organic community orchard among the places featured.
I love the mix of people - young & old, from various ethnic backgrounds - all united by a love of growing things. It's a great book for browsing, and you don't need to be an allotmenteer or involved in a community project to get lots from this book. I was particularly taken by the Brussels edible garden which provided food for the gardener's bees. How I'd love my own hive!
There's are lots of very pleasing things about this book:
It's size and shape (a hardback that's ideal for browsing, not too big, not too weighty).
It's photo-heavy content - so many enticing pictures.
& the mix of the inspirational and the practical. Gardens featured include an allotment on a shed roof, a garden among the chimney pots of a Fitzrovia townhouse, a garden made in the back of an open truck, a garden on the front steps of a house, plus more traditional back gardens. There's even a garden created on a river barge. In fact, it's an orchard, complete with apple and quince trees, and nestling among them are herbs, strawberries, tomatoes and a couple of beehives. (Oh, how I'd love my own beehive.)
The gardeners themselves are featured, which is always interesting as you want to get to know the words from the people who makes these green spaces. They're creative spirits & deserve a hearing.
There're various ideas I'm taking from this book - planting thyme between cracks in paving is one. Love that idea, as the thyme will spread and you'll get a beautiful scent underfoot. There're also instructions on how to make a hanging alpine strawberry basket. Mmm, love that, and hanging baskets would keep the berries out of reach of those Evil Slugs.
'my little veg plot' (yup, the title is in lower case) is published by Pavilion, and It's a keeper. Why not invest in a copy?
I thought I'd start this page of book reviews and recommendations with an oldie but a goodie. My copy of Lesley Bremness's Dorling Kindersley book of Herbs has a different cover, but that's testament to how long it's been lurking on my bookshelves. But It's still as useful as ever (and it's one of those sturdy little books that doesn't fall apart from frequent handling too. No loose pages, even though my edition was printed back in 1990.)
When DK get their books right they really excel in clear text and excellent photographs. Just what you want from a book aimed to help you identify herbs and how to use and grow them. The first 100 or so pages give a page each to an individual herb. So, for instance, there's a page devoted to 'Meadowsweet'. A little paragraph about the folk lore or legend behind it, a summary of its decorative and culinary uses, pointers towards its particular leaf shape, seeds, root and stem.
You learn some lovely little snippets of info as you browse this book. Fennel was used by Roman warriors to keep 'em healthy while weight watching Roman ladies ate it to prevent obesity. Coriander gets a mention in Sanskrit texts, the Bible and 'Tales of the Arabian Nights'. Parsley was used to make crowns for victors at the Greeks Isthmian games, while the herb Mullein has over 30 common names such as hag's taper, velvet dock and Aaron's rod.
The book also has a section on cooking with herbs, a lovely bit on making posies with herbs and flowers - known as tussie-mussies, plus herbal homemade cleaning products and beauty preparations. Finally, there's a section on cultivating and harvesting your herbs.
If you're after a good all-round book I'd suggest you snap this one up.
Moved from a garden-less city flat in the South West to a Yorkshire village in 2016. I now have a garden ... of sorts.