Sunday, 31 August 2008

Guilty Treasures

From Flange member Helen:

Thought I would bring the book flange down market for a change. Although I have enjoyed reading about the various ancient gardening literary finds, I thought something more up to date would be good.

This is my most recent purchase

Now before you leap in and ask why I should buy such a book, I would state that in my defence I haven't had my greenhouse for long and I want to do more with it than grow tomatoes and raise annuals so was looking for some inspiration. The book has delivered this albeit it in simplistic terms.

I wondered if members had gardening gems that they wouldn't necessarily rush to own up to but find very helpful.

Helen (aka patientgardener)

Friday, 29 August 2008

E's are good?

Given that this blog is a child of the internet, it's perhaps surprising that, thus far, it has only once had a link to, or mentioned an E book.

There are two free E books here.

I haven't looked at them yet, but will do so.

In the meantime if anyone does and wants to tell the Flange about it - be our guest.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Books my Bean-counter left me

This post is from Flange-member James who says :

My accountant gave me a 1951 copy of this fine publication. I particularly like the fact that it is described as an "intimate" magazine for garden lovers. This title promises more than it delivers (although Gladioli for Gaiety is a start). Sadly, not one to go in the private reading stash down at the allotment.

There are some cracking advertisements in the publication including one for The Cornish Flexible Earth Company which includes this limerick:
There was a young lady from Ealing
Who had a peculiar feeling
For our Flexible Earth
Gave rise to great mirth
When her daffodils reached to the ceiling

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Blog Book News

One of my favourite blogs Garden History Girl has a nice garden piece by Saki, who rather coincidentally, was the feature of this piece in a blog I was perusing at the weekend.

The blog is about the second hand and rare book trade, and thoroughly interesting, with some posts that are more, or less horticulturally themed.

I have also blundered across a blog featuring natural history writer, Henry David Thoreau.

Returning to Garden History Girl, she also has a link to the garden History Society, who have lots of booky stuff.

And finally Flange member James Alexander-Sinclair has a post on books, which will lead you back here.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Britain In Pictures

The books in the photo on a recent post were:

English Garden Flowers - Harry Roberts 1944,
Wildflowers in Britain - Geoffrey Grigson 1944 and
British Garden flowers George M Taylor 1946.

They are part of a series called Britain in Pictures which covers a wide range of subjects in the arts, sciences, history and geography. The ones I have each has 8 colour plates and 22 -26 black and white illustrations. They are all just under fifty pages in length which makes them ideal to spend an hour or so perusing on one of the rainy afternoons, that have plagued us of late.

Books from the series can be bought quite cheaply online, although the usual warning applies here that you have to be wary of a vendor offering a book at a low price, whilst at the same time inflating the postal costs.

Others in the series that would be of interest to gardeners are:
British Herbs and Vegetables George M Taylor.
Trees in Britain - Alexander L Howard
British Botanists - John Gilmour and
English Country Houses - V. Sackville-West.

I personally will also be looking out for another called British Orientalists, in the hope that it will include something on Edward Pococke, a very distant relative, who some credit with introducing the cedar to this country.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

P..P..P..Pick up a Penguin

Do you recall my post about Penguin Handbooks, following some photos that Flange member VP supplied?

Well, I have been putting together a list of PH's of interest to the gardener. It is currently quite ropey, and can only improve, but for what it's worth here it is:

S145 - Trees and Shrubs (and how to grow them) - W H Rowe[1944]
S146 - The Vegetable Growers' Handbook Vol I
S147 - The Vegetable Growers' Handbook Vols II.
PH1 - Soft Fruit Growing - Raymond Bush
PH2 - Tree Fruit Growing Part I (Apples) - Raymond Bush
PH3 - Tree Fruit Growing Part II (Pears, Quinces and Stone Fruits). - Raymond Bush
PH19 - The Flower Garden. Penguin Handbook - E R Janes [1953]
PH 23 - The Vegetable Garden - E R Janes
PH 37 - Roses - Fred Fairbrother [1958]
PH 44 - Rock gardens - E B Anderson [1959]
PH 51 - Hardy Herbaceous Plants - Lanning Roper. [1960]
PH59 - Dahlias - Stuart Ogg [1961]
PH73 - House Plants - Margaret E. Jones [1962]
PH82 - Water Gardens - Francis Perry [1962]
PH127 - Garden Design - Kenneth Midgley [1966]
PH?? - Annual and Biennial Flowers - A P Balfour
PH?? - Chrysanthemums - E T Thistletwaite
PH?? - The Cool Greenhouse - G W Robinson [1959]
PH?? - Lawns - R B Dawson
PH?? Delphiniums - Ronald Parrett [1961]
PH?? - Cacti & Other Succulents - R Ginns
PH?? - Gardening The Modern Way - Roy Hay

I have also as you may have guessed been putting together my own collection of them, which includes most, but not all of the above.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Gone Gerritsen

Gardens Illustrated is my favourite garden magazine, although I have occasionally been rather rude about it in the past. In truth I have calmed down a lot since they off-hired Hugh Jampton.

Unsurprisingly when I get the latest issue, one of the first bits I check out is the book reviews.

This month I see that they are giving away two copies of Henk Gerritsen's new book Essay on Gardening. They are actually limited edition English language copies of the book, which is published in Dutch.

I am quite excited at this prospect and utterly convinced that I will win one.

On which note, I would tell you how to enter the draw, but you will have to buy the mag to find out. That isn't down to altruism on my part, just an attempt to limit the amount of other entries.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Siadwell Principle

The title of this post does admittedly sound a bit like one of those brick-like books by Robert Ludlum, or someone, that you see all manner of sad bastards clasping under their arms at airports.

Anyway - it isn’t.

The Siadwell Principle is something altogether more profound.

It is an age-old concept, but one most recently demonstrated by Siadwell, a gormless Welsh geek created by John Sparkes, in an eighties comedy series I only dimly remember.
The sketch in question opened with Siadwell admiring his “Collection” - which was two pens and a comb. The joke was that he had just three things, only two of which were the same, but laugh not - this is a Damascene moment.
It not only establishes the principle that you need only three things to have a collection [two is merely a pair], but also if you have only two things that are the same, you can still create a collection if you can find something made of the same material and approximately the same length.
This is a vital dictum to the budding collector.

Imagine my joy when I bought this ready made collection yesterday. Not only that, the second-hand bookshop had a half price sale on and they cost me just £4.50 for the lot.

I will of course post about these books in due course, but right now I need a lie down - I am as excited as a paparazzo who has just photographed Amy Winehouse, using a pooter to blow Class A drugs up her mimsy.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Blog Book News

Another quick breeze through the garden book bits and pieces that I have happened across recently.

The big news is of course the free books up for grabs at VP's Virtual Open Garden.

Meanwhile Emma Townshend is still reading anything with a vaguely horticultural link - this time strawberries.

Again more groovy stuff from my fellow vintage book fan Amanda - although the featured garden looks quite contemporary.

I am in a total green eyed frenzy over a new book R Pete Free has acquired, less so about the gay Alan Titchmarsh book.

And finally a blog I found that has a free E-book for download, and some book reviews [plus a certain measure of cat-nutterdom]

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Handbags and Gladrags

What’s your funniest garden book moment - if indeed you have one.

Mine was seeing a pile of one of Diarmuid Gavin's books - I think it was Outer Spaces - in Poundland, alongside boxes of Colgate toothpaste with Turkish writing and packs of 48 AA batteries.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

We the people...

Like Jane Perrone I'm working my way through (and aquiring) the complete works of Christopher Lloyd.

Last week I saw his Exotic planting for adventurous gardeners” in an Oxfam bookshop for £6.99. As the retail coverprice is £20 I thought "Way-hey!" and bought it straight away.

But now I find that The Book People have it for £6.99. I know that is what I paid for mine, but hell, I could have got a brand new one.

Still it was for charity.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Blue Remembered Hills

I know this is a mug, but it has the picture of a book on it.

I think it’s rather fab. I want one.

Available from Tree House Blue.

Monday, 11 August 2008

To Dave...

Following on from the previous post - there is a hazard to buying book from say eBay, which have been signed by the author. What is described as a signed copy might also have a dedication the vendor failed to mention. This might limit it’s potential as a gift.

Of course “Best Wishes” is fine whatever the case, but if it’s a newish book that you are trying to pass off as a first hand-purchase then “To Jim” might necessitate a lie of two about the author getting the name wrong and you being too embarrassed to point it out.

However there is no way in the world that you are going to be able to bullshit your way out of a book bearing the inscription “To Betty , good luck with the geraniums”

How do I know this you ask?

Well it’s absolutely not because I bought a signed copy of Kim Wilde’s "Gardening With Children” for a female friend with small kids, only to find it was signed “To Dave.."

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Signed Copies

Gardening writer Martyn Cox has sent me some photos of books from his own bookshelves, which feature the authors signature and wonders has anybody else got any signed copies to beat these?

I have a few myself, but one less that I would like. You see, last year I bought a Graham Stuart Thomas book from eBay for a friend who loves roses. It wasn’t till it was delivered that I realised that it was signed by the great man. Needless to say my friend very nearly didn‘t get her present.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Blog Book News

Just a quick trot through some of the garden book things cropping up lately.

Firstly an article from last weekend's Telegraph about David Wheeler, the editorial brains behind Hortus, staving off the worst of horticultural deprivation with the books of Margery Fish.

That author, along with Christopher Lloyd, forms a pair of writers whose complete works Jane Perrone is working her way through.

Emma Townshend is (temporarily one hopes) eschewing such worthy stuff in favour of charity books that simply have garden in the title.

And finally, I hope I'm not giving away too much of a secret when I tell you that there may be the odd garden book to be had at VP's Virtual Open Garden shortly.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Vintage ads

These pics of some vintage adverts were kindly supplied by VP from one of her Penguin Handbooks.

Since my last post on the subject I have been looking at Penguin Handbooks in an "Oooh, what a great idea for a collection" sort of way, and will be doing a post on them soon. VP, what have you started?

A blog I can recommend for vintage stuff from books and magazines is Kiss My Aster.

The author, Amanda, has 3 issues of a book from the 60s called Better Homes & Gardens New Garden Book, which she posts on from time to time and which I covet deeply.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Thin as a rake

I must apologise for the rather thin number of posts here in recent weeks.

Life has been a bit mad, to say the least.

I shall do my best to rectify the situation.

It's only money

The book shown in my previous post was The Week-End Gardener by C S Goodman, FRGS, and like another book featured here, published by Crowther and subject to “War Time Productions and Costs”.

(I didn't actually click on to this when I bought it. )

It was “Written specially for the National Allotments Society, this book contains may hints for the amateur gardener and people whose permanent interest is horticulture.”

The reason I asked how much the book was, was because I think I paid too much (£12.50).

I am hearted by VP’s comment that it is going for between £5 & £40 on Amazon, although my copy is the 1945 fifth issue and so probably not at the top of that scale, even though it in good condition..

Mind you, I can’t believe that Monty Don’s book of the same name goes for so much. I can’t believe that anything he has produced (excluding his children) is worth anywhere near 76 quid.

Whilst in my heart of hearts I thought the Goodman book was a bit steep, it was one of those occasions where I picked it up and put it down several times.

In those sort of situations it seems, to me at least, that if you don't buy the item then you always regret it afterwards.

But I suppose if one were to take that line of logic to it's conclusion, I'd nip over to Ivelet Books and buy the copy of John Evelyn they have for sale.

Can anybody lend me £2,750?