Saturday, 31 May 2008

Holiday Reads

Around this time of year lists of books to take on holiday start appearing in magazines and newspapers. But what does the gardening enthusiast take on holiday?

Assuming that is that he/she can be prised away from their plot. Personally I always have mixed feelings about going away. Even if it's just a short break, the plant that I have been drooling with anticipation over for weeks, takes the opportunity to flower like crazy, so that it's over and done by the time I get back.

Anyway, I digress.

So what is a good gardening holiday read? I am assuming here that light and entertaining is the order of the day, and you're not crazy enough to lug some big old reference book away with you.

Well, Valentine Low's One Man and His Dig, as capably reviewed by Emma Townshend on my main blog, and also much less capably by myself, is a good choice, being easy to read, and amusing throughout.

Last night I finished another book that I'd recommend as a good holiday read for the same reasons.

The Day Job by Mark Wallington has been out a year or two, but is still available in plenty of shops. Subtitled ‘The Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener’ - it is that, but more. It follows a year in which Mark, with no experience, sets up as a gardener in Hampstead, London. At the same time he is trying to break into writing TV comedy. Nothing much happens as regards the latter, but his gardening brings him into contact with all manner of clients from single parents and pensioners, through to the rich and the titled. All of whom seem to be batty, to a greater, or lesser, extent. There are also run ins with a local landscape firm, Powerflowers, and a touching cupid role in the life of Indian bank clerk Balbir. It's a warm and entertaining book, which is just what you want to have in your holiday bag.

I realise two books is a pretty thin holiday book list.

Can anyone help me add to it?

Oh, hang on, I've thought of another one - The Cloud Garden - Tom Hart Dyke & Paul Winder - just mad.

Friday, 30 May 2008


If you read my Garden Monkey blog at all regularly you will know that I love garden books.

So I’ve set up this little blog in celebration of all aspects of garden books and in the hope that people will come and discuss, find, recommend, disparage, and even just witter about them.