Friday, 6 June 2008


I picked this D G Hessayon up at a boot sale the other week. No idea how old it is, but some of the illustrations are great. Some of them seem to have barely changed though.


emmat said...

that is gorgeous. I love it.

emmat said...

PS it probably recommends things like "spray with agent orange or napalm in the morning"

The Garden Monkey said...

Yours for a fiver.

Oh, I forgot you are in book purdah! LOL.

Absolutley full of chemical stuff. It was published by PBI and so recommends lots of their chemicals.

Anonymous said...

It is the pipe that makes it special - even though it is a rather un-butch small pipe.
It used to be that every gardener ever to appear in a book of magazine had a pipe. Percy Thrower had a pipe. Adam the Gardener had a pipe. I suspect Peter Seabrook has at least considered pipe smoking.

I bet that Matthew Wilson could get away with a pipe.

The Garden Monkey said...

Jack Hargreaves always had a big old pipe. What my Dad called a Cadger's Pipe. Meaning it took loads of baccy to fill up. The principle being that the cadger asks to borrow some baccy, then takes masses to fill their big pipe.

I recall an advert where pipe tobacco was offered around and some old boy swapped his small pipe for a bigger one to cadge more baccy.

I digress - the other thing I remember about Jack Hargreaves was that my Dad would insist on watching his programme and then spend the whole time calling him rude names. I think he was something of a bullshitter - JH not my Dad.

Alex Johnson said...

Jack Hargreaves of course also trailed the blaze for presenting television programmes from his shed.

emmat said...

Alex is such a genius for always finding a shed angle. I bet if we sent him to Hollywood to interview j-lo, lilo or any of the others, within minutes he'd have got them riffing about their old granpy's shed back home in tennessee.

Esther Montgomery said...

I too have a one and sixpenny edition of 'Be Your Own Gardening Expert'.

Mine is the ninth impression and still has its Soil Test Paper (unused) fixed to the front page.

It was given to me (already second hand) around about 1971.

About changes in the pictures, or lack of them.

The cover on my edition is broadly the same but the watering can and the man digging have been removed. The little girl is crouching instead of standing. One lady has been replaced with a different one (though doing the same thing) and the basket of the woman picking apples (or roses?) has her basket already full.


(I liked Jack Hargreaves.)

Esther Montgomery

Anonymous said...

We picked up a copy of Hessayon's 'The Armchair Gardener' at a bootfair in Norfolk last summer. Nowhere near as vintage as yours but it demonstrates how with the times the good Dr is. The cover is a full-on blingy affair, red foil with gold embossed lettering. And then the title - armchair gardener? Really?

The date of publications for this glamorous coffee table tome? 1983, of course. Surprised it didn't come with a set of add on shoulder pads.

I did once smoke a pipe. It was my grandfather's, he'd decided to give up and for some reason gave me all the kit - pipes, baccy, the whole shooting match. I was 13. It made me cough until I was sick.

Esther Montgomery said...

Black and Glossy - (though definitely not coffee table) with gold leaves and single red rose - 'Be Your Own Rose Expert' by D.G. Hessayon and Harry Wheatcroft. Copyright - 1965 but I think this must be the third impression. Two shillings and sixpence.

Being not an expert - I still use it (taking care that my eyes don't fall on the horrible, horrible illustrations of garish hybrid teas and floribunda in the first few pages).

(I wouldn't take it on holiday with me either.)