It is obvious as soon as you open this book that the author is both knowledgeable and passionate about her subject.
Ruth effortlessly captures the emotions that are stirred when you spend time close to nature, and the book evokes feelings of warmth and nostalgia. From start to finish it offers hints and tips, both old and new, which are wonderfully practical, and the more I read the more I know I will be using them in my garden. From putting tea-bags at the bottom of hanging baskets to aid water retention, to scaring birds away with their own feathers, there’s all sorts of ideas. The section called Hoe, hoe, hoe caught my attention and, with a pang of guilt, it reminded me that it was on my list of jobs for the allotment!
The historical aspect of cultivation is also included and an insight is given into the the people, tools and approaches that set the scene for contemporary gardening as we know it.
I love the little charming facts every few pages, one of my favourites has to be about lavender: The plant’s name may derive from the Latin lavre, meaning to ‘wash’. Washing was draped over the bushes and became delicately scented as it dried in the sunshine.
Ruth has written a host of other books which all look enthralling – just need to pick the next one to read!
About the author: Ruth Binney has been collecting old saying, wisdom and traditional advice for some 50 years, since her father first advised that potatoes should be planted on Good Friday. She holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and has been involved in countless publications during her career as an editor, many of them devoted to gardening and plants. Gardening has been a part of her life since childhood and for the past 25 years she has, with her husband Donald, tended allotments – originally in London and, currently in Dorset. She regularly gives talks about her books to a variety of audiences, is secretary of her local gardening association and participates enthusiastically, although with mixed success, in their spring and summer shows.
If anyone has any recommendations for books we could include, we would love to hear from you. Please post a comment below.